Our choice of parking for Marbella was a beach car park and when we arrived we found it was actually the beach itself. As soon as our wheels hit the sand we got stuck! Thankfully there was a young lad who helped us out along with his dad and we were in. As it was around 9pm there were hardly any cars there which was a blessing and it was the perfect spot for us, it even had toilets which is a lovely luxury for a free wild camping spot. We freshened up and headed towards the old town in search of some scrummy food and a well deserved drink. The maze of streets and alleys surprised me as its totally not what I would expect as all my perceptions of Marbs is big clubs and trashy bling so this was a beautiful contrast. The buildings were lined with beautiful vines adorned with flowers and tiny bars with high stools posed outside for the many people who spilled out and sipped wine in the balmy night. These streets opened up every now and then to squares filled with tables and chairs and lined edge to edge with balconies covered in more flowers and trees would have provided shade in the day by overhanging orange trees it was so sublime and still every turn surprised us. We found a cute little place called Arco Tapas Bar and despite it being super busy we were squeezed into a cute table for two. Sipping our drinks we sampled an array of tapas from the menu which was much needed as we were starving at this point. As the drive had took it out of us our evening really was quite boring I would have loved to have stayed out and had a few more drinks in one of the many cute bars that looked so inviting. When we reached our van we were surprised to see how busy the beach was. Some lights were illuminating the sand and we saw these old rowing boats filled with sand where people had set up BBQs and were enjoying some family time it made us feel so at ease and we loved being a part of a local tradition.
The next day we wanted to relax so we quite literally stepped out of our van and onto the sand which was so amazing! Picking our spot on the waters edge it was a nice beach which didn’t have bars or restaurants it was definitely more quiet and for the locals who brought, like us their own brolley and lay out on the sand rather than a lounger. As the beach filled up we looked over and saw some parking assistants, you know the type, who really don’t look legit and expect a random sum of money to watch over your car. They weren’t there when we had come so we hadn’t given them any cash but it eased us to know that there were people always by the van and area. As the afternoon rolled round we felt peckish so we headed towards the main beach in search of some seafood which is famed in Marbs. We picked a shaded spot and even though we were worried it could be a tourist spot we had the most amazing meal. Fresh fish cooked on the BBQ on the sand right in front of us. As we ate obviously our thoughts floated to our next meal. After last nights experience coming back to the beach we thought why not try live like a local and cook ourselves. The speciality of the area is sardines on the BBQ so what would be more fitting than for us to give it a whirl. We nipped to a nearby supermarket and stocked up for a fabulous evening meal before relaxing again a stones throw form the van and enjoyed some chilled time sunning ourselves. After a good few more hours tanning our skin we decided to make the most of those cute bars we’d spotted the night before so we changed and headed in. We stood in the streets or perched on stools sipping our favourite Tinto De Verano and soaking in the atmosphere. After a fair few beverages we headed back. It was so exciting setting up a BBQ by the van on the beach, listening to the waves lap on the sand. We loaded up some coals and lit a fire before chargrilling our skewered sardines. We’d also bought a huge pepper which we blackened on the flames and enjoyed a lovely salad too for probably the best meal we’d cook ourselves on this trip!