After a superb dinner on Saturday night in Murcia we headed to the town of Archena, about 20 minutes from Blanca, for lunch on Sunday. The plan was to have a substantial meal because the understanding was that there weren’t going to be a lot of choices in Blanca on a Sunday night. Our destination was Atempo, another recommendation Mark got from contacts at the institution where he’s been taking intensive Spanish classes. It was another excellent find. Our friends had not been there before, but are likely to return when Judith’s mother visits next week.
The restaurant is a family operation. The head waiter that took care of us owns the place along with his wife, while his son is now the chef. They only open on Friday and Saturday for lunch and dinner, and lunch on Sunday. The owner also said he consults with other restaurants about their menus and operations. They offer a five course tasting menu, and I considered it, but then opted out. We opted for starters of ceviche with fresh avocado, (Pat and I) or salmon and guacamole. Then it was croquettes, which are a staple in Spain and also Portugal, for three of us and Pat had a miso soup with scallop. Entrees included pistachio-dusted steak (very good) and bacala (aka cod). An excellent desert was an apricot flan because apricots are in season.
We moved on to a group of spa hotels nearby that are located near the site of ancient Roman baths, just to check them out. We had considered staying there but are glad we were able to find a place closer to Blanca. But we asked to look at some rooms at one of the properties. It was an older property as the photos below reveal, but the rooms had been modernized and all looked to be comfortable. Maybe on a future visit.
Our final stop was in a very small village called Ojos, where we checked out a park Judith was interested in seeing. It was quite charming given it was in a fly-speck of a town. Later after a siesta at our Air BnB we rendezvoused for a final light meal. We evidently were lucky that the local pizza parlor was open. It was a first for our friends, who said the place was always closed in the past. It wasn’t a Trenton tomato pie, but it was a pretty good pizza.
We were up early to drive into Murcia and after a couple errant turns found our way to the train station in plenty of time to dump the rental car and catch the train to Madrid for our final day in Spain. I can imagine a return as it is a very friendly and relaxed country. Not to speak of the fact we saw nothing but blue skies and sunshine for the entire trip. I know that won’t be the case when we get home.