I was really looking forward to my holiday in Spain but as the date drew closer I was a little apprehensive because me and 43 walkers from my walking group were holidaying together for the first time, and I wondered how it would be spending seven days together.

However, the majority of us were on the same flight which meant it gave us the opportunity to know each other a bit better and put a name to a face.

But it didn’t help matters that there were two Elaine’s, two Graces’, two Jackie’s, two Steve’s, and four Janice’s!

Confusing or what!

Word soon spread that Tam, our walk leader was a virgin flyer and had never been abroad before, so understandably he was like a five year old heading to Disney World for the first time.

Arriving at Malaga airport it was chaotic with the bustling crowds of travellers but somehow the group managed to gather together to board the coach taking us to our village accommodation.

Or so I thought.

Three minutes into our 50 minute journey someone shouted “Stop the bus.”

Turned out we had left three fellow travellers at the airport and had to return to pick them up.

Next morning thankfully the glorious sunshine made a welcome change from the dreich Scottish weather, and seemingly it was deemed hot enough (35 degrees), for Margaret to finally disrobe from her permanent thermal underwear and slip into three layers instead of five as we headed to Burriana Beach for the day.

The following day we gathered for a quick coffee whilst waiting for our coach trip to the beautiful city of Granada.

Clambering off the coach the group were like bees drawn to honey as they spotted another al fresco coffee shop before starting our walk.

Arriving at the city centre, we were blown away by the stunning medieval architecture as Tam stood mesmerised by this new world as he happily snapped everything in sight.

But enough of that, it was time for yet another coffee.

Raymond, our tour guide took to the front and attempted to gather the cackling bunch for our walk through the narrow winding streets to the view point to the magnificent Alhambra Palace.

But as you can imagine, herding 40 people around was no easy task.

So, to make life a little easier for Raymond, Eric and I had the bright idea of buying him a giant blue and white helium balloon in the shape of a fairground horse so that he could be seen at all times as the horse floated above him.

Brilliant idea, I thought myself.

That’ll keep the group together.

But no chance.

It was like herding wild cats.

People were darting off in all directions.

Joanne disappeared into a chemist, we were back on track when Agnes spotted a cash line machine, Mae came to a halt to apply yet another layer of sun cream, another strolled to the bakers when she was drawn to pastries in the window, another decided to change her shoes, one headed to the toilet quickly followed by a few others, and intermittently people moseyed about taking pictures.

Finally on track again we trailed behind the blue and white horse when a voice piped up.

“Is it time for another coffee?”


It turned out that the apartment I was sharing with my friends Steve and Mae was by far the biggest and best equipped which meant we were elected to host a barbecue.

“No problem,” we agreed.

“Best to draw up a shopping list,” Steve suggested.

However, catering for a large amount of people was a job and a half.

Some could eat fish and not meat.

Some were coeliac.

Some didn’t like butter in their food.

Some couldn’t eat nuts.

One vegetarian reminded me that we couldn’t put her garlic bread in the same oven as the sausages.

Etc. etc.

And all I could think of was my childhood years when our mum served all six of us the same food and the choice was take it or leave it!

I soon discovered that Jackie and Raymond had stopped off on their way to the barbeque for a quick drink in the Cave Bar because it was Happy Hour.

“But we were asked to stop laughing so much,” Jackie explained.

“Which only made us laugh all the more.”

“Then we were asked to leave,” Raymond confessed.

I had never heard of anyone being asked to leave Happy Hour for laughing before.

Gathering at Malaga Airport to head home, Margaret was taking no chances and revealed that her thermals were now back in situ.

“It’s going to be freezing back home,” she predicted.

Raymond summed up the Scottish weather perfectly as we flew over Prestwick through the dull grey sky.

“Janice, we’ve suddenly gone from colour to black and white.”

But I somehow think we will keep the colourful memories of our trip for a very long time.