Our stopover at Las Alcazares was in the commercial aire GPS N37 45’49.75 W00 49’48.98 at a cost of 14 euros a night (11 without electric). We decided to push the boat out though for an investment of 3 euros and get everything charged up. No sooner were we plugged in than every socket was taken up with something charging. This is now our idea of luxury coupled with the sites very clean showers which we could luxuriate in without having to conserve water. When we arrived at the site this morning the weather was still rather grim, but as we got ourselves together the rain passed over and so we ventured out for a walk and lunch. After walking for several kilometres and only actually having seen one restaurant open we decided to about turn. It is of course still very early in the season here and although lots more will be open this coming weekend for Easter on a dull Monday they probably have better things to do. We actually stayed a couple of nights at this resort this time last year when visiting Spain – the main reason for doing this though was that we had to do a car swap at Murcia airport and this coincided with an important Rugby game (don’t ask me which one but I know England were involved). We did on that occasion find a sort of centre with quite a few bars and restaurants although we didn’t really recognise anywhere this time around (despite it only being a year ago) so I can only assume that we just didn’t walk far enough to reach that part of town (or maybe we are another year older and the old grey matter just isn’t up to scratch!!!). By the time we’d back tracked and reached the restaurant it was 3pm and so we decided to opt for the menu del dia which consisted of a huge mixed salad to share with Paul choosing the melon and serrano ham and me the cauliflower gratin for starter and then we both had a fish dish for main course. It also included a drink and coffee for 15 euros each. We certainly didn’t need to eat again for the rest of the day!
Another fabulous menu del dia
The next day before heading off we took full advantage of the on-site facilities we filled and emptied Boris and took another extra long shower – we know how to live!!! The plan was to head for the town of Elche which is renowned for its Easter Celebrations and park ourselves up ready for the weekend. Unfortunately despite driving around several times we couldn’t locate any suitable parking that we felt comfortable with so had to make the decision to move on. I was particularly gutted as not only was I looking forward to seeing the Easter celebrations, years ago a customer had told me about Elche as it has numerous shoe factories and of course factory outlets. I had a note in my office drawer until recently which simply said Elche = shoe heaven. I guess with limited space it’s perhaps a good thing I didn’t get to find out.
After a bit of searching around we have ended up in La Marina which is a small village with a big out of town urbanisation and a gorgeous beach and despite the big signs saying no motorhomes or camping along with around 15 others we have ignored said signs and parked right opposite the beach.
The Beach at La Marina right opposite our parking spot and all FREE
It means we won’t get to see the Easter parades this time around but there’s always another time. The weather didn’t disappoint either with mainly blue skies and temperatures of between 18 and 24 degrees – not bad for March eh!
Turning dusk our view from Boris’ window
With just a couple of beach restaurants and of course the beach I was getting a little twitchy after about 24 hours as I’m not very good at sitting and doing nothing and despite a long walk in one direction along the beach the 1st day and a long walk in the other direction along the beach the following day I had got the maps and books out again to see if we could move on. The dilemma was that we are now only around 5km from the campsite where we need to get Boris serviced on Monday, so despite my itchy feet we decided to stay put. So off came the bikes so that we could go on a little discovery tour. Over the following few days we cycled our way around the vicinity which really consists of a single high street in the old town and a the sprawling urbanisation of La Marina on the other side of the main N125 road which has it’s own centre with shops and banks together with bars and restaurants. Somewhat lacking in any Spanish charm though it didn’t have anything that made us want to hang around. Having seen the immediate locale the following day we ventured further afield past the salt lakes on the way to Santa Pola where the flamingos are now starting to gather and then on to the town itself. Having not heard of Santa Pola previously it’s we were pleasantly surprised. With gorgeous beaches that stretch for miles and an atmospheric promenade lined with bars and restaurants. With sunshine in abundance the Spanish were certainly making the most of the long Easter weekend so despite trying to get a table at several front line restaurants we eventually gave up and cycled back for a very late lunch back at the ranch. We may just re-visit again on our travels when it’s not a main holiday weekend.
Around Santa Pola
After missing out on lunch we opted to book a table at the beach restaurant opposite where we were parked as they had some live music arranged and a fabulous menu of Mussels, Salad, Calamari, Bocarones for starter followed by Hake for main and either desert of coffee and a drink for 15 euros. The entertainment was all the way from Benidorm – a somewhat cheesy stars in your eyes cabaret all played out by one person! Still it kept us entertained and who can complain with all that fabulous food at a bargain price!
After a quick visit to the local market we headed to the beach for an hour today, until the afternoon winds started and then we made a quick retreat back across the road to the safety of Boris. Tomorrow we move again and will then plan where we are going to head for the next chapter. Our thoughts at the moment are to spend some time in Spain seeing all the bits we missed on our fast tracked journey north to get Boris serviced. Watch this space for our next adventures….
Love Andi & Paul