Since my last letter we have moved from our last site, Kiko Park. Although we had the biggest best located pitch on the site it was as I explained last time an incredibly cramped site. But a better reason for moving was the fact that we heard about somewhere new and it sounded good. As our fellow travellers Colin and Dawn arrived here a camper at the site welcomed them to paradise. Well it’s not really paradise but it really is a very nice location. We are about 1 hour north of Alicante and 4 miles inland from Benidorm. The site is a new one-only opened in 2006 and designed for big motorhomes so no need to upset our fellow campers with our reversing alarm. The fully serviced pitches (drinking water, sewage and cable TV) are on hard standing ground. We can see the Benidorm skyline in front of us and behind orange groves and the mountains. The site has excellent facilities with gym, spa (sauna, steam, jacuzzi) indoor and outdoor pool, tennis, café, shop, library, crèche, hairdresser, WIFI and no claustrophobia. The face of camping has definitely changed especially with the incredibly clean shower blocks. We are on a regular bus route and also walking distance from the Alicante/Denia railway line. There are usually up to three ladies hanging about near the access road to the entrance after dark. Paradise for some after all.
We have enjoyed having visitors and our first ones were my parents. They arrived a few days after our relocation and we enjoyed taking them out for trips. Some great family friends, Anne and Mike Tyne live just up the road at Javea so when they invited us over for a BBQ how could we say no? In fact it wasn’t a BBQ at all but the most fabulous roast lamb, cooked in foil over the coals. Absolutely delicious and with all the trimmings. It was absolutely wonderful to see them again and catch up with all the news. On our return trip we stopped off at the Russian Orthodox church being built nearby and were also invited inside to take pictures.
Guadalest is another old town we visited which has a slightly more dramatic view over the valley just inland. From the distance it looks just like a cliff, as you get closer you realise there is some kind of fortification on the cliff, closer still its not a fortification but a village-how on earth did they build that then? Actually it doesn’t look so difficult once you get there. Mike and I visited the museum of torture which was one of several small museums. It was pretty horrific really but informative.
When Kate and her children came to stay we took them to Moraira which has a marina with large, hungry resident fish. It’s great fun feeding them bread as they come right up to the surface, lips smacking the air as they fight to try and get to the bread first. We didn’t have that much food for them and Danny was delighted when a lady from one of the restaurants gave him her carrier bag full of left over rolls. No wonder the fish are so huge, they gobbled it up in seconds flat.
As I mentioned at the beginning of the newsletter we are within striking distance of Benidorm. Love it or loathe it it’s very much on our horizon and so we have been there a few times. The first time we visited I must admit we found little to charm us. The beach is undeniably beautiful but it mostly seemed to filled with tatty English bars, clubs and café’s. However we have explored the whole town now and it is a great place. Justifiably a very popular holiday destination for the whole of Europe including the Spanish. There are two prom fronts each side of the old town, which is a maze of narrow streets with traditional Spanish shops and Tapas bars. We have sat out at pavement cafes for ages watching the people go by, even a man walking a pig on a lead.
On Palm Sunday Mike and I were sitting at a café on the front waiting for our lunch. Mike was particularly looking forward to having his bread roll with the egg and chips he had just ordered. As we waited an elderly lady sat on the table adjacent to us. The tables were literally touching so it felt a bit uncomfortable. She was extremely smart and carried a traditional olive branch so she must have just come out of church. She asked us in Spanish if we were going to eat, which we were so we said yes. I then asked her in Spanish where she was from, she replied and then suddenly her little hand swooped across and grabbed one of the bread rolls out of our basket and put it back down on our table. ‘Did we now want our bread?’, ‘No, no, that’s fine’ we replied-’thanks very much I’m going back to my hotel to make a sandwich’. Well-poor thing she could afford the smart clothes and the holiday but couldn’t scrape the cash together to eat!
We have had a couple of trips away, one down to Torrevieja to stay with Peter and Tracey, our friends from Yaxham. It was great to see them and catch up with the gossip and to get to visit a new place as well. The other was to meet Mike’s sister and her husband Andy in Murcia. All of us then stayed with Sue and Carl at their house next to the Mar Menor. While we were there we visited Cabo de Palos, a little fishing village. We watched a game of rugby being played on the beach, which must be incredibly difficult and uncomfortable to play. We also went to the derelict barracks at Portman. There were a couple of young men there with machine guns strolling around. They weren’t in uniform but we didn’t stop to ask what they were doing. It was great to catch up with the family and have a little weekend break as well.
One Thursday we decided to have a change and went along to a spiritual lunch at a Mexican restaurant in Albir. Unfortunately it was quite dispiriting as the clairvoyant didn’t actually do anything apart from tell us how good he was and the food was dreadful. We did meet some interesting people though and it was nice to do something a bit different.
Mike has just returned from a short trip to the UK as he is a Grandad for the second time. His daughter Amy has just had Esme. Some fellow campers knitted a hats and bootee set as well as a little Beatrix Potter mouse.