Jean and I have just returned from our annual autumn visit to Puerto de la Duquesa, Spain for our annual autumn visit. It serves a double purpose; some serious R & R and also to boost our Vitamin D levels for the long Irish winter. The R & R element requires us to eat and drink and the seriously difficult part forced us to lie about in the sun and absorb large amounts of Vitamin D. The HSE or VHI might think of funding this. Not.
We ate in a number of restaurants and cafes and drank in a number of bars and cafes. There was no bad food and only one could count as a bad choice for me but not for Jean. The list towards the end of the blog would give the impression that all we did was eat and drink which is so wrong. We also found time to sit and lie in the sun and effectively do nothing for long periods of time. Life’s a beach and then the tide comes in.
Wednesday was not the best weather wise, in fact it was downright pouring rain for a lot of the day – no lying about in the sun or dipping into one of the 4 pools in Marina de la Duquesa or the beautiful Mediterranean. We made the short drive to Estepona with its beautiful approach road and promenade and stopped off in Carrefour for some essential supplies, alcohol etc. We also had tea and snacks there. There doesn’t appear to be a wheelchair accessible toilet anywhere in the centre.
Sabinillas hosts a market on Friday morning at the very end of the Paseo Maritemo so we headed off relatively early. Some of the Chiringuitos have been relocated and rebuilt.
The Paseo now stretches from Castillo, to the south of Duquesa, to beyond Sabinillas and is just awaiting the installation of a foot-bridge for the next phase up to Caseres. The Paseo is geared towards pedestrians, cyclists and really any mode of transport that does not have an engine. Anyway after the market we visited Miel (Click Here)one of our favourites. It has a great selection of food, both sweet and savoury. Jean says that the waffles with Belgian chocolate are to die for and are part of her ‘must have list’ on every visit. The ramp into the restaurant is short and steep and not doable without help but once inside the toilet is accessible albeit without the appropriate grab rails.
We stay in Marina de la Duquesa every time we are over and last year I wrote about how difficult access around the complex was for wheelchair users, buggy users or anyone with mobility issues. I spoke with Victoria who in turn spoke with the committee and orchestrated some huge improvements. Thank you so much. The entire complex is now accessible. One of the four pools has steps and a rail whilst the other three have ladder access. It would be really great if the local authority did their bit regarding accessibility especially in relation to footpaths, signs etc. Drivers would also need to be re-educated on parking but noticeable markings might make a difference. I accept that the nature of Puerto de la Duquesa militates against total accessibility but so much more could be done.
I have added a link to all the establishments we visited where they have there own web site
The Slow Boat (Click Here): Frontline Chinese restaurant. Food great but the ramp to the toilet could require a wheelchair with a strong motor or a strong pusher.
The Mexican (Click Here): Frontline Mexican restaurant. Food great and the toilet spacious and accessible
Griffins: Frontline bar and restaurant. Didn’t eat here but the ice-creams are gorgeous. I didn’t visit the toilets on this occasion but my recollection is that they are a bit tight and access is cramped
Dolphin : Frontline cafe. Food and drink great. Toilet accessible and spacious.
Ocean Bar (Click Here): Frontline cafe and bar. Great cakes and other food. Toilet accessible and spacious
C Bar (Click Here): Frontline cafe and bar. Great cakes and other food but didn’t get to check the toilet facilities
Casablanca Click (Here): Frontline Moroccan cuisine. Jean loved her choice but I didn’t particularly like mine. Toilet accessible and spacious.
Mandarin Palace: Frontline Chinese restaurant with great food, attentive staff and an accessible and spacious toilet unfortunately without grab rails.
Ciao: First level Italian restaurant. Food great and the toilet was accessible and spacious
La Buena Vida: First level Spanish restaurant. Food great and I didn’t check the toilets but I was informed that they were not wheelchair accessible and a bit tight on space even without a wheelchair.
The Cork Tree: First level bar. Plenty of good company and drink. Plenty of out door tables and seating. Toilet is accessible and spacious but the storage of some bar stools takes some of the space.
Pat Dooleys Bar Duquesa: First level bar. Good company and drink, limited outdoor seating but the views from inside overlooking the Port more than make up for it. The men’s toilet is accessible with a bit of work but is not ideal.
Parapiros (Click Here): Top level Italian restaurant. Great food but being on the top level access requires assistance and the toilets are up steps without a ramp although the staff are exceptionally helpful
La Traviata (Click Here): Top level restaurant with a wide variety on the menu. Great food but the night we were there the access to the wheelchair accessible toilet had to be cleared. It was accessible and spacious
The Bistro Steakhouse: Top level restaurant with great food, drink and service. The wheelchair toilet is accessible and spacious.