more interesting things to do whilst in andalucia. what a great way to enjoy the sunset – horse riding along el palmar ! i only wish that i had the confidence, but the kids just love it. i keep saying that next time i visit spain, i am going to book a course of horse riding lessons. marian gives all the kids the freedom and enthusiasm for learning to ride and you can book 2 hour rides along the beach . otherwise, you can try montenmedio, which is about 15 mins from vejer and they do a course of horse riding, plus lots of other activities. they also have some interesting art exhibitions, so its worth a visit. you can also do a course at casa siesta on their natural horsemanship programme, which also rescues horses – perfect introduction for those afraid of horses – a friend recently did the course and raved about it.
for an interesting day out – then go to Sanlucar for the horse racing – start with lunch on the beach at Baja de Guia, in one of the many restaurants facing the estuary. all the restaurants seem to have these modern water sprays which intermittently spray fine jets of water, making you feel that you are in a tropical jungle mist or in a sauna. its a noisy and typical spanish day out – but great fun with the kids.
There are usually 4 races, with about 6 to 8 horses, and each one lasts not more than a few minutes. its great fun, betting with the numerous kids who set up betting shop; you could bet with sweets or max one euro. when you pay your one euro, you get an ice pop or a few sweets in return and a ticket saying what horse you bet on. each betting station (quite punch and judy like) draws its own line on the beach, and its the first horse at that line that wins you your bet. there are races coming up on 3rd august, so if you are around, you must put it in your diary. usually start around 6.30pm, but it is dependent on the tide going out, as they clear that part of the beach to make the racecourse. its all very haphazard in spain, no health and safety barriers, just a plastic net dividing the racecourse from the sunbathers.
Afterwards, you must drive back up to the old town and sit in the lovely main square with its fountains and palm trees; people sit out all day enjoying the balmy weather.
my favourite hotel to stay in Sanlucar is the Posada de Palacio, right in the historic old town, its a converted palacio, and not too expensive. It has beautiful courtyards and lots of arbabic influences. another recommendation is Palacio of Medina Sidonia – its a hospederia. Their website doesn’t really do it justice and you have to book via email , but a friend who knows the area recommends this.
Even if you don’t stay there it has a lovely garden with a cafe where the great and the good seem to go for their elevenses! They also do tours of the Palacio – on Sundays til 1 pm