LifestylePersona November, 10th 2011 by



During my last visit to Marbella my girl friend loaned me her car. I wanted to drive in to town shopping my main reason being to find an outfit to wear for a function I had been invited to at one of Marbella’s famous venues. I bravely drove out of her drive way on to the narrow road to the Marbella township. Her car, though small felt quite sizeable driving on the right hand side of the road, we drive on the left in Australia, I sat bolt up right tucking myself tightly into the right hand edge of the road leaving as much room possible for the traffic behind me to pass. From the open windows of a Volkswagen Beetle Neil Diamond sang “ Red Red Wine”

Shania Twain passed singing “I’m Gonna to Getcha Good” as two smiling girls waved excitedly through their open sun roof ! Finally a red drop head sports car passed playing the City’s own popular song “Marbella Marbella” through its speakers.  I caught the drivers glance as he pulled in front of me before accelerating powerfully around the next corner and vanishing with the catchy song fading into the curves of the rolling mountains.

A short time after I arrived in town ready to start the hunt for my outfit, but first after my nerve racking ordeal driving down the mountain I decided to have a coffee . I stopped at a brightly painted cafe with magazines and the daily news papers neatly folded on the tables to one side of the menu which was propped up sandwiched between the salt and pepper shakers. I ordered a coffee and flicked through the pages of the magazine in front of me. From the corner of my eye I noticed the red sports car pulling up and parking on the opposite side of the street. He was tall slim and attractive, his dark hair laced with silver reflected the sun light as he walked towards the cafe. He wore a light weight unbuttoned jacket swinging over an open necked shirt, well fitting jeans and crocodile boots. With all the charm in the world he apologised for pushing me into the road side, in the same breath with his hand already resting on the back of the empty chair at my table he asked if he could join me. Before I had a chance to say, yes! he slid into it. It must have been my Australian accent that gave me away. Crocodiles! I exclaimed, “yes, I have seen crocodiles. Aggressive! Yes they are, well lets put it this way I would much prefer to be enjoying this coffee with you than having a picnic on the river bank with a crocodile! He laughed, and explained that he was a fashion designer and that he used salt water crocodile skins in his ladies clothing, shoes and hand bag designs. I felt my heart pounding as the blood raced through my veins in horror. The expression on my face changed to stone cold. My eyes met his, this time with piercing daggers. He was quick to explain, that he did not poach them in the wild he bought them from farms legally allowed to operate the selling of their skins. Fortunately conservation efforts have been successful both restoring healthy populations such as the salt water crocodiles and in saving the threatened. It is vital for farming businesses to work with local communities to gain a full understanding of all regulations from the ground upwards and acquire a full knowledge of the laws. “Right” I said and felt the colour run back into my cheeks! He continued between sips of coffee, salt water crocodiles are unique among the crocodiles and alligator species as they have an extra row of scales allowing fashion designers scope for more innovative designs this characteristic is sought after by leading fashion houses all over the world . He added that he was shortly leaving on business for Australia visiting crocodile farms were he hoped to find quality skins to build up his stock supplies. This stranger was beginning to capture my mind “Can you change the colour of the skins?” I asked. Yes they can be tanned any colour of the rainbow finished with soft matt or glazed what ever takes your fancy.

My mind quickly changed from my shopping excursion to the vision of a male salt water crocodile I had seen sitting on the river bank at Normanton Queensland, motionless, with his mouth wide open sporting an uneven broad powerful jawline. His teeth varied in size some almost twice the size of others guarding his bloated prey bobbing up and down in the ripples of the water caused by us in our fishing boat as we slowly and quietly! moved through the water. He was huge it is said that male salt water crocodiles can reach 7 meters in length and weigh over 1,000kg I am sure he, was all of that. I was pleased to have passed him, and that he stayed on the bank whilst we did so.

Freshwater crocodiles have a long and thinner snout with a straight jaw line their teeth are nearly equal in size. Males grow to about three meters in length the females are much smaller, they are usually inoffensive but will bite if provoked. Females breed during the tropical dry season, July August. They lay up to a dozen eggs which hatch two or three months later. Both salt water and fresh water crocodiles mature at about 15 years of age. Humans are on the diet list of Saltwater crocodiles. One must not be confused by their clumsy look, they are lightning fast. Their eye sight is as good as ours and even better in water. Their sense of hearing is acute they have vibration receptors at the base of their teeth which allows them to sense the minutest vibration in the water. Most animals suffering the “death roll” of a salt water crocodile would not survive the attack. Females breed during the wet season, November and March. and lay about 50 eggs.

It is wise not to go any were near nests during the breeding seasons, and follow the “ crock-wise” recommendations. Crocodiles are protected in Australia it is illegal to harm or kill either species.

After a long lunch! I found just the right out fit and drove back up the mountain a little more confident this time, with it on the seat next to me precisely rapped in tissue paper sealed with a black and gold sticker in a shiny white bag edged in black.

The evening was warm with a slight breeze as the guests began to drive slowly through the iron gates passing lit up palm trees along the gravel driveway leading to the hotel. Arches and ornamental plants reflected Mirror images on the water of the pool as cars approached the entrance of the magnificent flood lit hotel where the evenings entertainment was about to begin. I reached for the hand waiting to help me out of the red sports car our eyes met. I linked my arm through his ready for him to escort me into the reception. I felt I was walking on air, my tanned rainbow coloured silver crocodile shoes shone like diamonds in the evening light. At that moment my world was perfect.


Dianna Collen


Dianna Collen Author of Crocodiles and other popular stories published on this site hails from Australia. 

Disclaimer: The views, opinions and positions expressed within this guest article are those of the author alone and do not represent those of the Marbella Marbella website. The accuracy, completeness and validity of any statements made within this article are not guaranteed. We accept no liability for any errors, omissions or representations. The copyright of this content belongs to and any liability with regards to infringement of intellectual property rights remains with the author.


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