The plane landed 20 minutes early, apparently with less flights currently, planes can go more directly. The mask wearing was impeccable adhered to, even whilst managing a horribly strong coffee next to a 2 year old. We already had our QR code ready for covid security checks on landing, passports at the ready. Being one of the last people to leave the plane, Malaga airport appeared eerily quiet. Undeterred we soldiered through passport control, with the usual ‘Hola’ and ‘Adios’ grunts, we were through.
Ahead there appeared noise and confusion, the covid computer had broken. No QR scan today, here’s some forms to fill out. Oh god. Passport number, address, address of where we’re staying… Shit, where did I put that piece of paper. We were last to get through covid checks, and fast tracked by a Spanish worker keen to just get rid of us. Home address? ‘England’ visiting address ‘ Spain’ – go through. The benefit of getting to the baggage area last was that all our baggage was waiting for us. Next stop, car hire.
We followed the signs to car hire, but we arrived to see all the car hire places you would expect, but where was mine? There must have been about 30 companies there, but not mine. What the hell. I knew I was in trouble, the early morning start and Spanish heat were being felt on the family around me. They just wanted to get the car and get out of there. Me bloody too! I struggled to find the number, oh crap, I need the Spanish country code.. Ahh. Let’s just pop up the lift and have a look up there. Meanwhile, google maps had kindly informed me it was a 45minute walk to the rental place. It looked so close when I booked. Ahh. It also bought some time to get all the digits into the phone, via fiddly copy and pasting under pressure. They answered, it had gone through to someone’s mobile. ‘We are waiting for you in a bus to take you to the hire car place’ Oh. Another bloody bus, we’d got the hire car to avoid public transport – my wife had rules/ reasons aplenty. But whatever, ‘where are you?’ Erm, good question. By a lift, near departures. ‘wait near the bus stop’ he tells me in earnest ‘err, ok’ Made sense, but I look around. Where the frick is it? ‘What’s going on!?’ the wife is looking pink… it had been a good 30 minutes now. ‘Why don’t you just book Europcar like everyone else!?’
After a few more calls, we had found our driver. A mini bus was waiting with another very patient Spanish passenger; they loaded the bags, kindly ignoring the live telling off I continued to receive from my better half. Luckily the drive wasn’t too long, the car seemed in decent nick (handbrake not on but whatever), a seat ibiza none the less. We were ready to roll. The San Miguel factory staring back as we turned out from the car park, following my crude phone sat nav to Tolox, the village nearest our location. What a glorious day, 30 degrees, clear blue skies and we had bloody well made it.
Sat in the local square sipping on that first cerveza felt fantastic, a week holiday now to settle before the working from home really started. Let’s hope he wasn’t lying about the wi-fi!