Days 90 – 92 – Back on the rocks & Tourist Information

Friday 12th – Sunday 14th October 2018

Well, we are in Costa Blanca but we ain’t here to party. No such idolatry for us. We are on a mission. In two parts:

1. climbing…

Mrs P climbing below the Castel de Guadalest

I’m not going to go on about climbing because most of my readers don’t know much about it apart from perhaps the following:

i. There are ropes

ii. It is dangerous

I can confirm right here and now that, yes, there are ropes. I can say however that it is no more dangerous than cycling. That one I can even prove.

For those that are interested in the climbing bit I will be brief. Climbing at Castel de Guadalest, Alicante region of Spain is great.

Mr P either belaying or taking part in extreme campanology

2. drinking coffee and or beer in as many picturesque old Spanish towns that we can find.

One of our first old Spanish towns is Castel de Guadalest. It is a very cool, very quaint and a very popular tourist attraction about 25 km inland from Benidorm. For history buffs, the only thing I can remember about the castle is that in 1543 the owner of the castle, Don Sancho de Cardona, married Maria of Columbus and Toledo, granddaughter of the discoverer of America. Technically I suppose, though possibly unfairly, we can blame her grandfather for Donald Trump. Gotta blame someone.

Entering Castel de Guadalest

Two more important facts about the castle are that two small beers costs only €3 and for the princely sum of €2 you can spend the night in the car park.

Not a barking dog or children’s trampoline for miles around

In order to function in a new place it is important to visit the Tourist Information Office because they have lots of free maps and can point you at useful things. Mostly they are good, occasionally they are terrible and frustrating but sometimes, just sometimes, they are terrible but amusing. Cue Altea seafront Tourist Information Office. For local people only!

First off Mr P checked that he spoke English because our Spanish is dreadful. He said:

“But of course.”

It kind of went downhill from there. In brief, if we asked him about things within a 100 metre radius then we were cooking on gas as the idiom goes. Anything beyond this radius i.e. more than…

Q. “where is the beach?”

A. “Behind you.”

Q. “where is the nearest coffee shop?”

A. “Behind you and left a bit.”

…threw Tourist Info Man completely. It was a bit like Spain’s answer to Royston Vasey. It was a local Tourist office for local people. We asked about the nearest bookshop. He thought there might be one but it is a couple of streets away so he didn’t know much about it.

When we asked about the festival being held in Calpe, the neighbouring town, next weekend, for which we have seen multiple adverts, fliers etc. he flatly denied there was one.

“We have that festival here. They don’t have it in Calpe. But, it’s in September. You’ll have to come back in September. Actually, I think it’s tomorrow… but I’m not sure because it is happening in the centre of town and that is some considerable distance from here. Possibly as much as a kilometre away.”

Such fun!

There are, unsurprisingly, no pictures of the inside of the tourist office so here are some climbing pictures taken at an area near Calpe [pr: kal-pay] called Toix [pr: I have no idea? Toy-xce? twa-xce? too-ee? Who knows?].

Toix– Great climbing but impossible to pronounce. Loads of easy stuff and a great position.

Mrs P hanging out at Toix
Mr P checks the guidebook for the easy stuff
Mr P climbing at Toix

We then found ourselves camping in what have been described as the tourist machines of Costa Blanca. It is too odd to describe briefly and I have wittered on enough but, I promise to tell you all about it tomorrow.

Mr & Mrs P get ready for odd

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