Posted by: glenswatman | December 21, 2014

20141211-20 Exploring more of the Torrevieja area then a return to England for Christmas

THURSDAY 11 DECEMBER – South of Torrevieja we park up at Cabo Roig then take the cliff path around the headland. We walk above a busy beach (weather and waves much calmer today) then sit enjoying drinks in a lovely restaurant overlooking the marina. It’s really warm and could have even been a beach day. The walk continues giving us lovely views at each turn with interesting coves and wonderful houses above. Returning through the back streets we pop into an estate agent in case there is one to rent in January but even without ticking many boxes the cheapest comes in at £300 a week off season whilst others are £800 and more. Given that some sell for over Euro1m this comes as no surprise but one can but hope! At Punta Prima we stop for lunch at the Wok buffet and all have our fill, some of us over fill. Don’t know how the poor chef copes being stood behind the hot grill and gas burners in a confined area. Hope we don’t get any extra salt on our food as he is sweating buckets. Chris has requested a visit to Iceland, he is desperate for some fruit malt loaf and they also pick up a few other English treats. They return to the van for a rest before coming up in the evening for tea and to watch TV.

FRIDAY 12 DECEMBER – Norma and Chris call in for breakfast and chat before heading off home in Henry. Once it has warmed up properly (about 11am) we drive to Punta Prima beach area to walk towards Torrevieja. Initially you walk across waste land with small beaches and rocky coves backed by palm trees. The tropical feel is complete when we see a load of colourful parrots flying around. Behind the beach is private land apparently owned by the King of Spain where he has a house. Urbanisation begins at Mar Azul with vast development inland but huge modern beachfront properties. A local Brit tells us that one sold for Euro 3.7m a few years ago. We mention we are vaguely looking for a place to rent in January and they suggest we go to Tilly’s bar and ask for Lynn or Graeme. The bar is in the midst of apartment blocks mainly occupied by ex pats. Lynn shows us the only available 1 bed apartment facing south. It normally rents for Euro 100 a week throughout the year but may come cheaper Jan and Feb – at this point the price is irrelevant as we suspect it would be noisy. We can already hear a yapping dog and Tilly’s bar opposite has music some nights. We walk around the Punta Prima eyeing up potential south facing apartments before moving the car to walk to Playa Flamenca beach. It’s a hot afternoon but unfortunately a cool breeze takes the edge off and we only stay for about an hour. Returning to the apartment we realise how much we like about it, other than it not facing south. Maybe if it is available Jan/Feb it is still our best option. We also realise that unless you actually see accommodation it is difficult to truly know what you are getting as many places here have noisy dogs, noisy neighbours or in the case of Punta Prima a lot of noisy development taking place.

SATURDAY 13 DECEMBER – We’ve been invited to Alison and Bob’s for lunch where we sit on the front patio. It feels quite festive with Christmas music playing and decorations in the garden. As the sun moves we relocate across the road to sit in their absent neighbours garden to eat dessert.

SUNDAY 14 DECEMBER – We want to cheer Tana up so drive to Torrevieja and just as we are walking to their flat we get a call from her saying she is feeling much better and fancies visitors. Alison told us about the “Belem” nativity scene in Torrevieja and we suggest as walk there together. Taking into account that Tana had chemo last week she is doing really well and manages the walk quite easily. The nativity is a huge scene with many sections depicting the local area. It’s a bit drizzly when we walk back but this doesn’t stop us appreciating the promenade along the waterfront where fresh sand has been brought in to replace that which was washed away in recent storms. The waves are still crashing in and the blow hole is performing well. Steve wants to watch the afternoon football but Magani’s only have the Spanish channel. At The Ship (Hispaniola) they are showing the match and Claire and Brian are also there having lunch. Unfortunately it is extremely busy and noisy with people and Christmas music blaring out both making it impossible for Steve to hear the TV and difficult for me to chat to Claire and Brian. The drizzle turns to rain and then a massive storm with torrential rain, thunder and then lightning that cuts off the Internet including the football on TV. Not a good scene all round as Liverpool go on to lose. We make it back during a lull in the rain but heavy downfall in the night keeps us awake with dripping onto the marble window sills.

MONDAY 15 DECEMBER – Make contact with granddaughter Natasha who is 15 today. The rain has stopped but we get showers and it’s a cooler day – good preparation for our return to England later this week. Alison and Bob come round for lunch. I’m having a bit of a using up spell but manage to put together a pasta with prawns, broccoli and onion in a wine and cream sauce followed by oranges poached in Gluwein served with fresh cream. Alison asks if we saw the cheeky man on the nativity scene, apparently in Spain there is always a man squatting down for the toilet or stood up having a wee and this is hidden in a different place each year for kids to try and find. As we didn’t know about it the big kid in me may have to return for another look! We always seem to find loads to talk about and in fact this may be another factor swaying our decision whether to return here in January. The rain stops but our peaceful night is not to be. There is something up on the roof that keeps rattling and rolling along then stopping and starting. Steve spooks me saying it is ghost children playing marbles!

TUESDAY 16 DECEMBER –The storms have passed through (according to the news a weather bomb which has been hitting England much harder) and today it is sunny enough for me to put washing out. Tana & Graham arrive for a card session where we learn some new games and play other favourites. Chip butties sustain us through lunch and it is late afternoon before they leave.

WEDNESDAY 17 DECEMBER – On new territory we head even further south to explore Dehesa de Campoamor and what a little gem it is. South of the rocky headland of Cabo Roig we find a couple of lovely beaches and a very quiet and seemingly more upmarket area. We really enjoy our walk and then back track to Punta Glea headland with some nice waterfront accommodation which is obviously out of our price range.

THURSDAY 18 DECEMBER – On the internet I’ve found a couple of possible places for us to rent in January so we head down to Cabo Roig to meet a couple who are servicing the apartment. Totally useless as it is facing east and surrounded by trees. The next one is at Aqua Marina Dehesa de Campoamor and sounds great on paper. In reality this one is also east facing and wouldn’t work for us. Luckily when we chatted to Alison and Bob we may have the option of returning to their apartment in January, better the devil you know. We sit out in the afternoon before giving the apartment a good clean and doing the packing.

FRIDAY 19 DECEMBER – Our time is up, boy have our 44 nights gone quickly and what a wonderful time we have had. By 8.30am we are leaving the apartment and a wonderful sunrise behind. Just before we reach the airport we top up the fuel so we can hand in the receipt and get a full refund for returning the car with a full tank. Our flight is a little late leaving and we land in ENGLAND Stansted at 12.30pm. Seems we have hit rush hour as there are massive queues to get through passport control. It’s a beautiful sunny day although a little chilly. Catch the 14.35 National Express coach to Norwich. The journey takes longer than expected due to congestion in Cambridge but we do get to see the Christmas lights of numerous places we drop off and pick up. After almost 4 hours we are back in Norwich and pleased to see Brian who has come to pick us up. Back at Merryhill we soon have the electric on in the caravan and oil filled radiators fired up. We will leave the rest of the stuff for morning. We’re tired but still manage to make it over to the clubhouse for an hour in the bar and suddenly realise just how many new friends we have here.

SATURDAY 20 DECEMBER – We kept nice and warm through the night with the electric duvet and the gas fire and radiators once we woke up. Steve sorts out the water and gas so we are soon fully up and running. At ASDA we do a bit of shopping to get us started then call in to Hellesdon Barns gluten free shop to pick up some Christmas treat for me including Christmas cake. There’s a festive gathering in the evening at the clubhouse. Chestnuts are roasting on an open fire and hot mead is served. We gather round the outdoor Christmas tree and sing carols – very atmospheric. Moving indoors we have all brought sausage rolls and mince pies to share. Games are organised with Steve in the “Robin red breast” team and me in “Jingle Balls”. They’ve taken some ideas from “Celebrity juice” and we manage to make fools of ourselves putting sprouts in our mouth and spitting them down a table at targets and also doing a kind of Chinese whispers of Christmas words but without showing your teeth. The balls beat the breasts to win some Christmas chocolates.


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