Posted by: glenswatman | November 24, 2014

20141111-20 Enjoying exploring the Costa Blance around Torrevieja

TUESDAY 11 NOVEMBER – It’s a dull day with rain forecast so we drive up to Guardamar hoping to fit in a walk before it rains. We fail but the rain is brief and spasmodic so it’s still enjoyable walking along the promenade then through the park. It’s quite a bit cooler and in the apartment we succumb to putting some heating on early evening.

WEDNESDAY 12 NOVEMBER – The sun is back in full force. We walk up to Hispaniola and meet Brain & Claire for lunch. It gets so hot that we end up moving into the shade. Brian lives in Gibraltar and is driving back tomorrow ready to be flown back to England for a heart operation. All this is paid for by the National Health Service due to the limitations of the Gibraltar hospital. They come back to the apartment for a drink and realise we are diagonally opposite one that Claire’s niece owns, in fact her niece and partner are presently on the way down from England in their motorhome so we look forward to meeting them. Tana & Graham pick us up in their motorhome to drive to El Rasos for a different quiz. Tonight we are in a team of 8 and it’s a multi part quiz with plenty of questions to interest everyone. Teams over 6 get docked 1 point for each additional member and ones below 6 get additional points. Taking this system into account the team of 3 are the winners but we have all had fun.

THURSDAY 13 NOVEMBER – The good weather is holding so we drive down to the Playa de Los Locos then walk along the Torrevieja sea front. Each headland reveals a different area, beaches, manmade swimming sections and a marina. On one beach men are gathered round playing cards and beat the breeze by having elastic stretched across over the table. It’s really hot again, 25C according to a sign, so we are happy to explore the shady back streets on the way back. Mid afternoon we pop down for a game of boules. Had hoped to join in some of the groups that play but none of them are English speaking and we would really be doing it for a chat rather than the game.

FRIDAY 14 NOVEMBER – We’re up early and catch a glorious sunrise and dolphins playing in the sea. I drive down to El Portus where our friends Jack & Dot live through the winter. Met them back in 1982 and haven’t seen them for about 10 years. They live in a naturist resort in a static caravan with a conservatory attached so not dissimilar to our situation. We pile into their car and during the 2 hour journey to Lubrin catch up on all their news. For the last 2 years they had been living in Bradley near where we were in Keighley but didn’t know we were there. Mutual friends Sallie & Stuart live near the mountain village of Lubrin in a home they built about 8 years ago. The area reminds us of Mexico with the barren landscape, cactus and dried up river beds. After lunch by the pool we spend the afternoon chatting with lots of trips down memory lane. Early evening Stuart lights the wood burning stove creating a really lovely atmosphere in the lounge. Having built the house from scratch it is much better insulated than many homes in Spain. Around 8pm we head into the village to “La Tasca” bar and restaurant. The other customers are all British as generally the Spanish come out to eat much later just as the Brits are leaving. We each pick a couple of tapas from the menu and these are made into a meal with salad and the most delicious V shaped crunchy chips.

SATURDAY 15 NOVEMBER – We almost wonder what we used to talk about years ago when we didn’t have grandchildren or medical ailments! Turns out Dot had her spleen removed 4 years ago after a nasty fall. Jack & Dot leave to visit his cousin who lives nearby whilst Stuart and Sallie take us down to Vera Playa. They have an apartment in the naturist complex in a lovely spot overlooking an indoor and outdoor pool so it may be a consideration for our January/February trip. The area has developed more than we ever imagined it would when we free camped on the beach back in 1998. We stop for lunch at a beach side cafe then Stuart drives us back a different route over the mountains with lovely scenery. After a tasty pork dinner we settle in to a hilarious card game of “Silly beggars”.

SUNDAY 16 NOVEMBER – It’s another lovely morning. Sallie & Stuart take us back to Lubrin for a stroll around their local village essentially a small hill town with very narrow steep streets. As few people leave the village they do have excellent facilities including sports fields. For lunch we meet at Lopez workers canteen near the marble quarry. Jack & Dot have brought his cousin Margaret and husband Eric and the eight of us order a mixture of tapas to share. We are inundated with plates of food, various salads, pork, rabbit, and mushrooms in cream sauce, baked then fried half potatoes, calamari and more. Luckily we I have space left for the selection of desserts that come on a larger platter. Unfortunately others haven’t left as much space as me so I get the lion’s share. We thought we were noisy and disturbing a couples quiet meal but you should hear it when the Spanish arrive. A group of men set up a table to play cards and not only does everyone talk at once but they all attempt to talk over each other. Luckily we are just about ready to leave. The bill for 8 of us including lots of drinks is Euro 104 (less than £10 a head). By the time we get back to El Portus it is getting dark so we end up making an impromptu overnight stop which works out well. We’re all still full so no need to eat but nice to chat a bit more and watch the movie “War Horse” together.

MONDAY 17 NOVEMBER- It takes until almost 10am for the sun to rise above the mountains after which it quickly becomes hot. Jack & Dot live on the hill side with fine views of the surrounding mountains, over the campsite and through to the ocean. They walk us around the site and we meet a number of their friends including Howard and Shirley whom we know from YSS. Leave late morning and pass through Cartagena along the sea road which is really attractive. Get a call from Graham to say that Tana is back in hospital so we won’t be going to the quiz tonight. It’s such a nice day that we stop off at the naturist beach at Playa Flamenca for a couple of hours before doing a Lidl shop. We’re home just after 3pm and soon sorted out.

TUESDAY 18 NOVEMBER – Starting near the port we begin walking south along Torrevieja waterfront. It’s another interesting walk past different sections of beach including one where the waves literally lap at the cafe terrace. Listening to people talking it seems that Torrevieja area is mainly “Scandinavia in the sun” whilst “Little Britain” begins further south. Return for lunch and a siesta.

WEDNESDAY 19 NOVEMBER – Alison texts and suggests meeting at La Mata for coffee as the market is being held there. We walk there and stroll the market enjoying a few samples of turon and fruit before buying satsumas and oranges. Bob is out cycling again so we chat to Alison then suggest she comes back with us for lunch. Its a little strange entertaining someone in their own apartment! Alison asks how we are getting on and we mention we are enjoying it all but find it a little chilly some evenings. She heads down into the basement and produces some rugs and says there are patio doors that can be put back between the lounge and balcony if needed. Tana is out of hospital so they pick us up for the quiz. Their friends Tina and Jim are also in the motorhome. We make a team of 6 and call ourselves the “opposition” being against the team Tana is normally in. It’s another interesting quiz and we tie for first place but Tana is not quite quick enough in the play off.

THURSDAY 20 NOVEMBER – Its been a windy night so no surprise to find the waves crashing in to the shore. It’s quite chilly with lots of draughts so we put the patio doors back on. We’re supposed to be going out to dinner with Claire tonight but my stomach is a bit dodgy and coupled with the bad weather we cry off. Think my over eating at the weekend has finally caught up with me and I need to cut back to basic food for 24 hours to let things settle. Alison gave us a hinge for the broken wardrobe door and said that Bob would fix it later unless Steve fancied doing it in the interim. Think Steve’s MFI skills are well behind him as it takes him over 2 hours to make it fit. By early evening the wind is rattling the windows and fairly howling around our corner so we drop the blinds and baton down the hatches to feel nice and cosy in the lounge in pyjamas with a blanket over us and the heater on. Much like being in England but at least most days here are really nice.


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