The other day we headed off to Ronda (the one in Andalusia, not the one in Wales) for the day. We decided to head off early and had breakfast en route. There are quite a few services off the motorways here, but unlike the chains we have in the UK, they are quite often small privately owned affairs. Rachel and Tibu have stopped at a few of these places in the past and had reasonable meals. We decided that we would stop at one of these for breakfast, but missed the turn off…twice…and then left the motorway. We had been travelling for nearly an hour before we found a town that looked like we may be able to get breakfast at. 

On our way we had been overtaken by dozens of motorbikes. I suspect that they may have been heading over to Jerez where the MotoGP was being held, or they may have just been out for a Saturday morning ride, but there were a canny few of them. As we pulled into the village of Campillos, we initially struggled to find anywhere to eat, but then we found where all the bikes were heading. There was one cafe with dozens of bikes outside. Well, it was worth a shot we thought. We parked up, unpacked ourselves from the people carrier and walked in. It was 4 deep at the bar and all the tables were full, so we walked back out again. We turned around and then tried to find somewhere else. I spotted a sign for a restaurant with a €7 Menu del Dia (Menu of the day). We didn’t want that, but we guessed they should at least do breakfast. 

We pulled up outside of this tiny bar and Tibu went in to see if they did breakfast. A very specific breakfast. We wanted this toasty, oily, tomatoey thing that is very popular in Spain. I don’t know its proper name, probably “el oily tomato pan” or something such like. Tibu popped out a few seconds later and beckoned us all in. They did the required oily tomatoey bread, so we headed in. The place was one of those lovely little places where the walls are covered with photos and memorabilia. In this case it seemed to be all Malaga FC. Now I’m no expert on Spanish football (if you don’t believe me, read this blog), so I wasn’t too sure how big Malaga was as a club. I always think that seaside towns are little clubs like Southport who have just fallen out of the Vanarama conference into the Mentos chewy mints league or whatever it is called. I mean it’s not as if we would ever have a seaside town club in the Premier League in England is it? Can you imagine Brighton, Blackpool or Bournemouth in the Premier League? Oh you can. Yes, actually now I think about it, so can I. 

Anyway, it would appear Malaga are quite good. They play in La Liga (which means “The League”. I don’t know which league. I think they only have one. Football doesn’t seem very popular over here. They probably can’t support as many teams as we do). They were also in the Champions League in 2013 as they had those “half and half” scarves on the wall. I’ve never quite worked out how those things work. They seem ideal for a neutral, or someone who has put an each way bet on the result, but why would you hold up a scarf with both teams on it? It must be very confusing for the players as well. Bless them, they aren’t known for their brains, so could you imagine how they would cope with everyone having the same team scarf? So much for a home advantage. Being a Middlesbrough supporter I’ve never been too bothered with Champions League commemorative scarves, nor will I be for the foreseeable future; but back to breakfast. 

As we were waiting for breakfast (oily bread, just in case you have forgotten) an elderly local gentlemen walked in, walked up the bar, muttered something, threw down a coin, was given a shot of something which he knocked back and walked out. The whole transaction took approx. 30 seconds. Well it was gone 10:00 am now, we were in acceptable drinking hours. Breakfast arrived and was consumed. I went to the toilet and there followed to usual succession of trips to the toilet by the rest of the party before we got into the car.
Nik returned and said: 

“The ladies is locked and there has been carnage in the gents” 

“It was fine when I left it” I said. 

“There was puddle on the floor and no toilet seat” 

“And your point is?” 

Tibu asked the gentleman behind the bar about the ladies. “I’ll open it for you. We keep the ladies locked to stop the men going in.” Not sure what the attraction is, but I assume that the ladies has all mod cons such as toilet seats. We settled the bill (€3 a head for oily bread and a coffee) and tipped the man who proceeded to ring the bell to show he had been tipped (which was a bit odd bearing in mind we were the only people in the bar).   

As we were waiting for the ladies to reappear from their luxury toilet, we began looking at a wall full of non-football related photos. It would appear our new friend was once the manager of various Flamenco artists and gave it up a few years ago to open the bar withe deluxe ladies lavatorial facilities. We left the bar and all cried “adios”, except for dad who called out “goodbye”. The man with a smile called “goodbye!” back at us. With that we folded ourselves back into the car and continued our journey. 

Tomorrow: Rock’n’Roll

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