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Los Baños

In Presentation on July 3, 2013 at 4:24 pm

Los Baños

Two strips of the AP-7 curve away high overhead where we park beneath a dizzyingly tall flyover and make our way down a dirt track, not all that sure if we’re in the right place. Tired legs make the uncertainty that much more tiresome but there are promising signs as we make our way – a couple of cars pass by and there are people coming the other way who carry towels and wear bathing costumes. A kitsch restaurant where the track begins proclaims itself The Roman Oasis.

We walk for ten minutes or so, reassured – once we’ve asked someone – that we’re not lost. Finally, on our left, we pass an abandoned old pension, or perhaps a spa, with the words Baños Romanos de la Hedionda on its façade and then, on our right, a path that descends to the river.

We’re near Manilva, just four kilometres or so inland from the Costa del Sol, the coastal strip of hotels, resorts and retirement communities that stretches in a great concrete swathe from La Linea to Málaga, then more quietly eastwards. There’s no sign of any of that here but it’s hardly deserted – preserved Roman baths may not have much appeal amongst the Costa clientele but they are very popular with the local families who come here each Sunday during the summer months.

We don’t have any Roman history in Ireland; I don’t think they had the stomach to pick a fight with us. My first thought as I take in the squat, white structure that houses the baths is that if we did More

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