Ah, the south of Spain, aka Costa del Sol (the Coast of Sun). The Costa del Sol is heavily developed and heavily touristed so we searched for a good small town to enjoy. We found Nerja, a sort of sleepy town along the coastline with only three things going for it: the town is small (no major hotels, stores or restaurants), a nude beach sits just outside of town, and there’s All-You-Can-Eat Paella.
Surprisingly, the name Costa del Sol, was a bit of a misnomer as we had quite a bit of clouds and fog on the coast, luckily clearing up during the middle of the day for some good sun worship. Nude beaches are great because you can get rid of all your tan lines. It doesn’t hurt that the Spanish are a relatively attractive group of people.
Our only complaint is that the sand of southern Spain is composed of brutally sharp pebbles. One can be nude and feel carefree: lounging on the beach, soaking up the rays of the sun or floating in the amazingly crystal clear waters. But everyone becomes vulnerable bouncing or dancing in ridiculous, unseemly ways that only nakedness can betray in an attempt to cross these evil sands.
Luckily, to heal our wounded pride, we buried ourselves in All-You-Can-Eat Paella. On the tiny boardwalk in town, Ayo cranks out gigantic pans of Paella to feed the people that fill his one hundred tables. You could literally pan-fry a full size pig in one of these skillets.
It’s a beautiful thing to watch the cook work away with a four foot long spatula at an outdoor bonfire, and a pan that provides one hundred plates of Paella to the devoted fans of this restaurant.
It is said the best food is cooked with love, and this is a whole lot of love. We are not prone to eating at the same place twice on our travels, much less eating two plate-fulls of anything at one sitting, but we were found no less than three times at Ayo’s, fork and knife in hand, eagerly awaiting that Paella.
Of all the towns to find this Paella bonanza, why did it have to be a town with a nude beach? You could say it was the best of the times and the worst of times.
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