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Horse Riding in Almeria

23 Mar

When I was young I used to go horse riding quite often over a period of a few years, summer and winter.  I loved it and my sister and I would go together – she was always much better than me but it was something we loved doing.  The summer evening rides were the best ones – when the sun was setting over the lush, green fields and then towards September, still warm enough to ride in the evenings, seeing all the bales of hay in the fields.

Second best to that (and only because of lovely memories of my sister)is to go down to Mojacar beach and have a lesson at the riding school, Cueva del Lobo,  which is bang on the beach – there is something about being on a horse and being able to hear the waves rolling in, and feeling a warm, salty breeze on your face.

Last time I went out for a ride, we went up into the hills behind Mojacar and just trekked for an hour in the peace and quiet, in and out of the narrow little streets and then onto the rough tracks and paths through the hills themselves.  It is a great thing to do and you don’t have to be a particularly confident rider to enjoy it as on this particular ride, there was no galloping, just a bit of trotting and the odd canter.  I have not ridden for years and years and I really enjoyed it and if you are holidaying here, it is something different to do one day.

Also close by is Rancho Luz del Sol who have a selection of beautiful horses available to ride in a rural setting.

There are several other places to go riding, a little further afield, where you can go for a trek and have lunch before coming back, but that is for the more serious riders among you.

Cueva del Lob Riding Center (Mojacar) 950 478 991

Rancho Luz del Sol (Partaloa) 678 838 547

Osteria Restuarant, Mojacar

2 Mar

Today is Mick’s birthday – and his mum, Sadie’s.  What a birthday present!  Although Sadie always says she couldn’t have wished for a nicer one.  Anyhow, Sadie is with us for a couple of weeks which we planned so that they could spend their birthday’s together which they do every couple of years.  It is lovely, they are very close and it is wonderful to watch them enjoying each other’s company.  So today Mick took a very rare midweek afternoon off so that we could go out for lunch – our friends Mike and Gill came along too.  We have known about Osteria for ages – it is an Italian restaurant on the way up to Mojacar Pueblo and we have heard nothing but good things about it but somehow, we always seem to end up going somewhere else.

 

So we arrived at 1.30 ish and had drinks at the bar.  Immediately, we liked the place – airy, tables not too close to each other and a very bright interior on a sunny day such as today.

Happy Birthday Mum!

The menu was very varied and large but not scarily so.  It does need a bit of concentration though so you need to stop the chit chat and give it a bit of time.  All restaurants here have a menu del dia for around 10 euros for three courses excluding drinks and Osteria is no exception.  There is plenty to choose from and really one could come here a couple of times a week on that basis.  The a la carte is extensive – no pizzas on this menu though, but plenty of fantastic pasta dishes, a huge variety of starters, salads, carpaccio, gnocchi, deep fried goats cheese to name a few.  Then a couple of dozen main courses, mainly veal, steak, chicken or lamb, pasta of course, and today’s fish was a beautifully presented swordfish.  By the time dessert came I was completely full but again, there were plenty of delicious things to choose – profiteroles, tarts, fruit salad – the usual kind of Italian fayre.

 

Today, although a mild high 60’s we ate inside, but in a month or so we will definitely come again and eat on the pretty terrace outside.

 

If you dine a la carte, expect to pay 30 euros per head with wine for two courses, but as said, you could easily get away with 20 per head for the menu del dia three course lunch with drinks and coffee.

 

Absolutely worth a visit.

Osteria telephone number: 950 615 151

 

 

Tito’s Beach Bar, Mojacar Playa

1 Nov

Sunday afternoon and we have planned to go down to Mojacar Beach to meet up with some friends at Tito’s one of the beach bars there.  This is the last Sunday opening until the spring and it is packed with regulars and visitors.  Today they have some live music and a belly dancer (gorgeous looking, bet she can’t cook!) for our entertainment.  It is lively and buzzy and everyone is out to enjoy themselves.  The weather is still very mild, and was blustery when we left home, but not here on the beach.  The sea is calm and there are a few fluffy white clouds in the sky – we aren’t wearing jackets yet and some of us are in T shirts still.

Live music by the sea at Tito's

The menu at Tito’s is reliably good with some really delicious dishes on offer.  Fresh mussels and sardines are the order of the day to start together with a huge salad for all of us.  I choose lamb kebabs for my main course, other choices are chicken tempura (massive), mushroom risotto (just with as much gloop as it should have) and Dorada (see bream) grilled until the skin is just slightly blackened and crispy.  I am not driving today (Mick drew the short straw!) and so I glug some fresh, white wine down very happily.  We take a look at the dessert menu, which I have no intention of ordering……. Until I see chocolate brownie with ice cream which I immediately order and share with Mick.  It is divine.  We order coffees and more wine with the entertainment, a couple of really good guitarists and the beautiful belly dancer.

Bring on the belly dancer

It is Halloween and all the kids are out in costume scaring everyone and having fun – the clocks have gone back and so I suddenly realise is getting dark and is now gone 7 o’clock!  We have to go and check on the mutts as we don’t like leaving them for too long by themselves.

What a fantastic last day of summer we have had – and it is November on Monday!

If any of you reading this come next spring, go to Tito’s for a drink at night or a Sunday lunch – you will always have a good time.

Tito’s Beach Bar telephone number: 950 615 030

Neptuno Beach Club, Mojacar

20 Oct

On Sunday we went off for lunch with my cousin April and her friends who were staying with us, and Sadie, Mick’s mum, who is also staying for a couple of weeks.  Sunday is my day off – no housework is done (guests are forewarned!) and usually no cooking apart from breakfast if they are lucky!  It is a day for lying around our courtyard or by the swimming pool, or, more often than not, lunch or dinner with friends.  We debated sea or mountains for lunch and sea won!  So I booked a table for 7 at 2 p.m. (never before!) at Neptuno – my sister Kim’s favourite restaurant here.

Neptuno outside deck

It is quite Californian in decor – a wooden shack type building smack on the beach and great for lunch or dinner – dinner is very romantic here as you can dine on the terrace and hear the sea gently lapping on the shore a few feet away.  Unsurprisingly, you can order wonderful fish which is done on their barbeque, a beaten up old motor boat (which incidentally used to be a charming old fishing boat!), or there is a vast choice of barbequed meats as well, along with rice dishes.

Sardines from the boat

The staff are friendly and quick to serve you with drinks, fresh bread and alioli to keep you occupied whilst you decide on the food.  My cousin is prone to over order so I warned her about the portions of potatoes and salads and said we could order more if we needed it.  We didn’t of course.  Some of the party had mixed paella, the rest of us had fish and meat on the barbeque, a huge salad and mountains of salty chips.  Heavenly.  You can stuff yourself here for around 20 euros including loads of decent plonk, water and coffees (no pud needed). It is open all year round, so is great for those sometimes blustery winter days when the sea is crashing onto the beach and you are all cosy inside.  The owners let you linger and are never in a hurry to push you out so we rolled out at 5 ish and came back to the cortijo for a siesta.  No supper needed that night!

Neptuno Beach Club telephone no. 616 005 387

Lua beach bar – Mojacar

7 Sep

Whenever we feel like a bit of glamour we go down to Mojacar beach where there are some great beach bars.  The most glam is Lua – a kind of Trader Vic’s on the beach (for those of you old enough to remember the basement bar at the Hilton in Park Lane, London!). It really only comes to life late at night during the summer, but it is still fab to go for a drink at sunset.  It is right on the beach so you watch the waves rolling in and feel the wonderful breeze after a blistering day.

A sea view with your drink

September is a particularly lovely time to go there in the early evening.  It is lovely and cool and has lots of nooks and crannies with comfy sofas and chairs to hide away in or to sit on a bar stool overlooking the beach while the barman brings your favourite drink with some nibbles.  It is a good place to come late as well, busier and enchanting in the dark, with all the Buddha’s and blue fairy lights and banana trees – a real tropical hideaway.  Have a drink here, whether just the two of you or in a big crowd – it is very spacious, both indoors and out.  Most of the beach bars close during the winter, but are open well into the autumn which makes it feel like spring is just around the corner for those of us who live here.

Lua beach bar telephone number: 950 472 643

Restaurante La Cabana – Mojacar

6 Sep

My blog today is dedicated to my dad – it is a very simple Argentinean grill on the main drag on Mojacar Playa but it is my dad’s “favourite restaurant in the world”.  We will be taking him there the week after next – he would go straight from the airport if he could!  The staff are great and we have been going there for 7 years and never had a duff meal yet.  It is a large, no frills, airy place, with a terrace for warm nights.  They have the best Argentinean beef ever, rib eye, sirloin, fillet and rump and it is fantastic value too.

La Cabana outdoor terrace

They serve chirichurri, a kind of chilli tapenade and blue cheese with brandy with hot bread first so you have something to nibble whilst you decide which cut to have.  They do gorgeous rack of lamb and chicken and vegetable kebabs too, together with huge platters of salad with everything in them so perfect for vegetarians (although I grant you not many vegetarians frequent La Cabana – why would they?).

My mum always just has the salad and pinches a tiny piece of steak from each of us as it is too much for her.  The other thing they do fantastically well is big fat chips and really that is all you need – we never bother with a starter and rarely have a pud so it ends up being like the most sumptuous fast food place and if it is just Mick and I, we are in and out within an hour which always makes us laugh!  But mostly we go in a large party of friends or family and everyone loves it.  If you are down here it is simply unmissable and I bet you go there more than once!

La Cabana telephone number: 950 615 179

Mojacar Pueblo

13 Aug

Today I am going to write a little bit about the beautiful old town in Mojacar (or Mojacar Pueblo as everyone knows it) – the Pueblo is situated just up from Mojacar beach, high on a hill.  It is rich in history and has been occupied by both Moors and Christians over the centuries.

A great video here which shows Mojacar pueblo and beach.

You can certainly see the influence of the Moors in the architecture of some of the old buildings.  There is, I think, nothing nicer than wandering around the tiny, steep streets in the cool of the morning and stopping for a coffee in one of the many cafes or restaurants that the pueblo offers.

Mojacar Pueblo street

There are also some great souvenir shops, a cut above the normal gift shops (or toot shops as I like to call them) that one finds in coastal towns, selling some great pottery, clothing, jewellery as well as all the other stuff. On Saturday mornings, there is a flea market selling all kinds of bric a brac but good for a mooch if you are up early enough!

Mojacar Pueblo flea market

At night time during the summer months the Pueblo takes on a completely different atmosphere, with lots of things happening on any given day – there is a huge terrace as you enter the square which gives a panoramic view of the surrounding areas, right down to the coast, during the day, but serves as a stage at night for various performers and entertainers for all the holidaymakers.

Both in and out of season, it has something to offer – in summer it is lively, hot, busy and full of visitors from all over Europe enjoying themselves.   Out of season it is peaceful, beautiful and a very romantic place for dinner, though you can’t quite believe it is the same place that you partied at in August!  One thing is for sure, if you are visiting us or Almeria, Mojacar village is a must during your stay.