After a few weeks in itty bitty Gaucín, a weekend in the coastal town of Nerja felt like a big city experience – which really says a lot more about Gaucín than about Nerja, boasting some 20 000 inhabitants. The weekend turned out to be quite eventful – at least by our current village standards. We loved the vibrant and truly beautiful city, but, like cities in general, Nerja did pose some challenges to our minimalist endeavour. In the end, we had quite a splurge and, in addition to this, one of our rare fights over something as mundane a seemingly unimportant as bacon.
A part of the splurge consisted of staying at a hotel. We had actually looked forward to this rare luxury, but once there, it just felt like too much of a hassle. After a ridiculously lengthy and bureaucratic procedure concerning our booking, passports, room number and pool towels, we finally managed to get out of there and meet Kristoffer’s uncle and his partner for lunch – yet another rare splurge, since we seldom eat out. We both had omelettes with a side of walnut- and feta cheese salad, which is an excellent keto-option when sprinkled with generous amounts of olive oil. After lunch, we spent a couple of hours on the beach and then went on to explore the city.
One of Emmie’s persistent fetishes is Spanish leather sandals. They all seem to fit her just perfectly, supporting the theory that at least part of her anatomy is of Spanish descent. Splurge number three therefore was a brand new pair of them – a purchase equally justified by the fact that her old ones were practically falling apart and the new ones being utterly irresistible. Note the singular form here – in keeping with a minimalist lifestyle, Emmie owns exactly one pair of sandals (just as she owns one pair of trail running shoes, one pair of trainers, one pair of winter boots and so on, adding up to the relatively sparse amount of six pairs of shoes in total). Because of this, buying a new pair of sandals every three years or so becomes intensely pleasurable, instead of being just one of countless recreational shopping experiences soon to be forgotten.
Thank God, at least we did not go on to spend a fortune on dinner, which could easily have been done in the tourist quarters of Nerja. Instead, we were invited to Kristoffer’s uncle’s and his partner’s rental apartment for a nice tapa-inspired dinner. We had an assortment of all things Spanish, including avocado, ham, chorizo, cheese, tomatoes and olives. Spanish food culture is very keto-friendly in that it mainly consists of a number of small dishes that you can then choose from, each according to one’s needs. We stayed clear of the bread, the melon and went rather easy on the wine, making the meal both delicious and relatively healthy. Usually, we do avoid processed meats and pasteurized dairy products, but when in Spain, we go by the motto “You’ve got to live a little”.
Sunday morning, then, the bacon-related fight played out. Admittedly, most people might not define it as a proper fight, but it was quarrel about as hostile as our relationship gets. Having gone to bed later than usual, we were both a bit grumpy and tired upon waking. To alleviate this, we decided to go to the beach for a morning work-out. This was a good idea, since it was almost empty and perfectly peaceful. Emmie did her favourite beach routine of lunges and push-ups. Kristoffer did sprint intervals. After exhausting ourselves, we felt much happier – and very eager to have breakfast.
Since we’d already set off on the big splurge path, we agreed to treat ourselves to the hotel breakfast buffet. Aside from Spanish leather shoes, Emmie does have another fetish – bacon. She rarely has it, due to it being heavily processed and therefore a questionable health choice, but every now and then she pulls the stick out of her arse. This, she looked forward to doing while indulging in the breakfast buffet – hadn’t she been abruptly hindered by Kristoffer. When entering the hotel breakfast room, he singlehandedly decided it was lacking in atmosphere and that we needed to go elsewhere. Emmie, on her part, was dead set on having a buffet, resulting in a long and quite strenuous post-workout workout wandering the steep streets of Nerja in search for one. Kristoffer did some – obviously quite sloppy – Internet research and managed to find a well renowned breakfast buffet that we headed off for, only to realise there wasn’t, in fact, one. By then, it was nearly mid day and we had to settle for the preposterous notion of simply ordering our food off of the menu like everyone else.
This chain of events resulted in some frustration – or, let us by all means call it hanger. It was one of those moments when Emmie felt truly and deeply violated, while at the same time realising the absurdity of the fact that she, a generally well fed and -composed individual, could ever let the issue of bacon reach such proportions. This very realisation made her feel even more upset, mostly due to the shame involved in observing herself acting in such a manner. She spent half an hour sulking, before being bribed with some strong coffee and a perfectly adequate portion of scrambled eggs – and bacon. Kristoffer then admitted to having been overly obsessed with the ambiance of the hotel breakfast room and apologised for overruling the common decision to eat there, while Emmie admitted to being utterly ludicrous.
After the beautiful morning work-out, the post work-out work-out and the mid day breakfast, we were blessed by a post-post work-out work-out due to having lost track of the rental car. Once again, we found ourselves walking up and down the steep streets of Nerja looking for it. After having done sprint intervals and lunges in the sand, our legs did communicate some subtle discomfort at this point. Being energised thanks to the food, doped up on caffeine and having regained our relative sanity, we did – as cheesy as this may sound – experience this to be nothing but a privilege. After all, we’re on vacation, enjoying each other, the salty air, blue skies and dramatic scenery of the Spanish mountains and the Mediterranean sea.