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Now living in l'Olleria, south of Valencia

Saturday, 29 October 2011


We had some business to attend to, in the Jalon valley, and decided to go in person (rather than doing it electronically) for a day out. Business over in about 15 minutes, so we decided to have lunch in Calpe.

After 4 years here, it was about time we visited one of the most famous landmarks on the Costa Blanca, the Penyal d'Ifac. The weather looked decidedly dodgy when we set out, and black clouds loomed overhead as we go there. We strolled along the beach, braving strong winds, hoping to find a nice restaurant before the skies opened. In fact, the wind was so strong, we were able to walk quite far before choosing a restaurant based on it's appearance, rather than on the rain!

We sat in a nice place, with a pleasant sea view and were given our menus. Now, maybe it's just me, but, after 4 years of trying very hard to learn the language, I feel very insulted when I am presented with a menu of photo's with prices stuck on them. Chips and egg 4 euros, chips and sausage 4.50 euros, chips and hamburger 4.50 euros etc. No thank you. In Spanish, I asked if we were too late for the Menu Del Dia, no, he admitted, and bought us a proper Spanish menu. That's more like it. (I had seen it on the blackboard outside.) Nice dinner ordered, 3 courses plus drinks, for a sensible price. Nicely cooked too!

Outside, as we approached the beach again, I felt a drop of rain on my cheek. Oh dear, it was quite a walk back to the car. But, in fact, the strong wind had blown most of the clouds out to sea, and the few drops we felt were the sum total! The wind had dropped too, so we had a lovely stroll along the seafront, right up to the harbour.

En route, we discovered that there were lots of roman ruins right by the coast, with several notice boards giving information about the excavations. Those Romans got everywhere. One thing was certain - their pathways lasted a lot longer than the Spanish ones.

Although it was a grey day, one chap decided it was still warm enough in the sea to go for a swim. Fair enough, but he took his little daughter (about 7 years old) in with him. I'm not convinced that she was going to thank him afterwards. I wouldn't even go for a paddle (although I did think about it).

As we walked along the narrow sea wall around the harbour, another couple came up behind us, walking a little quicker than us. In Spanish, I asked if they would like to pass, as I cautiously stood on the edge to make room, and she thanked us in English. I apologised - Oh, sorry, you are English - she laughed - only the English would be mad enough to walk along here. So true.

I think we have got things worked out here. Stay at home in the summer, and explore the tourist things in the winter, when there are empty, and looking their best.

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