Caravaning, Featured

Caravaning: Andalucia Part 2

“Caravaning” is a term chosen to describe the exchange of ideas, knowledge, and passions with different cultures. In November of 2014, Pete and Krista went to Spain where, 500 years ago, the greatest caravaning of all took place. They confined themselves to the southern tip of the Iberian Peninsula, “Andalucia”, where the Old World meets the New World.

Our first day in Spain, we arrive in the fishing village of Nerja where we look across the Mediterranean and see the northern tip of Africa. It is November, and our immediate impression of the Old World’s gift to the New is felt in the architecture and city planning. As seasoned travelers to Latin America (new world), we see the familiar sights of: cobblestone streets, fountains, tile roofs, and a city square where church, government, and commerce merge.

Our host in Nerja is Alexandra, who welcomes us with generous hugs and kisses (on both cheeks, naturally). Soon she is putting fresh fish, rice, and vegetables in a large frying pan, explaining the tradition of paella. I, (Pete), walk across the street for a bottle of Rioja wine to compliment the meal. As we talk over dinner, we learn that Alexandra has lived in Nerja her entire life. Her brother lives down the street and her mother has a flat upstairs. The next day her brother walks in to say hi and check out the American guests . The value and love of extended family is obvious.


As we venture out for breakfast, we find no “espresso bars”, nor “coffee houses”, per se. However, espresso machines are ubiquitous in most eating establishments. We order breakfast at a cafe with seating cascading onto the “Balcon De Europa” (translated into “Balcony of Europe”, a viewpoint overlooking the southern coastline of Spain). Seeing the espresso machine, I ask for Cafe Solo for myself and Cafe Con Leche for Krista. The espresso is nutty, low in acidity, with good crema. What the coffee lacks in fruit and intensity is forgiven with our experience of being at a sidewalk cafe overlooking the Mediterranean Sea!

We learned earlier that there are generally three coffee drinks Spaniards order out: “Cafe Solo”, which is a single espresso; “Cafe con leche”, which is espresso with about 5 oz of  steamed milk; and “Cortado”, which is a single espresso with a dash of hot milk, (similar to “Macchiato” from Italy). The milk is steamed with little air injected, leaving it thin but hot.

Overlooking the Mediterranean Sea above Nerja.

Overlooking the Mediterranean Sea above Nerja.

Our caravaning: There is a pace of life in Andalucia that is different than home. We find ourselves slowing down and enjoying the present moment.  Family and traditions are not only important here but make for a rich life.


The post Caravaning: Andalucia Part 2 appeared first on Caravan Coffee.


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