Costa de la Luz

July 25, 2017

As I mentioned in an earlier post, Spanish tourists from just north of here frequent this area of southern Spain, and I’ve come to learn that many German and Swiss tourists have discovered this beautiful part of the world as well. Some Spanish is a necessity; we met only a handful of people who spoke any English. Thankfully Pablo is fluent and Teresa is well versed. Steve can get by quite well. I can order food. Our hostess Colette is Swiss, and speaks many languages. Her story is on their website,, but suffice it to say that she is a knowledgeable and hospitable host, and all of her pets are rescued animals with incredible stories. Enough said; she gets my stamp of approval. She went above and beyond in helping Steve retrieve his lost luggage (second year in a row – I think he pissed off the luggage fairies in a past life). Meerlust is hidden away; I was fairly certain the deliveryman would never find us, but Colette vectored him in.

Some Spanish is a necessity; we met only a handful of people who spoke any English. Thankfully Pablo is fluent and Teresa is well versed. Steve can get by quite well. I can order food.

Meerlust Las Ballenas. Interesting name. The owner, Colette Bastin, is a devotee of South African wines, and the winery Meerlust Estate in Stellenbosch South Africa makes some of her favorites. I was drinking a South African Chardonnay, sitting in the garden of Meerlust Las Ballenas, her luxury B&B in Los Caños de Meca as I wrote this. We’d spent the day by their beautiful cobalt blue tiled pool, shaded from the hot sun by white umbrellas, enjoying the scents of rosemary and lavender growing at the edge of the garden. Agave, cactus, bougainvillea, olive, orange, quince and lemon trees grew in the gardens, and the stone pines on the hillside looked like fairytale stalks of broccoli. The smell of jasmine welcomed us home in the evenings and our beds were bedecked with fragrant herbs and flowers every night.

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We breakfasted in the garden every morning on homemade yogurt and eggs from the neighbors’ chickens. Colette makes orange marmalade from her own fruit, which was delightful on a warm baguette or croissant. And she catered an multi-course early birthday celebration for me hosted by our friends Teresa and Pablo, as the chances are slim they’ll cross the pond to celebrate with me on my actual 60th in November. It started with a sherry tasting and ended with a chocolate almond birthday cake, and there was lovely sautéed triggerfish somewhere in the middle.

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This trip was full of celebrations. Pablo’s 60th was last year, and we hadn’t yet celebrated with him. Teresa’s birthday was in July, just after our trip, and Teresa and Pablo will celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary in September, so there was much toasting and frivolity. And it was kismet that Pablo’s oldest friend Jess and Teresa’s oldest friend, me, would be in Spain at the same time to celebrate. Jess and his wife Linda have a house nearby and we were able to meet for dinner in the beautiful pueblo blanco (white village) of Vejer. The restaurant, Trafalgar, was in the Plaza de España in front of an incredible tiled fountain. It was a special night of tapas, wine and friendship. And a lost camera, which, amazingly, I was able to get back.

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More on the food, beaches and sights of Spain next time…

Hasta Pronto,


{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Melon July 26, 2017 at 7:49 am

Beautiful!! Loved imagining the fragrance of the Russian sage lined path. Thanks for sharing this touching rendezvous.


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