Calgary to Málaga - Eating Our Way Around Andalucia - 2022 - CycleBlaze

October 9, 2022

Calgary to Málaga

Our travel to Spain involved three legs. Calgary-Toronto-Paris-Málaga. Not ideal to have 3 flights, but the layover times and flight schedule were good, putting us in Malaga at midday on Monday of Canadian Thanksgiving. No turkey for us this year. 

Thanks to taxi service by Gail’s husband, we arrived at the airport 3 hours ahead of our flight to Toronto, each with a jam-packed bike bag, and each with a small carry-on duffel containing clothes and flattened panniers.  We had our fingers crossed that  by checking in with Westjet, we wouldn’t get dinged Air France’s $150 bike fee. Success! Gail got charged Westjet’s fee of $50, and I got off scot-free. Can’t really explain why, but I definitely didn’t complain. 

Despite all the horror stories about busy airports and lost luggage this year, we had a fine trip on almost-full planes. Any worry about our bike bags was eased by the use of Apple AirTags. What a relief to see that our bags were with us the whole way. 

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Our only delay was arriving slightly late in Malaga, and then waiting an eternity for our bags. But that wait was stress-free, since we knew the bikes were in the airport. It turned out that because our bags originated from outside the EU, we ended up on a different carousel than most passengers. 

Neither of us had slept much en route, but we kept occupied by reading and watching movies. Minions and the latest Downton Abbey were on the list. And the Marcel the Shell movie gets a high rating from me. Gail had lent me her copy of Driving Over Lemons: An Optimist in Andalucia, a book by Chris Stewart, a Brit who moved to Andalucia and bought a sheep farm. It's an enjoyable quick read, and I had it almost finished by the time we arrived.

A quick taxi into the centre of Malaga, and presto, after 23 hours of travel, we were in Spain! We’re in a nice new hotel near the city centre, the B&B Hotel. They’ll hold our bike bags until we return in November. 

We had time in the afternoon to get Movistar SIM card for my phone - cheap!, and then have a quick beer to give us the courage to re-assemble our bikes. 

Fuel for bike re-assembly
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We were both nervous about bike assembly, especially not wanting to mess up the derailleurs. Gail is a super-experienced cycle tourer, but she’s had her expert bike mechanic husband along on every other trip. And I’m a hack at bike maintenance. I’m an engineer, but am not particularly mechanically inclined. My skills start at tightening bolts, and end at adding fixing a flat, or repairing a broken chain. We weren't quick, but nothing was damaged in transit and the bikes got put back together with minimal swearing. We both have gears and brakes, so all is good. 

Then it was time for a short exploration of the city centre, and some delicious tapas at a restaurant recommended by our hotel staff - we couldn’t have stayed up late enough for a real Spanish dinner. 

Two of our tapas - there were more. Plus olives, of course.
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Our heads hit the pillows at about 9 pm, and we were sound asleep by 9:01. 

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