In part one of my trip notes from my first visit to Spain, I discover that some Spaniards like A-ha, that Spain is a bit like Iraq and that no one seems to need any sleep. Oh, and I also come last in a Go-Kart. Phoar, is it getting hot or is it just me?
0910 GMT “Sure, I’ll go to Spain with you guys. I wouldn’t go otherwise.” Will I live to regret saying this? I doubt it. It’s only for four nights and there’s plenty of fun things to do and interesting things to see. The only thing that may affect the outcome of this trip is other people. I’m going to the Costa Blanca region of Spain, a British holiday maker hotspot. Already in the terminal here at Luton Airport, I can see a group of women wearing pink cowboy hats who are almost certainly going to be on my flight. Unless of course, there’s a knees-up in Inverness or Krakow. Here’s hoping! Luckily, I’ve prepared for such an eventuality. I’ve loaded several films on my iPhone, so if there is any yeehahing and general Cowgirl behaviour on the flight, at least I can escape it by being on the run with Jason Bourne.
0910 The behatted ladies aren’t on my flight! They just stopped drinking for long enough to board their flight to Dublin.
1019 Still in the departure lounge. They appear to be playing birdsong over the public address system. Barely audible, but definately birdsong. Nice!
1410 CET In the plane, on the approach to Alicante. Just finished watching Yes Man staring Jim Carrey. Pretty good film. It did a good job of making me forget I was 39,000ft up. 30 degrees in Alicante. Great! I’ve got two buses to catch on arrival before I’m anywhere near where my friends are staying. On a side note, when it came to eating my lunch, I found my bag of crisps had inflated to popping point. I had to make a small hole with my teeth before opening in the usual way to avoid potato snack catastophe.
1430 Well, that was awful! Worst turbulance ever! The plane rocked, shook, swayed and dropped for all of the last 15 minutes of the flight. I adopted my unique safety position of clinging desperately to the tray table in front of me with sweaty palms.
1606 I’m on the last leg of the journey, the coach to Torrevieja. It’s absolutely packed, the back of my chair won’t stay still and it’s scorching hot. Still, could be worse. I could be in Fallujah. Actually, am I in Fallujah? It’s very desert like and run-down around these parts. Oh, Jesus! A checkpoint! No… Wait… It’s traffic lights. Going south now along a coast road with the med on my left with a single sailing boat on it. The sea really does nothing for me. There’s nothing interesting about it. I suppose the bit where the water meets the shore can keep me entertained for a bit, but otherwise, give me a mountain any day! Oohh wow! There’s a mountain!
1625 Coach driver is playing take on me by A-ha. Loudly! Good journey, running right along the coast of the med.
1943 Just got back from the pool. Very nice after a long journey and a long walk to the apartment (which will do just fine for four nights). First impressions of Spain; there’s no grass! Everything is sandy, brown or creamy brown or brownish. Like how I imagine Iraq to be.
0016 Still out and about. Had a good meal of stone baked pizza in a restaurant right on the coast. Good value too. While we were eating, two chaps sang and played guitars in typically Spanish fashion. After dinner, while the girls were looking through the night craft market, jack and I enjoyed an outdoor natural history photo exhibition. Some stinkers, but also some amazing shots. Well worth a look. Off to the dodgems and to find a bicycle hire shop (for tomorrow) before turning in. REALLY tired!
0756 Got back last night at 0200 after a long walk back to the apartment. It meant a slept for longer than I probably would have done (because of the mugginess). Still didn’t get much sleep though. The heat was opressive so I slept on the sofa in the lounge with the patio doors wide open. That provided a bit of air, but it also provided a night time soundtrack of people shouting and talking, cars going past, crickets (which are still going as I write this) and the bin lorry emptying the bins at 3 in the morning and a large fireworks display at 4. Still, didn’t bother me much. I slept between interruptions quite easily and the interruptions themselves were actually quite entertaining. Today, we’re going to try and hire some bikes and then cycle to a go-karting centre. Fun!
0826 Still sat on the balcony in the relatively cool air and peace. Here’s another Spain observation; I don’t know why anyone would want to come here. I haven’t seen anything that’s impressed me yet. Everythings ugly. Horribly designed buildings packed into as small a space as possible. Areas of waste land running along parts of the coast. Everything brown or cream. The sea is nothing more than an expanse of blue below another expanse of blue. What’s to see? The streets were absolutely packed last night. Sure, there was a fun fair and a night market and plenty of restaurants, but you get all that in other countries. Why come here? I really don’t get it. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not terrible by any stretch of the imagination. It’s just not the best place in the world.
1519 At the go-karting track. Just did my 8 minutes in a 270cc kart. We reckon they go down the straights at 40-50mph. Good fun, although a didn’t feel like I was in full control of the thing. The bike shop was closed, so we walked here. It was literally miles and the heat made it a bit of a chore. Despite this, it was still pretty enjoyable. Off now for my second run around the track.
1827 Got a taxi back. None of us could bare walking all the way back. Go-karting the second time was better. I had a more responsive kart and more guts. Back at the apartment now. Just had another relaxing and cooling swim in the pool. Sorting something out to eat shortly before watching The Little Mermaid on VHS. Party time!
Carry on reading my notes from the Costa Blanca in part two of this series.