Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Altea, Alicante

Tuesday 18th March 2014

We depart Camping Roquetas, promptly.

Uneventful 200 or so miles to our next destination, Arena Blanca, Benidorm.

This turns our to be a poor choice, it is right in the middle of Benidorm, or, as I prefer to call it, Blackpool, with sun. Not to my taste.

A hurried reprogramming of the sat nav takes us to Cap-Blanch, Altea, Alicante (N38 34'40" W0 3'54"). An ACSI site, initial thoughts are, it is a bit big, but, it is right on the beach, so, we will reserve judgement.

Altea is the next town north along the coast from Benidorm, but, it appears to be quieter, or, more boring, depending on your point of view.

Wednesday 19th March 2014 

At the last site (Roquetas de Mar), our Motor Scooter (Yamaha xMax250) attracted a lot of attention, particularly from French Campervanners. I do not know why, it is perfectly standard and common model of scooter.

Here for some reason, it is the trailer which is attracting attention. We must have had at least twenty people come across and ask about it, mostly Dutch and German, but, a few Brits including Teessiders Keith and Judy, and a chap called Alan who hails from Nottingly, where the trailers are manufactured. 

If this continues, I think I will have to request commission from Armitage Trailers! (

We have very pleasant English neighbours, Malc and Sue, who have been here for a few weeks and are able to give us a list of places to go.

Today we settle for a  cycle along the coast to explore the old town of Altea, and check out the church.

The town is on top of a hill, very steep! and very quaint.

Plenty of places for me to have a drink, whilst Kathleen is at Church on Sunday, I note, and, plenty of places for lunch, afterwards! 

Thursday 20th March 2014 

Not content with finding one church, Kathleen wants to find a "back up", just in case, so we search out a Tourist Information Office and obtain a map.

The map allows us to find the nearest Supermarket, and an alternative Catholic Church.

I unload scooter, and, go exploring, to find the route to Calpe and Denia, which, it turns out, is rather scenic, if you ignore the enormous quarry, at about the halfway point, which appears to be demolishing an entire hill.

Friday 21st March 2014 
After the trauma of hair washing, drying and straightening, we head off for a walk to lighthouse at Faro El Abir.

From the campsite, it is about five miles, there and back.


Most of the walk is within a National Park, very well kept, and very scenic.

Afterwards, we have what is, for Kathleen, an adventurous lunch, Tapas, consisting of Patas Bravas, Garlic and Cheese Potatoes, Tortilla, Meatballs in piquant sauce, with a bottle of Rioja of course.

Saturday 22nd March 2014

Weather forecast completely wrong, forecast, sunny 20C, actual, overcast, rain, 15C. A day of doing even less than usual, lying about reading.

Sunday 23rd March 2014 

Back to sunshine and 20C plus, that is more like it.

IMGP2710 We go to Altea on our bicycles, but, this time we are fore-warned, no more attempts to ride to the top of the hill, or to carry / wheel bicycles up an apparently never ending flight of steps!

Church for Kathleen, explore old Altea for me, ending up in a very convenient bar, right at the door of the church.

An excellent lunch, in the old town part of Altea.

Chatting to Malc and Sue, for what remained of the afternoon. 

Monday 24th March 2014 to Monday 31st March 2014 

The site WiFi is free, the problem is, it is useless, so slow as to be unusable, and, as if that is not bad enough, it keeps on dropping the connection every five minutes or so. I have a Spanish Orange SIM card, to use with my Huawei Mobile Wifi (MiFi), but, whilst it worked very well in the Cadiz area, here, it is too slow to allow uploading of photographs, use of Skype etc.

So, to cut a long story short, I have been unable to keep the blog uptodate, so, the last week is being done from memory, appropriately enough, on April Fools Day!

We take a tram ride to Denia, which involves cycling the mile or so to the station, and leaving our bicycles there. 

The fare is a real bargain 4.25Euro each for a return trip of about 30 miles each way! The ride is so spectacular it is worth the fare, just for the scenery enroute! 
Denia is an attractive place, typical narrow Spanish streets, plenty of quaint little cafes, and of course an ancient castle.

On our way to Altea, we passed through parts of Benidorm, it was in our opinion, pretty grim, but, different people like different things, the world would be a boring place if we all liked the same, would it not.

But, you have to give things  a chance,so, on one day, we took the Bus  into Benidorm, with Malc and Sue , we were pleasantly surprised!

True, much of it is Blackpool with sun, but, there are some rather attractive bits, tucked away from the "full English breakfast cafes" and the karoake bars with the tattooed drinkers minus their tops spilling out onto the pavement, and the guys drinking their pints and watching the English Football on Sky. 

IMGP2719You certainly cannot complain about the beach, it is a magnificent stretch of good clean sand. It is easy to see why this place was one of the first package destinations.

There is even a little legend about the mountain you can see in the background.

It is said, a Giant, angry that he had been dumped by his girlfriend, kicked the mountain, in his temper, and left the nick you can see in the ridge, just to the left, the displaced piece of mountain, landed in Benidorm bay, where it remains to this day.

IMGP2722Malc and Sue are leaving on Sunday, so, we have a farewell meal at a very good Chinese Restaurant just a couple of streets from the campsite.

But, that Kathleen is a fickle friend, one minute she is sad at Malc and Sue's leaving, the next day, she has a new Norwegian singing partner.

The lady in question is called Vibeke Mykkeltveit, and they spend the evening entertaining the passing campers as they work their way through their respective song books.

Vibekke tells me, her first name is Dutch, and, means "little wife". As they sit singing and I slave away clearing up the debris from our evening meal, and, wash the dishes, I point out to her, that, in English, "Kathleen" does NOT mean "little wife".

Vibekke (pronounced a little like the English, "Rebecca", makes a living, or at least some money out of her singing, she has a website, and some music / videos on YouTube. 

Tuesday 1st April 2014 

It is necessary to move  a little further north, if we are to avoid having too great a distance to travel for the Tunnel.

So, today, we are leaving Altea. 

Our English neighbour, Alan, is leaving too, he is heading home after almost six months here!

Alan is a regular visitor, so, we may well see him again, either later this year, or, next year when tentative plans to celebrate Malc's 70th here, have been made.

We head just under 200 miles north to Benicarlo, Camping  Alegria Del Mar, (N40 25'36" E0 26'17"), an ACSI site.

First impressions, site appears to be fine, you even get a free "welcome drink" at the bar. It appears just a little too "English", we will reserve judgment.

No sooner have we arrived, than we have yet another admirer of the Trailer! I really have to look at a commission agreement!

The good news is, it is within walking distance of the town, and the beach (rather pebbly, not sand), and the WiFi works!

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