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To Costa Blanca Or Not?

I´ve often wondered where people who live here go for their holiday. It´s a poser isn´t it?

First question is where?

Second question is why?

In the UK they would say “To get away from it all.” Third question is away from what?

For example “just an ordinary day” (yesterday):

Late afternoon, taken from where we were sat, Boris´s little “oasis bar” for a cocktail…

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Early evening, taken from where we were sat, outside a local restaurant having a meal. Beyond the trees the setting sun went down behind a mountain cloud…

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Late evening, we did some shopping, and went to our local bar to meet up with friends…

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During summer the Spanish seem to go visiting family in other areas of Spain or for the odd week or two. During winter some families even go and meet up at a hotel for the weekend – every weekend. Believe me, we`ve seen and experienced it. A couple of years ago, when we first started doing research about the possibility of moving here, we stayed at a lovely hotel in Benidorm (yes, Benidorm) for six weeks. Boots on the ground as it were, even though they were in the wrong geographical area. Spain grabbed us, and a seed called “we can do this” was planted.

At weekends the hotel was mobbed with Spanish families from all over the country. Nothing wrong with that, it was obviously a fun thing to do. Grandparents, parents, teenagers, and babes in arms, all together having such a laugh. Except, when it came to breakfast or mealtimes, they sort of took over the HUGE dining area, and remained seated for about two hours… The rest of us plebs ended up queuing outside for a table, and they had to extend opening hours! Personally we only ever had breakfast at the hotel and went out for meals, Friday, Saturday, Sunday was chaos.

I remember the hotel manager couldn´t apologise enough. The place had two skyscrapers, but only one was open in the “off season.” A free bottle of Vino was handed out to every couple for their patience! We all jokingly wondered if it was supposed to replace breakfast? Hmm. Then we were chaperoned into one of the bars where food was ordered and served to us.

Note of interest or not: Later in the year, the hotel we stayed at was used for interviewing extras for that totally naff TV series called “Benidorm.” Aside from coping with the influx of interviewees, it plays no part in the filming of it. (Excuse pun).

Gossip or not: Apparently the hotel they show in the series (from the outside) is not where it´s filmed, it´s the one next door to it. [So why use yet ANOTHER hotel just for interviews?] The one that´s used for filming has a terrible reputation for being exceptionally grotty. (Confirmed when we walked past). Perhaps the director, film crew, and actors have to tart up just the bits they use to pay the rent….

From the middle of January and all of February 2013 while we were there I didn´t blog our adventures as they happened, because “Time off” from our wanderings was spent discussing our future. So I took loads of photos, and posted the stories that went with them in March 2013, after we reluctantly flew back to the UK. By then we had a rough timeline of the basics, regarding the slow process of what we had to do to make our dream come true. A mountain to climb!

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Anyway, with ref to holidaying when living on the Costa Blanca, Where? Why? Away from what? I think the best way to sum up a holiday from here is: “A voyage of discovery, not escapism.” To temporarily leave your own beautiful local views, and find different ones further away. Preferably somewhere else in Spain…

So we´ve booked ourselves into a hotel just 10 miles north of here, overlooking the two HUGE picturesque lagoons at Torrevieja. {Las Salinas de Torrevieja} It´s a conservation area full of pink flamingos. We´ve driven past them on several occasions back and forth from Alicante airport. When I say “past them” it´s actually “between them.” There´s only the main road and a few run offs as a dividing line…! One of them is called “The Blue Lagoon” and the other is “The Pink Lagoon.” Why pink? Because that’s where salt production takes place, during the extraction process beta carotene turns the water pink.

We go on Monday for four nights, just “testing the water” as it were. (Good grief, that has to be one my best worst puny puns yet). Oh, and we´ve booked a “full suite” high up too, with champagne on ice awaiting? Hope so! There´s even a massive swimming pool UP ON THE ROOF! Plus another one inside and a spa. I´ll let you know if we bump into any superstars. Take a selfie with a celeb… Knowing our luck it would be a corrupt UK politician with the tax payer footing the bill…

Hence I might be absent for the next few days, tomorrow aft I´m booked in at the hairdressers for a blue rinse. Then we´re meeting up with some friends at night who have to go back to the UK for three nights next week. {Sympathetic hugs} Apart from mitigating circumstances, that´s the limit for any expat in Spain. Saturday is all about last minute stuff, Sunday will be “pack yer suitcase” time, and Monday will be all about settling in…

I started off with the intention of just taking my hand luggage suit case, but being of the fairer sex, it´s turned into the BIG one. Well at least there´s no need to rent space in Dave´s this time…

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