Alicante …. a much longer stay than intended!
We anticipated going more west from Alicante to meet up with our old ARC friends on Time Bandit and Purr-fect, but our time just did not coincided well and we had to wait for a few parts at Alikante that just made it impossible in the end.
We were docked on the visitor’s dock, right in front of the Marina office and 10 meters from the first restaurant – so we were very happy to stay for a while and get as much done as needed seeing that Alicante is apparently much cheaper than Denia.
Alicante is a lovely city with a wonderful boulevard of palm trees and lovely shopping streets fringed by wonderful old buildings. Known for its miles of sandy beaches, Alicante is one of the most well-known towns along the Costa Blanca
We found the beautiful long alleys fantastic for nice relaxing walks in the evenings as soon as the sun is setting (9pm this time of year!)
I will probably remember Alicante for its beautifully restored historical buildings everywhere around the entire city as well is the beautiful streets of the old town that is a maze of narrow decorated alleyways going up and down the hill! We had to ask a few times which way to get out of there. It is just a fabulous little place with its dressed up front doors, pot plants and a random old chair scattered between homes – perfect for reflection in the tranquillity that the old town offers!
We used the time to try out our bicycles and it became our first choice of land transport! What a pleasure to get to a shop in no time that would otherwise have cost you time and sometimes a taxi ride back with all the grocery shopping! My basket and carrier at the back worked like a chime for that purpose! That was probably the best money spent on the boat this year! (Johann would probably think the TV dome was … I have my doubts … the last thing I want to see is the bad news from all over the world!;-) It is a pity we did not have it for all the great sport events that happened this year … the British open – won by Ernie Els, my hero in golf!, the Super 14 rugby, the Euro Soccor and of cause the Olympic games!!)
We went all out to explore all the interesting drinks (some would have certainly a one-off trial!) , fantastic different food (their Jammon (ham) and meat spread in the form of a fat sausage (Sabrosada) and their pastries and tapas are to die for! I can write a book about the food of Spain! Each region has its own speciality and we love all of them! The food might be slightly on the rich side, and because the Spanish have olive oil in stead of butter or margarine on their bread, you tend to consume quite a bit of oil containing snacks! The olives will appear on the table with every order of an alcoholic drink and that I can see why … it is simply the best olives I have ever tasted!
We found the wine absolutely great! They love their Vino Rosada (Rose wine) – It is wonderful – a little fruitiness to it but lovely dry and crisp!But on a hot day … beer becomes the first choice … at least until the cool of the night kicks in.
The days were unbelievably hot and sightseeing takes enthusiasm … and heaps of that… Otherwise the outing will become a slog in weather like this! That is why Johann went (all by himself!) up to the lovely Castle op top of the hill on a day that I just could not bear to be anywhere outside of the air-conditioned saloon! (Electricity was free or included in the price so the air-con was running 24H a day!) The view from the top of the hill are stunning and gives you a great idea of the sheer size of the stretched out beach front and the amount of scattered old buildings still in Alicante!
The news was full of heat waves in Spain, France and other parts of Europe and we could smell the fires in the mountains at times. It was hot, humid and hardly a breeze in the air! For the first time we have sympathy with the siesta system – it is just impossible to move around between 1-4pm! Streets are deserted that time of day and most shops would close at least until 4 and some until 4.30pm or 5pm! Then life is slowly picking up and only really gets in full swing again after 8pm. You will hardly ever find a local having dinner before 10pm!
The one thing Spain is doing often is celebrating a Saint’s birthday or life with a public holiday! …and there are many!! We have struck a few of them, where everything just shuts down completely and it becomes a day of beaches and fireworks! The 15th August was the Assumption of Mary. The night before we went out for dinner and at about 9.00pm we started hearing the sound of fireworks going off but could not see anything. By 10pm we got off the boat and the thunderous sounds increased dramatically. We passed the security guard and asked him about it (it really sounded like thunder roaring in a distance) and he confirmed fireworks in the nearby town of Elche. We sat outside having dinner and it just never stopped – in fact the intensity of the sounds increased. Getting back to the boat, we did a bit of research on the internet and was told that they used 17 000kg of gunpowder last year at the same occasion and thought that is just what it is. That is huge! What have we missed?!
The next morning the news revealed that a terrible accident happened – a heap of stored fireworks in the clock tower caught fire (caused by a rough fire work rocket ) and set the whole bunch of it off and seriously injured 28 people in the incident!
It was a very funny night …The last night in Alicante. We were getting ready to throw a steak on the BBQ and right next to where we were docked was a two seater street bench with two old people sitting there watching our every move!It became slightly uncomfortable so we turned up our music and they left. Then came 2 teenage couples took the bench beside the boat…(I think the music attract them – hip hop on the local radio and very Spanish) and they watched the BBQ in progress intensely – obviously discussing the boat and what we were doing. So the music changed again to more classical tones.It worked and they left. Just as we sat down for dinner the first old couple was back again! Ha!Ha! I told Johann to offer them a glass of wine – he obviously didn’t. They stayed (even with the radio now turned off) until we went inside, and switched off all the cockpit and underwater lights! We just never were alone on the last night in Alicante! 🙂
The delay (waiting for parts) in Alicante was slowly working on our nerves because of the cost involve being in the Marina but also because time is ticking by and Johann has 10 days left before he has to fly back to Australia and we still have a mountain of things to do to prepare Scolamanzi for her winter sleep!
On the Saturday of 11th of August we started backtracking to Denia! This in itself was a sad moment as we knew each sea mile is taking us closer to the end of this year’s voyage! We have a few days left … and will make the most of it (in between the stressful lists of what to do when we start with the big clean-up!)…
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