BMW R1200GSA vs Moto Guzzi Stelvio NTX

Monday, 18 February 2013

Antiquera, Lobo Park, wolves, cars, fashion, and the best food. 

Whew! What a day.

Tuesday 12/2/13

Today was a full day, and I mean full.

Our plan to go to Morocco has been thwarted yet again. I misread the ferry timetable. The ferry departs at one pm, not eleven thirty pm, so we wouldn't be able to visit Lobo Park and get back to Malaga in time to catch it. I won't let Suzanne miss out on Lobo Park, so we'll stay in Malaga another night.

It appeared to be a nice morning, lots of sunshine and bright blue skies. We pulled out of the garage and headed for the hills. About ten minutes later we realised it was quite cold, and there was a lot of cloud over the mountains. Oh well, we'll be fine.

We played chasy with a Ferrari for a while. I didn't really stand a chance. I bet he had a heater as well.

By the time we reached the top of the mountains we were once again riding in cloud, and the temperature had dropped down to four degrees. We didn't have any of our linings, or thermal gear on, or with us. It was all back at the hotel. Brrr.

OK, it wasn't the best weather, but it was still a great day.

After roughly an hour we turned into the driveway to Lobo Park. We were greeted by wolves howling. It was so exciting our skin was tingling. 

Howling wolves greeted us.

We were pretty happy that we were the only people there and were really looking forward to our own personal tour. At the last minute an Austrian couple arrived with their eighteen month old son. It worked out great and we got as much of a kick out of seeing his reaction as we did from seeing the wolves themselves. Well, nearly.

We were ready to go. Our guide Shelina gave us a little background on the park and the wolves before we set off. The first part of the tour was a little zoo. It's basically a care centre for animals in need. I think the owner just can't say no. There were some chickens, geese, pigs, and a fox called Oscar...

A face only a mother could love.

Oscar loved a scratch.

The park also sometimes boards staff pets while they are on holidays. The owners, not the pets. The guy below is a Spanish Mastin (or Mastif) and was in his pen while we were there. We saw other dogs out being exercised, played with and having a great time, they weren't just locked away. 

Take a look at the photo below...

Big dog. Yes, really big dog.

He was huge. In the photo he is nearly as tall as me, and he's leaning forward on the door. I reckon he'd actually be taller than me if he stood up straight.

So, on to the wolves. Shelina was a fantastic guide. She was very knowledgeable and explained the different wolf types to us and educated us in wolf behaviour as we walked around the park. It wasn't the usual prattle that had been learned by rote and recited every day. It was really interesting. Shelina is obviously very passionate about the wolves and her job.Thanks very much Shelina, you made our day all the more enjoyable.

A little bit of background. You'll see fencing in some of my photos. This is around the perimeter of all the wolf enclosures, which are huge. They don't live in cages or small pens.The wolves live as close to a full, normal, natural life as possible. They all look very healthy. They can choose to stay hidden in the bush, or they can come and view us humans through the fence. They were obviously curious, perhaps looking for food, but as Shelina explained they don't "scrounge" as they hunt their own prey for the most part and get supplementary food a couple of times a week. We commented that perhaps they knew her smell? Possibly she said. - Suzanne said that. I though telling Shelina she smelled was very rude : )

The park runs a breeding programme and studies wolf behaviour, they take in students who are also studying wolves, and photographers are very welcome to come and take pics through specially designed vantage points on a photographic tour. It's a great place, and we thoroughly recommend a visit. It's one of those feel good, warm and fuzzy places : )

This old man is thirteen years old, and looks like me.
Wolves in the wild normally only live to
seven or eight years old.

An Arctic Wolf coming to check us out.

This is Olga. Poor old Olga has been bitten by ticks
and is having a rough time of it.

Olga's pack on it's way down to see us...

...while these guys watched us from afar.

"I told you they didn't  have any food. I'm not happy".

"Aren't I handsome?"

"Can you see me? I'm camouflaged."

Shelina and Oscar the fox.

We loved Lobo Park and would recommend you definitely go there if you are in the area. It's fantastic. The whole tour takes about two hours including a little jewellery shopping as well. Yes, we did. When you go, make sure you say hi to Shelina from the Aussies.

We left the park and once on the main road decided to turn off to the left and see where we ended up. It started out as a good road, but up in the mountains the road got pretty bad. Ground shifts have buckled the road in a lot of places. 

Great roads again, but at a slower pace.

Not a bad view.

Oh, OK, if I must.

More goats. A much larger herd this time.

Our lunch stop. What clouds?

We found a little bar, had some Tapas, and Suzanne made another new friend...

He was so good. He sat outside the door, patiently waiting for his master.

With lunch out of the way it was time to ride back to Malaga. I had the opportunity to show Suzanne some of the roads I played on on Sunday, but at a much more sedate pace. It was still a great ride.

We found our way to the Malaga Automotive Museum. It has an exhibition combining automobiles and fashion. Very clever, and very cool.

This is what our daughter Paige needs.

Suzanne needs one of these.
No dents in the canvas body work.

And I need one of these.

I wonder if I could fit that in my MG.

I took a truckloads of photos but I'll spare you.

Here are "a few" of the pics Suzanne took ...

This one brought back fond memories of Paris with our daughter.

Look Paige !!!!! They named a car after you.

For my painty friends back home, hat inspiration !

Freaky  . . . 

Is it strange that I like hood ornaments so much?

Arty farty cars are cool.

More hats for the girls back home.

So many cool chairs on display, so much painty inspiration.

This was an odd display, considering the rest of the collection. But refreshing.

So there is hope?

"Flower power" designed by John Lennon.

For dinner we made our way down to our little Italian restaurant again, and it was closed . . . again. 

We found a restaurant across the road, "Plan B Food" (This is their name, not our alternative to Plan A). I discovered the best steak in the world. My steak was soooooooooooo tender that one light stroke of the knife sliced right through it, and it was incredibly tasty. It really was something special. If you're ever in Malaga, make sure you go to "Plan B Food" and have the steak.They have special events there on a regular basis as well.

That steak, and some very nice Spanish wine, finished off another perfect day.

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