29. Mar, 2017

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TUESDAY 28-3-17

I was up bright and early in order to upload yesterdays blog offering. Well, my good intensions didn't last long, as I then crawled back in to bed in my dressing gown for a while.

We eventually arose to a warm, bright, sunny morning. We weren't in a huge rush to get out as we were heading for Alicante, somewhere we hadn't been before, yet the guide books gave us the impression there wasn't lots to see and do there.

It was getting warmer as we set off for the tram station. It's right on the edge of town, as are we, but nowhere near us. It took us an hour to get there. I think we went the 'pretty' way, never mind, we found it.

The tram fare was €6.40 return each which I think is very reasonable given that the journey takes about an hour and a quarter. It was a pleasant ride in the bright sunshine, following the coastline and seeing the 'backs' of numerous resorts along the way. The nicest looked to be Cala Piterea, El Campello and the huge, long beach running between Playa Muchavista/Fabraquer/Cap de l'Horta. It ran for miles and not a British bar, Fish & Chip shop or tattoo parlour in sight.

The final part of the tram journey is made underground. After we surfaced we found ourselves next to a large and busy roundabout. We had no idea where we were. We needed to find the Tourist Information Office.

It was then that we entered what I would describe as the Dictionary Conundrum. Now we buy dictionary's to help us to spell words correctly. However in order to find the word you're looking for, you have to be able to spell it. Otherwise you'd never find it. It's the same with the Tourist Information Office. You need to find it in order to get a free map from them. However to find out where their office is located you need - a map.

Being on a roundabout we had four possible directions in which to go, so we just followed our instincts. Eventually we came across a sign for the Tourist Office, which pointed to a road on our right. Down it we went, then nothing. Round and round we went. I was not best pleased. Eventually we finished up by the Marina, where I spotted a policeman complete with shades, chatting up a rather nice looking young lady. Eventually I caught his eye and enquired about the location of the office. He kindly gave us directions and we were soon there. Without a word of a lie, you could stand outside it and not know it was there. It was within the Town Hall building and the means of identifying the office was small writing on the entrance door. Little wonder they don't get too many tourists.

Armed with a map we felt it was time for a late lunch. In the end we finished up in a KFC outlet. A shared greasy meal of chicken bits, a child's portion of fries and a drink each - €14.99 (£12). We have now agreed that we will in future go back to how we used to do things - in to a supermarket, two cold drinks off the shelf and two packs of sandwiches or something similar. Then eat it elsewhere.

We then went for a wander around the marina complex where there was a mock sailing ship acting as a restaurant, and from there we got a good view of the imposing Castle Santa Barbara standing above the city.

We then continued wandering, uphill this time, coming across the entrance to the castle and further up the road, the bullring, complete with a statue outside. By then we'd had enough and decided to make our way back because, first we had to get to the tram station, then it was a 75 minute journey, followed by up to an hour's hike to the campsite. As so few people in Spain seem to actually work, we didn't have to worry about the traditional 'Rush Hour'.

On the return journey we were blessed with a young Spanish lady who sat across the other seats from us and who made continuous phone calls for the whole journey. This level of irritation was increased by the fact that she was using one of those contraptions where you stick earphones in and have the microphone dangling on a wire halfway down your chest. This then requires the user to talk very loudly in order that the microphone can pick up the voice. None-stop loud rabbitting in Spanish. I can understand now why Nick Clegg always had plenty to say for himself - he probably doesn't get a word in edgeways at home.

Upon our arrival back at Benidorm we studied the town map more carefully and chose a different route. Still hard work, still a long way, but not quite as long as an hour. We were pleased to get back to Camping Villasol, enhanced by the fact that that they ban dogs, so we get a bit of peace.

This evening we have just had a filled baguette, we can't face another meal.

The Chef has done really well today, bless her. We calculated that, having allowed for sitting down to eat and the train journeys, we were walking for a total of about five hours, and it was pretty hot. Never mind, that's better than trying to do it in freezing rain.

Tomorrow will be a bit more relaxed. We're going to have a nice long walk along the promenade, this time I'll be taking pictures, then we'll spend some time on the beach. That's the plan anyway.

And the pigeon? Who knows, it was ringed, so I guess it has a colourful owner.