How on earth was this my first time on mainland Spain? Childhood holidays were spent in Tenerife, Mallorca and Minorca, so I felt I had experienced Spain. But oh no…
I travelled to Alicante from Manchester and enjoyed the relatively short flight. Just enough time for a cup of coffee, a bite to eat and a read of a few chapters of my book (I’ve started the The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin). I landed and started down the steps from the plane. Boom, humidity hit me. I love that feeling. It was evening when I landed so I couldn’t get much of an idea about the look of Spain yet. Travelling to Javea I could see lots of houses dotted around on the hill sides. Yes, it was very hilly. I like that. I met my friend Louise at my bus drop off point. She’s lived in Spain since she was tiny but we met whilst doing our Masters research in Kenya. We were up until the early hours chatting about everything. Amazing first evening.
Up and out relatively early the next day so Louise and her Mum could run some errands. This gave me a free hour on my own. I walked along the promenade at the port and sat at a sea front bar to enjoy a coffee. The mediterranean sea was glistening and the heat was quite exhausting, but I couldn’t help but smile. Sunshine is just wonderful. England has had a summer of showers this year so I will take any ray of sunshine I can get. Anyway… After my coffee I met Louise and her Mum for some lunch. We had a traditional Spanish dish called Tostada, a baguette type bread sliced in half and topped with chopped tomatoes. Very tasty and fresh. After a refuel we then went to the old town of Javea. This was beautiful. Jam packed full of old narrow streets, all with a different feel and character. The balconies of the buildings all have tiles underneath and so any foot passenger walking below has a lovely colourful view when they look to the sky. There is a huge church in the centre sprayed with bullet holes from the civil war. It was one of the nicest old towns I have seen. We also nipped into a nearby market and I treated myself to some fresh figs! They just don’t taste the same in England, they need heat. The afternoon was spent lounging in the sun and enjoying the swimming pool. We then got ourselves ready and went for a meal and then headed out for drinks. Tequila was had… That is all that needs to be said really.
Due to said tequila, the next day was a write off. We just sat in the sun and chatted. We had so much to catch up on. Never a dull moment. A speedy evening meal out and an early night was had. Tequila is bad.
The next day was packed with fun. We woke up and left the house for 7 to go on a walk up the hill. There used to be a national park there but it was burnt down last year so it is quite bare now. It was extremely humid but worth the view. We caught the sunrise and it was beautiful. We shared our walk with the swooping swallows and swifts. They always look so busy in their aerial displays. We got back from the walk and then headed to the port to do some water sport. We decided on kayaking. I’ve never kayaked on the sea so it was quite exciting. We had an hour so we didn’t go too far, we just enjoyed being in the sea. The way back was tough, the waves were against us and the sun was very hot. I think it’s safe to say I’ll be sticking to my running, kayaking is tough! I was glad to be back by the end. We got back to Louise’s just in time for her other friend Amie to arrive. Yes, two Amie’s, both with an I E. What are the chances? Amie got settled and then we all met another friend, Sienna, for tapas by the sea. It was so tasty. We had squid, calamaris, pork, patatas bravas, bread with allioli. All so tasty. Spanish food is really nice. It’s so impressive hearing Louise speak Spanish. I want to learn, I’ve told her she has to be my teacher! The afternoon was spent relaxing by the pool. In the evening Louise, Amie and I went for a nice meal. I decided on a salad and that I wouldn’t be drinking. That plan failed. The salad part was fine, a nice tuna one. The non drinking part really didn’t go to plan, I blame peer pressure and tired eyes. I stayed strong for a while, drinking my virgin mojitos and soda waters. But tiredness set in, my eyes were so heavy but it was Amie’s first night and I needed to WAKE UP! One gin and tonic I said.. Just one.. 3 gin and tonics, 2 tequilas and a fruity shot later and I ended up swimming in Louise’s friends (Josh and Sam) pool at 05:30 in the morning, cooking spanish sausages on the BBQ and finally getting home at 07:30. It escalated so quickly. A proper Spanish night was had!
As you can imagine, another day was then spent being hungover and tired. We just sat around the pool and I enjoyed my last day in the sunshine. That evening we went for paella. I have never had it before and I’d been excited to try it. We got the mixed one and it came with langoustines, squid, chicken, pork and octopus. WOW. It was so tasty. I even got complimented on my langoustine peeling abilities. Not bad eh? The best bits were the scrapings from the bottom of the pan, nice and crispy and full of flavour. Perfect last meal in Spain. We sat for a drink at a sea front bar and then headed home. I had an early flight the next day and wanted a couple of hours sleep.
And that about sums up my trip. Spain is such a brilliant place, or at least, the little corner of it I have seen is. The people, food and lifestyle is so refreshing. Laid back and happy is exactly what I wanted to be on that holiday and it is exactly what I got.
If you haven’t been then I urge you to go. Try all the foods and embrace the siestas and the late, late nights. Enjoy dipping your toes in the mediterranean sea and feeling the humidity on your cheeks. I did. I think it was just the detox I needed.
Spain and Louise, I’ll be back.