Part 1: “Glamping” in Andalucía – an American Airstream adventure

Well we are just back from a wonderful time staying in Alozaina in Andalucía. Through AirBnb we found this amazing American Airstream trailer up in the mountains. If you are not familiar with AirBnB its basically a site that allows people to rent out privately owned accommodation of one sort or another. I believe it was originally started as a way of paying for your own travel by renting out the place you stay whilst you are away. But now you can find all sorts and we randomly stumbled upon this particular place and I was captivated by the look of the Airstream and the surrounding area. Wouldn’t normally consider Spain for a holiday for whatever reason, but there was something about the idea of adventure and seeing a bit of “real” Spain (or more specifically Andalucía) that I really fancied.

This is part 1 of 6 and should you want to jump to any of the others the links are here:

Our beautiful Airstream which we stayed in for a week in Alozaina in Andalucia

 So we set off on the morning of the 5th October to Stansted Airport after a somewhat heavier night than it should have been at a magnificent local cocktail bar in Cambridge. However I still managed to go home and pack (my memory of this is somewhat hazy) and lo and behold reviewing my bag the following morning I actually packed everything I needed! Who knew. Oh well, think that will be my new approach to packing.

As always, I travel with my Olympus OM-D EM5 coupled with the following lenses;

  • Olympus M.Zuiko 75mm F1.8 (bought only recently, partly for this trip – absolutely beautiful lens)
  • Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-50mm F3.5-6.3 EZ
  • Panasonic 20mm F1.7
  • Panasonic 45mm F2.8 Leica Elmarit
  • Panasonic 100-300mm F4-5.6

On arrival in Malaga we went and collected our rental car from Avis and headed out. Now that might sound simple enough but Becca had kindly volunteered to drive and being thrown into driving on the opposite side of the road in a new car was a slightly intimidating prospect. So leaving Malaga the sat nav kept us vaguely on the right direction and 45 mins later we made it to Alozaina (with only one minor detour).

This was our view on arrival in Alozaina at about 4 in the afternoon. Absolutely beautiful looking little town. Incredibly hilly/mountainous, so from a driving point of view in a little underpowered VW Polo a bit of a challenge, but oh well, who doesn’t love a challenge!?

Our view on arrival in Alozaina

First view on arrival in Alozaina!

On arrival we phoned Trevor who owns the Airstream and he came down and met us. He then guided us up the mountain to the Airstream. Bit of an exciting drive and I would recommend should someone do something similar that you get a reasonably powerful car. Our little VW Polo 1.2 Diesel could have done with a bit more power. But we made it and after a few up and downs, it was pretty bearable.

Below are a few pics from around the Airstream. Its quite secluded but at the same time not too far from surrounding houses to feel intimidated. We had a wonderful time waking up and having some breakfast on the deck before heading out to explore the local area.

So once we got out stuff in and made ourselves at home we headed into town for dinner and a visit to the local supermarket. Took a little bit of adjusting to the local eating times, dinner usually started about 8/9pm and that first day when we hadn’t eaten since breakfast was a bit of a challenge! But we made it and visited Mirador de las Nieves for dinner which was pleasant. It feels a little like you are sitting on someone’s private front patio and its all very friendly. Our lack of Spanish didn’t cause too much trouble but the locals, unsurprisingly speak very little/no English at all. So between the basics combined with some hand gestures got us through!

The following day, we chilled out on the deck of the airstream and in the afternoon took a wander into town. This is one of my favourite pics of Becca with the new 75mm F1.8 – absolutely beautiful for portraiture, if a little bit long for certain practical uses. Also at that focal length at 1.8 its sometimes difficult to ensure you have the right part of the image in focus, but with practice, I hope to improve.

Head shot of Becca

Becca, shot with the Olympus 75mm F1.8 – quite hard to get the correct focus at 1.8

The views out from the town were very pretty. Below is one taken with the Olympus 75mm F1.8 which was interesting as its so easy to go wide but with a short telephoto you need to get more creative. Liked the layering of this one in particular.

View at dusk in Alozaina

Landscape shot with Olympus 75mm F1.8

 

Once we had taken a wander round, we intended to go to the supermarket and pick up something to cook on the BBQ at the airstream but forgetting it was a Sunday, it was closed. So instead we thought we would try one of the local tapas bars. I can honestly say I have never eaten so much chorizo which came in pretty much every possible form, most in between two bits of bread. Below are a few pics from the views. The final pic is of the menu, was intrigued by what the “Secret” was, but we felt ordering food we understood challenging enough without throwing in the “Secret”, definitely would have been chorizo based, I can tell you that.

The views were definitely more spectacular than the food but it was entirely acceptable.

View from Alozaina at dinner

The view from dinner in Alozaina at a local tapas bar

Overall a beautiful part of the world and if you ever get the chance of a visit, would most definitely recommend it. The views driving back up the airstream as the sunset were absolutely beautiful so will finish off this part of the story with a few of them and we can move onto the other parts of the adventure;

 

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