It was Jane’s birthday today and we were thrilled to be asked to spend the day with her and Steve again.
Four days after our disaster at the site in Javea were STILL trying to dry the mattress protector! We’d dried the bedding in the tumble dryer but the mattress protector was too wet and heavy so Darren had wrung it out as much as he could and dumped it in the shower cubicle until we could think of a way to dry that too. Unfortunately I’d had a go at cleaning the plug holes in the shower with cola after a useful tip from Lynne but I hadn’t washed it out properly afterwards and when I moved the soaked, but clean, mattress protector it had acquired an abstract design of of cola stains, AAAAARGH! (Who’d have thought a trip to the launderette could offer so much entertainment!)
As there was plenty of room beside our van at this site we took the opportunity to get the clothes horse out and dump the mattress protector on that to dry before it started stinking. I was rather embarrassed by the sight of the coke stained protector and hoped no one would see it while it was drying.
However, that hope was not to be fulfilled, as our neighbour came out for a quick chat as we were getting ready to leave and he kindly suggested we move the clothes horse away from our van and over to the other side of our pitch so that the mattress protector got the sun for longer and so that the birds didn’t poo on it. Unfortunately we were too late for that and one little blighter had already left his calling card on it! I felt the need to explain to him WHY it was also covered in stains which turned out to be a good call, he suggested that instead of using coke to clean the plug holes we should pour bicarbonate of soda on them then follow that with boiling water. He told us it is a much cheaper way of doing it AND it didn’t make a sticky mess. That was a very useful tip.
After our informative chat we had to get a bit of a ‘wriggle on’ because we were in danger of being late meeting Steve and Jane.
We had all agreed that it would be a good idea to take the bikes this time so we cycled up to their campsite for a quick look round, it looked very nice but focused our minds when we noticed how many motorhomes were turning up, it suddenly made us realise that it is likely to be very busy on sites and aires on the run up to Christmas and the New Year, Oh! Oh! From there we cycled back down to the sea front for coffee and cake and we were entertained by two street performers singing and playing an accordion and a bongo and tambourine as we ate.
Steve had put in an order for a sunny day for Jane’s birthday and the weather was glorious. It did bring out a lot more people to the town, there were people sun bathing on the beach and even a few people swimming. Jane had pointed out the day before that during the day there were lifeguards on platforms all along the beach even at this time of the year.
After coffee we cycled through the Old Town and out the other side to to a different promenade in the next bay along. Again the architect had designed it beautifully with octagonal tiles on the floor which were a solid colour to begin with and then graduated into another colour for example red tiles changing into orange tiles. The designer had also made terraces which over hung the beach at intervals along the walkway and there were areas of planting where the path split and snaked round them.
The cycle route we were on split and Darren and Jane went along the lower one and Steve and I joined them a few moments later down at the beach where Darren pointed behind me back up the hill we’d just come down and told me to turn around. On the higher road was the beautiful gold skyscraper that we’d seen mentioned on the internet, even as we watched it the sun changed the way it looked. The area we were standing on was bathed in a gold glow. It was a sight to behold.
We cycled further along the beach road right up to the end where Darren and I were surprised to see that the buildings that were perched on the cliff looked traditional in style.
The view back across the bay to the main part of Benidorm was beautiful and we were able to see the cloud capped mountains behind the city. Looking down at the water we could see that it was crystal clear. Benidorm has proved to be absolutely nothing like we’d expected, it’s been quite hard to get our heads around it.
It was starting to get a little chilly in the shade so we cycled back to the sun where Jane came up with the brilliant idea of stopping at a bar to enjoy the view. Steve ordered the 4 of us beers and after a while we decided we could do with something to nibble. Jane had been trying to teach me how to ask for some olives since the first time I met her so I offered to go and ask for some while the phrase was fresh in my brain. Unfortunately Steve threw in a wobbly by saying some crisps would be nice too. I approached the bar and ordered some olives in Spanish (I think) he seemed to know what I was asking for but then I tried to ask for crisps in English and they had NO idea (unsurprisingly) of what I wanted. Trying to mime opening and eating a packet of crisps is not easy and I was obviously not very good at it anyway. I tried saying the Spanish word for potatoes but then they thought I wanted potato bravas which went on to do I want them to cook us some chips even the customers joined in with the guessing game. I quit while I was behind and said no crisps just olives. The waiter kindly brought us a bowl of olives and some very tasty toasted bread with a pizza topping.
When we’d finished our beer we cycled back into the other bay where we stopped in another coffee shop and sat inside watching the sun set over the sea.
Our final destination was an Indian restaurant on the way out of town where we had a lovely evening chatting and eating curry before we cycled back to towards the camp sites, watched a bit of a tribute act through the window again, couldn’t decide who they were supposed to be and as it was getting rather cold we decided to call it a night and cycle back to our vans.
We thoroughly enjoyed our day and I think Jane enjoyed her birthday too, it was so kind of them to let us celebrate with them both.