One glorious week in very sunny Spain, that’s what I’ve just come back from, and it’s thoroughly depressing. The weather here is grey, rainy and horrible, and I don’t seem to have my own swimming pool any more, what’s going on with that??
Seven of us had a really nice flight out to Alicante from Newquay (after a few beers in the airport, and a few gins on the plane), and landed in Spain to the traditional Ryanair ‘fanfare’ which saw a slightly merry me cheer out loud. I’m surprised they didn’t charge us for hearing it actually, they charge for everything else… Anyway, after a quick beer in the airport we found the hire cars and made the 110KM journey up the Spanish coast to Javea, the town that was to be our home for the next seven days. The drive up was gorgeous, the motorway was empty and the scenery varied between beautiful coastline, mountains, gorgeous and the very alien Benidorm lit up like some kind of sci-fi moonbase from a ’50s comic book. The sat-nav guided us straight to the villa where we met up with the London contingent who got there earlier after flying into Valencia instead. There’s only one thing to do when you get to your villa – claim a decent room and get in the swimming pool! Ok, it was 1:30 in the morning, but that first swim was fantastic, I’d arrived. The villa was fantastic; six bedrooms, two kitchens, two lounges, our own pool, roof terrace and no-one within ear- or eye-shot.
Our pool, home of some of the finest pool volleyball ever seen!
There was a bit of an incident the next day when our eleventh somehow missed our greeting party at the airport and lost her phone, spent the rest of the day driving to the wrong town and arriving to find herself locked out of the villa as we’d all gone out for a meal, but that was quickly forgotten. The reason I was so descriptive with our journey to the villa is because the week itself was (thankfully) largely uneventful. We swam, lounged, read and drank a staggering amount of San Miguel and Cruzcampo beers. Pool volleyball was the flavour of the day again, although the amount of exercise it gave us was far outweighed by what we ate and drank. The evenings were when we mainly came to life, and we had a good explore of our surroundings.
Arty shot from the balcony at night, 30 sec exposure
One night we walked into the old town of Javea which was beautiful, and had obviously had some recent money poured into it, and ate at a lovely tapas bar. It wasn’t too cheap eating out, so nights out were mixed with more sedate nights barbecuing on our roof terrace/balcony thing, which included a murder mystery kit that someone kindly left at the villa and was hysterical. By far my favourite night out started with a wander along the promenade at Arenal beach in Javea, where we found a restaurant called Lungo Mare. It was an Italian place and packed with people, which is always a good sign when you’re looking for somewhere to eat. I’m so glad we did too, because despite not being overly keen on Italian food (hey, I don’t really like tomatoes or cheese – Italian’s normally a dead-end for me), I can safely say I had the best meal of my entire life there. Fresh Tortellini filled with beef and Spanish ham served in garlic and chilli oil – it was obscenely good, I could happily eat only that food again for the rest of my life. After stuffing ourselves stupid on pasta and the largest pizzas ever, we found an amazing cocktail bar and had a few more drinks (are you spotting a theme here?) before finding our way to Bora Bora.
The promenade at Arenal beach, that's Lungo Mare on the right
Bora Bora is a karaoke bar near the beach with a seemingly non-existent closing time, and although it was quiet when we got there we owned the place! I was still trying to pick a song to start with when my name was called out to go up. Unbeknown to me one of my cohorts had put my choice in for me, so I got up and belted out (at least that’s how it seemed in my head) my rendition of Ain’t No Sunshine by Bill Withers. It just got better from there, more beer flowed, more gin (which seems to come in measures of at least triples!) and more songs including The Lion Sleeps Tonight and Suspicious Minds. It was an absolutely epic night which left me trolleyed and grinning from ear to ear. The restaurant was so good we went back the following night for our farewell dinner, but the free Limoncello shots after the meal finished me off I’m afraid, and led to the less-than-educated decision to that night paint half my face blue when we got home. To whoever owns the villa, I’m sorry about your towels and bathroom(s).
These little guys were everywhere at night, so cute!
The drive to back to the airport the day after was very quiet, not through hangovers but just because we were leaving our own little paradise and coming back to reality and work. We stopped off in El Campello for lunch and a last walk in the sun, and as much as I love flying, the flight home was bittersweet. Javea is a beautiful area and I’d thoroughly recommend it (and the villa) to anyone.