AS September arrives in Marbella you can almost hear a collective sigh of relief, as a beautiful tranquillity descends upon the coast, and we reclaim our home.
The tourists depart, the traffic diminishes, the heat subsides, the queues lessen… and it’s glorious!
It’s the simplest things that have brought me joy: like being able to pop into Supercor for a loaf of bread without having to queue behind a hen party who are bagging up their weekly shop (in bikinis and six-inch heels!) and arguing (loudly) as they count out their euros, or not having to wait half an hour in taxi queues out of Banus to get home, behind (very) drunk holidaymakers who are on the verge of a punch up… Ah those simple pleasures!
After three months of hibernation, I’ve found myself falling in love with life here all over again.
The milder temperatures mean that suddenly there’s so much to do, and the tourist exodus has propelled me back into action. From morning yoga classes on the beach to clambering, jumping and swimming the Benahavis riverwalk, September has reignited my passion for Andalucía and its favourable outdoor lifestyle.
As beach clubs up and down the coast, geared up for their champagne spray weekends, a group of us organised a ‘farewell to summer’ party on Playa de San Pedro and, if there’s one thing I recommend that you do before the season is over, then book a barbeque boat on the beach with family or friends!
The string of barbeque fishing boats in the sand, which are traditionally used to cook fish, most commonly sardines ‘al espeto’, on wooden skewers over fire, can be rented for the evening from the ayuntamiento de San Pedro.
All we had to do was bring our own food, drink and entertainment. From sardines to steaks, and English sausages to Bratwurst, our boat was a gastronomic feast from around the globe.
Everyone brought typical dishes from their home countries to share and, as we piled plates high with couscous and curry, I remarked on what a multicultural bunch we are!
Each boat had its own fiesta going on; there was salsa dancing in the sand, children running and swimming, flamenco guitars strumming… and of course, no party would be complete without the sound of the summer favourite, ‘Despacito’ playing over (and over, and over) again in the distance.
A few of our bunch had brought guitars and maracas, and we sang everything from Oasis to The Gypsy Kings – although our salsa dancing was not quite in the same league as that of our Spanish neighbours!
I sat back and watched the party unfold around me: the moon glistening on the sea, families of all ages picnicking and dancing, and the sound of jovial singing sounding out until the early morning, and counted 16 nationalities in our group alone.
This, I mused, was a perfect scene of the energy, beauty and cultural diversity of life in Marbella.
But perhaps, the best thing about September is the fact that finally, it’s back to school!
“How was your holiday?” The mothers greet me at the school gate. I plant a kiss on The Monkey’s head and, as I wave him off, I smile…
“It’s just getting started!”