Lovely day in Javia

Sunday 18th October

No rush today as our only plan is “Sunday. Coffee Morning”; got to keep the tradition going!!!! And a trip into Javia, but first breakfast e477dd21-443b-4933-9592-d49a213edd4cand “Marr on Sunday”.

We hit the road about 1100am and stopped at the in “Casa Aleluya” in Xaló, (Jalón) in the next village for coffee but to my horror they’d run out of Soberano; catastrophe, and their

Back to the Good old favourite

Back to the Good old favourite

substitute didn’t hit the spot, so we left fairly quickly and headed to Xàbia (Javia).  Not too sure how, but Tom Tom took us, (probably the most direct), along another of the very twisty and narrow roads across the mountains, again littered with cyclists; poor ChristIne!!

On arrival we didn’t mess about when we arrived, we headed to the old historical town, far more interesting with the special atmosphere narrow streets, passages create and naturally bars spilling

Just coffee and brandy today

Just coffee and brandy today

out.  Parking was a bit of an issue as all signs pointed to an underground “pay” car parking; hmmm, not for us!!! But we found a free slot and walked into the maze of of passageways.   Where the sun shone through it was nice and warm, but where there was a lack of sun it was quite chilly, still we persevered climbing up and down

Tiny side streets

Tiny side streets

the hilly terrain.

Xàbia has quite a history stretching for centuries and had been fought over several times and in the 16th century they built a wall around the place as the town was regularly raided by pirates from North Africa.  As we drove, we could see Remains of the wall but once we started to read

Pretty little streets

Pretty little streets

about the place, we find we have been cheated, the remains are not remains, they are replicas!!!! 

As we have decided today is our last day in this region, we went out to lunch, again!!!! And found a rather nice bar/restaurant in 3c84f840-8a27-4633-b85f-5b3e541b8b85the old town where we had some excellent food and beverages, far to much but hey, we can diet from tomorrow!!!  

After a couple of hours and fully replete we headed down to the port as ChristIne wanted to reminisce by to seeing where she had sailed into sometime in her past. Job done!

Back on the wine

Back on the wine

We were a little more careful when we loaded Alcalali into Tom Tom this time and returned on “proper roads”, around the 13b0dca0-f7b3-48c2-abb9-317af17142e3mountain.

We were back in good time for our Sunday-night family quiz after which we settled down for a night around the television.   Tomorrow we head back home🥵🥵🥵

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Local Day out

0dc7dfe1-979a-422d-a749-ec9a1b763650

Saturday 17th October

After a leisurely breakfast we decided to stay local and visit Pego and Parcent, both recommended by our sailing friend, Rob.

Pego being so close we had assumed it was in the same valley as Alcalali is but we were wrong. To get there we had to cross into

Stunning landscape

Stunning landscape

another valley along what was at times quite a twisty but fortunately not to long a mountain road, though being Saturday all the cyclists were out and about which again caused white knuckles to be had on the passenger’s side of the car.

As usual, upon arrival we drove around to get an appreciation of the town, quite quaint in places but fairly busy and many narrow streets, so finding somewhere to park was difficult. We finally found a lovely tree lined open square surrounded by buildings with cars parked everywhere and being Saturday, families strolling and 65d6a4e2-75d1-4d0a-b7c2-e60b72d82e0benjoying the midday warmth. After driving around for quiet some time we eventually managed to squeeze the car into a back street space and headed back to the tree lined square where we sat at a table in one of the many bars to watch the world go by and enjoy a coffee etc. It struck us just how much social life was getting back to normal, though all the people were doing the right thing; wearing their masks and social distancing, even the young were behaving, which was very reassuring to witness.

46820efa-474c-48b0-b907-addad7576ed8Pego’s history can be traced back to the Bronze Age though more recently it was populated by the Arabs until around 1244 when it was conquered by the James1 of Aragon who re-populated it with peasants from Catalonia. Today there is a population of around 11,000 People. One interesting fact; in the Middle Ages it was wetland area and rice was the main crop grown,3cac4776-367b-4012-ac0d-f84ab7d04f1f but no sign of that now, it is oranges etc., that one sees.

Sitting in the sun watching the world go by enjoying our morning coffee break got so extended that lunchtime was upon us, so decided to stay where we were and have another tapas lunch out, naturally with another bottle of the delicious local wine; At this rate when we get back we will have to go a starvation diet!!!!

4198705b-5172-49a0-a560-f6681b663a8bAfter several hours of chewing everything over and putting the world to rights and getting nowhere, we left, found the car and headed towards Parcent, stopping at a supermarket on the way.

Parcent is only a few Kilometres from Alcalali so back along the twisty roads. The road actually by-passes this village, just as well as the streets are so narrow. Driving around the place look deserted and the streets being so narrow, at one point we had to manoeuvre back and forth to get round the corner!!! At this point we decided there was nothing doing, we didn’t see any square, bars, ed5e6034-7c22-41c1-a525-1cb291a79a3drestaurants etc., it looked to be a “dead-and-alive” place, not too surprising as it only has a population of 1,000, so back home we headed.

This afternoon was the Heineken European rugby Cup final and fortunately we arrived back in plenty of time to watch on Channel 4: good planning or what!!!!! It was the most nail biting, enthralling, edge-of-the-seat match I think I have watched but in the end Exeter Chiefs finally put the French side Racing 92 to bed. Exeter is not my side but this occasion they had my support to keep the cup with an English team.

For dinner tonight we chucked a couple of trout on the Bar-bee, very 5b71489e-2956-4c1e-ad47-1b0775c5781fnice and followed this by a night in front of the TV.

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Let’s go sailing again!

Friday 16/10/2020

We started the day with a cooked breakfast, as we didn’t know when our next meal was going to come, in fact we didn’t really know what to expect at all.  Hazel had seen an advert for crew, so Geoff wrote off, with Jim and Vince saying they would come as well.  When we had a reply the boat was in Denia, so nowhere we could reach in a hurry. We arranged the day when we were at Marian’s, so off we went.

We arrived at the Marina, which was incredibly posh, with expensive

Even the cows wear masks here!

Even the cows wear masks here!

restaurants and shops, very sad to see it almost empty of people, but packed with boats, so much money tied up, unbelievable!  We met Rob who was an ex policeman and ex pilot from Scotland we had a coffee and a chat then we were off.

“Vegabond”

“Vegabond”

”Vegabond” Is a 27’ boat built in Sweden 1971, which has been updated several times, with new engine, and instruments but no lazy jacks or bag, furling Jib etc., it was like going back to sailing in the 70’s.bfd994c8-e5d1-45aa-9afa-d6c68ab9a6a9

I was nervous as still not got my confidence back, but it was like going back to the 90’s where I had my own boat as it was identical to my westerly called d0bce627-dd09-41bb-879a-b90ce00fcc5c“drifter”, after engine checks etc., we were off.

Out of the marina into the channel and I took over the tiller, well having been used to a wheel for years, it was very strange, we put the b095e72e-2314-4277-8bb6-8d542f994aa1sails up and headed for Javea, with no wind we kept the engine on, by this time “George” (automatic pilot) was on the helm, and we sat back and enjoyed the ride.

1ef05f60-fa01-4f17-befd-fb9447cb7332Sadly not enough wind for a sail, but we enjoyed the day, when we returned we packed the sails away, and headed for restaurant, where we had tapas and wine, we parted saying see you soon.

Back home we had a relaxing night.5bef99cf-a2a2-4812-a1d3-a0964e222889

 

 

 

 

 

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El Castell de Guadalest

The tourist town of Guadalest.

Thursday 15th October 

Today we headed out to El Castell de Guadalest, better known as just “Guadalest”,a Valencian village high up in the mountains located near

Amazing views

Amazing views

the 1500-metre Serra d’Aitana. Guadalest has an area of 16 km² and, according to the 2002 census, a total population of 189 inhabitants.

This morning the sun was shining with clear blue skies so back into shorts today and after  some discussion agreed we shouldn’t go the conventional route; duel carriages and motorway, but straight 0c064273-47d1-4b13-b921-73986f9d0b36across the mountains, half the distance but twice as much time.  Not long after leaving Alcalali we hit the mountain pass, narrow road, extremely twisty, big drops but beautiful scenery and fortunately not too much traffic other than cyclists to bother us.   This was just as well as Christine was hanging onto the

More views

More views

door handle and safety belt so hard her knuckles were quite white, add traffic into the mix, well we would probably have to turnaround!!!!  

At the top of the pass we stopped for a few minutes at the viewing place to take in the panoramic vista, mountains with the Mediterranean Sea in the distance but we didn’t stay too long as it was rather cold, we should have thought about that when we put our shorts on!!!!!  

Such a lovely area

Such a lovely area

Heading back down the other side we passed orange, lemon, olive and almond trees, different from Alcalali where wine grapes are grown.

We eventually arrived in Guadalest, parked and again the first thing was to find the loos but due to Covid the public ones were locked up so, oh dear, we’ll have to go to a bar which means we had to have the usual.

The village is split into two.  The lower part with its attractive narrow, 8baf5930-4b33-42cd-ab11-a771d5db5013pedestrian, cobbled streets with tourist shops selling their wares and a few ally’s connecting the two main streets.   The higher part accessed up a lot of steps and through an arch naturally formed by rocks with buildings on top.  Once through this arch we still were walking up the hilly cobbled street to the top where there was a nice square and a path running round the mountain for people to take in the magnificent views, including the lake below fc88cc0c-c94b-45ea-b1cc-d4bc997ec857which turned out to be a reservoir, filled by the Guadalest River.  

Tourists to Guadalest probably outnumber the inhabitants several times over and apart from this village being small and high up in the mountains there are 9-museums to be visited, but we only went into one.   The house was laid out as it was in the 18th century including an olive oil and a flour press; interesting but small, in fact all the museums seem very small but they are very varied.  On fact is is definite, there in no way it is a wheelchair friendly place.

Returning down into the lower part of the village we stopped for a light lunch; tapas with a drink overlooking the Guadalest valley with the Mediterranean in the background and the sun shining.    Once through b0e04059-14f2-4898-a813-4ea7005f1a14this arch we still were walking up the hilly cobbled street to the top where there was a nice square and a path running round the mountain for people to take in the magnificent views, including the lake below which turned out to be a reservoir, filled by the Guadalest River.  

Tourists to Guadalest probably outnumber the inhabitants several times over and apart from this village being small and high up in the mountains there are 9-museums to be visited, but we only went into one.   The house was laid out as it was in the 18th century including an olive oil and a flour press; interesting but small, in fact all the

Lovely restaurant with superb views

Lovely restaurant with superb views

museums seem very small but they are very varied.  On fact is is definite, there in no way it is a wheelchair friendly place.

Returning down into the lower part of the village we stopped for a light lunch; tapas with a drink overlooking the Guadalest

Entrance to castle

Entrance to castle

valley with the Mediterranean in the background and the sun shining.   It was even warm enough to take our fleeces off!!!!   

Early afternoon and we headed back but this time decided to return on “normal” roads, and to ensure I didn’t take a “wrong turning!!!!”  Christine suggested we went via the seaside town of El Albir to ensure I didn’t.   El Aldir ran into Altea and together they looked to us as your typical seaside resort, though no doubt suffering this year with few guests.   The other thing, Christine didn’t have any good thoughts about living here, to quote her “I only like Moraira“, who knows where we go from here!!!!!

Arriving back, we had a cuppa before sorting dinner and a quiet night 6fc60bfc-2ef1-4152-9f8e-fdab49e8f836in, tomorrow we’re off to Denia.

 

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Calpe etc.

 

Wednesday 14th October 

Martin and Marian made an early departure for the airport after which we sorted ourselves out before heading off for the day; firstly to Calpe (Calp).  The weather didn’t look too hopeful in the mountains hence heading to the coast, the sky looked more hopeful there.   It was so chilly that our long trousers came out for the first time this winter and our fleeces came with us.

Penon de Ifach

Penon de Ifach

We drove into Calpe but soon drove out, we were not impressed as it looked just a like a seaside destination for hordes of people from Northern Europe; sorry if we have denigrated this place, but first impressions do count!!!

After consulting the map we headed along numerous back lanes and narrow twisty roads following the coast, stopping in the middle of the road (a la Spaniards) several time to admire the views.  The problem with main roads and motorways is you miss so much nice scenery, and there’s lots of that around here.

35ba990b-0cf5-4d8e-9f25-0f5efa9d7f28Our destination was Teulada, probably a little known old town with the first settlement dating back to 20,000-BC, though the modern Teulada was founded in 1386 and was fortified in the 16th century as it was constantly attacked by the Barbary Pirates operating from North Africa, even the church of St Catherine is fortified!!!!  We ignored all the modern bits and headed into the old town with its “very” narrow streets and found a suitable parking spot, left the car and all “wrapped up”, we went d2b282df-1a71-4b30-9418-a077386f5f49walkabouts passing through the market as the dd2ada40-05e9-4ecf-a917-684a6db220d4stalls were packing up.  We soon found the old square and made a bee-line for a bar as a call of nature was urgently needed, though naturally whilst enjoying the bar’s facilities, we had to have our customary coffee an brandy, but no cake!!!.  Whilst there we were seduced by the Menu Del dia but had to work up an appetite first so headed up the many steps deeper into the

Working the grapes

Working the grapes

old town to where the church is but only to find it closed😡. However whilst wandering about and climbing the steps leading further into the old town the rain e4cc37a4-643a-4ee3-b6af-0d217ee6b147arrived, still as is usual at this time of the year it soon stopped and off we went again until we miraculously arrived back at the bar we’d been to earlier, so ordered our lunch.   For a menu Del dia, we had some amazing choices and finally noted the awards from Trip Advisor, 4.5 out of 5, and we concur, good food, courteous and friendly staff and excellent facilities, especially in today’s world!!!

Heading out again we drove along some twisty, off the beaten track roads with amazing villas hanging on the slopes of the mountain and 1b2ad10d-d989-4fbb-bc7f-24c64f4c9d98finally arrived at the pretty, small, up-market coastal town of Moraira where we had a wander along the front, and though it was a little 98343fb0-f31b-4d17-8fc1-341cf7bbaa06chilly, the sun was shining with blue skies.

Christine felt an immediate “bond” with this place and started to think about moving here, quite a surprise I can assure you!!!  We even stopped so Christine could look into estate agent windows as we headed back to base.

Back at the house and after a cuppa, the first thing Christine did was get online and look further to see what apartments were available in ae06574c-d604-4eb7-b40b-1bda4074c68aMoraira, watch this space!

Tomorrow we hope to head to the little mountain town of Guadalest.

 

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Our trip to Alcalalí

Sunday 11/10/2020. We walked to the village to meet-up for the normal coffee and bacon butty, good chin wag with everyone before

Lovely views

Lovely views

setting off to Marian and Martin’s. It’s lovely having family only two hours away, where we can enjoy visiting new places, and their fantastic villa, with views to die for, only one problem lots of steps!  Martin

First few steps

First few steps

cooked us dinner and we had a good catch up on the news.

Monday12/10/2020.  After a late start we

Phew he made it!

Phew he made it!

went to Alcalali for coffee, sadly most of the places were shut as it is a fiesta weekend.  We were served by a surly Spanish man, who had no interest in us, so we had a quick coffee then moved on.  Back in the car, we travelled to Xalo which was quite busy, we sat down outside and waited

Pretty square

Pretty square

for service which did not come, so in the bar the boys went.  We were not impressed with this place either, but we did have a nice bottle of vino Tinto.  Across the road we noticed a busier restaurant with waiters so finished the wine then we went over, and there we stopped, we had a variety of tapas, and more vino Tinto, third time lucky.

Back to Marian’s and Geoff cooked two big trout’s on the bbq, whilst I

Martin swimming in 17 degrees

Martin swimming in 17 degrees

did roasted vegetables.   Martin went for a swim 17 degrees he was in a wet suit though.  Lovely day.

Tuesday 13/10/2020.  Another lazy morning before we went out for coffee, this time to a tiny village called Lliber, tiny little

Enjoying the ambiance

Enjoying the ambiance

streets, but so much character, Marian took us to the square where there was a lovely restaurant on the hill.  We had coffee, then

Church beyond square

Church beyond square

decided to have some wine with tapas, the waitress was French so we were talking French, Spanish and of course English, we will be going back here. We left about 4.30pm so

Lovely side streets

Lovely side streets

another boozy day.

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