I couldn't get in to the internet again last night and had to leave it until the early hours to upload the blog entry, which is not very satisfactory when the service is being paid for. It also meant that we couldn't watch the latest episode of 'Mutiny' on Channel 4.
We woke to a lovely blue sky and sunshine. It promised to be a very warm day. We didn't hurry to get up, nor to get ready to wander down in to Benidorm. Yesterday had been quite a tiring day with all the walking, and today was just going to be a wander around with the camera and a walk on the beach. In fact we were so slow at getting out that we decided to have lunch here rather than take a pack-up out with us.
For those who have been here before, Benidorm is a place you either love or hate. For those who have never been here the important thing to bear in mind is that Benidorm is about as Spanish as Beijing. It's like Blackpool, but with sunshine, a beautiful beach, cheaper beer, better value for money and fatter, uglier birds. But no donkeys.
When you get among the holiday makers it sounds as if half of the North of England is out here. It's likely to be the half enjoying pensions and benefits, as those with a young family working for the minimum wage on zero hours contracts, and who deserve a holiday out here, can't afford to come.
It's a shame we're not here for April 1st, April Fool's Day. It would be a great wind-up to get a yellow tabard printed up with something like 'Department of Work & Pensions' printed on it and then wander around taking pictures of groups of people from a safe distance and a camera fitted with a telephoto lens. I bet those claiming benefits they're not entitled to will feel a trife uncomfortable for a while.
I think that the main attraction of Benidorm however is its healing properties. France has Lourdes and the Spanish have Benidorm. It is amazing just how many hundreds of people arrive here needing to rent a mobility scooter to get their fat lazy arses around town, yet at the end of their stay are cured. Having handed their rental scooter back they are able to get themselves to the airport and home unaided. Praise Be!! It must be the healing power of the beer and cheap ciggies. There will of course be a small number of genuine folk among them who need a scooter, and to them I say - 'Good on ya' - enjoy your holiday'.
There is a bullring here, we stumbled upon it on Monday after we arrived. The thought of it being packed with drunken Brits yelling support for the matador sends a shiver down my spine.
I see Theresa May has triggered Article 50 today. It's been a long time coming. I hope that somewhere in the negotiations we lose the Pet Passport agreement. That way we Brits can come over here for a spell without having to put up with so many noisy damned yapping dogs around us. Leave them at home where they belong.
The second thing I hope we agree on is the status of 'foreign' EU nationals in each country. I'd like to see all UK and EU citizens remain in the country of their choice PROVIDING:
1. They are self supporting. Those who are unemployable and living off the host-country must return to their own country.
2. All expat citizens must pass a written and oral examination in the language of their chosen country. This will mean Brits over here will have to learn Spanish whether they like it or not, and thus be able to live anywhere in the country, rather than in Ex-Pat communities. Most importantly it will mean that people like the illiterate Roma Gypsies currently unemployable and living the life of Riley in the UK, especially in Sheffield, at our expense, with no prospect of them ever working, will have to learn the language and then get a job. If not, then out with them as well. Is that unreasonable?
The temperature here has been really, really hot. As usual much hotter than BBC Weather predicted. I have a thermometer in the habitation area and its telling me that we have 26.8˚C indoors with the door open, and it was over 32˚C out in the sun earlier.
This evening The Chef and I went for a wander in to town, well the edge of it really. In the evenings we leave the centre to the tattooed, lobster skinned, beer-swillers. Once there we treated ourselves to a Chinese meal for €12.90 (just over a tenner) for two, including a bottle of wine, and believe it or not it was all very nice and excellent value for money.
Having left the restaurant we passed a large open-fronted bar about five or six doors down, and there 'on stage' in a near empty bar was a chap wearing a familiar hat. I said to The Chef " He looks like Mickey Pierce out of 'Only Fools & Horses", and sure enough after a few minutes we established that it was the retired actor Patrick Murray who played him, giving a presentation about the show with video clips and anecdotes from it. Sad that the man has come to this.
Tomorrow sees us heading for Cartagena south of here. I think we may have to do some of the trip using toll roads for my sanity if nothing else. As I recall we will be pitching up at an olive growers place where they rent out parking spaces for about €10 a night. We'll have a couple of nights there spending Friday travelling in to Cartagena on the bus. Then it's inland for a few days before coming back to the coast.
So hopefully we'll see you in Cartagena tomorrow.