Destination = Pinar de Campoverde, Pilar de la Horadada, Costa Calida, Spain.
Hubby's friend has a villa which they use a lot but does occasionally rent it out to family or friends, he also keeps a car valet parked at the airport which we rented from him too.....all at mates rates :o)
Monday 9th - Leisurely start as we didn't need to leave home till 8am, which is quite late for us when flying off somewhere. Happy to report that flights were on time and no huge queues, although we haven't really got the hang of this Ryanair, cheap flight, no allocated seats, type of flying so we didn't get to the departure gate until after we'd stopped for breakfast so we ended up not being able to find two seats together, but I read the whole journey so don't suppose it really mattered! Actually it amused me that I'd actually chosen a short story (189 pages) that took me almost the exact time of the flight to read.....how clever eh? Easy baggage collection at Murcia Airport and our car was there waiting for us. We couldn't actually get the sat nav to work but we had printed directions so got to the villa with ease. The villa was lovely, spacious, very well equipped and on two stories but as there's a double bedroom on the ground floor and a bathroom and only the two of us we won't bother using any of the upstairs. Outside there were sundecks and eating areas and planted areas and an outdoor pool. Our first toe test proved that the pool was still a bit too cold for us to venture into yet but we did have a sunbathe by the poolside. So wanting to get the lie of the land we went for a walk around the village and soon discovered it was like any housing estate but very clean and extremely quiet. Just opposite the villa was a little row of shops all designed to cater for the English ex-pats and tourists. Not totally to my taste for a Spanish holiday but would prove to be convenient, like not wanting to go far on our first night so choosing to have dinner at 9pm in The Portabello, an English style pub run by English people. I had a prawn salad while hubby tucked into gammon and chips and sat happily watching football on the big screens. Also happening back home we knew, was our daughter going off to see a trailer-camper she was hoping to buy, well she did buy it and sent me a photo by MMS to prove that she had succeeded her first ever tow with this very big trailer and it was now on our drive...Well done to her but unfortunately the MMS cost me £2 to retrieve!!!
Tuesday 10th - We both slept well in a really comfortable bed and I love it that the windows have the blackout shutters so the room was still dark in the mornings! We did get another text from our daughter who said they were so excited with their new purchase that they had decided to camp in it immediately to try it all out....on our drive! Then off we headed in the car to San Pedro beach (we'd worked out how to use the sat nav by this time) and headed first for an English breakfast. There was a long walkway alongside the beach and we saw people covering themselves in the famous black mud then lying in the sun for it to bake onto them, not sure what its medicinal benefits are but they all seemed to be enjoying it. Then we noticed a formation fly past, and hubby said we were near the military air base and these were their pilots obviously practicing their display routines, so we settled down on the beach and enjoyed an amazing free air show. We also enjoyed an ice cream (which was very green) and bought our three postcards then on the way back we stopped at the supermarket to get some provisions for breakfasts (really don't want another English fry up) so fruit for me and cornflakes for him. That evening we decided to take the long walk down to another pub that had been recommended, an Irish pub this time! Oh dear it was also quiz night! But the advantage of somewhere to walk to did mean hubby could have a few pints so we stayed and ate outside (roast chicken and chips) but didn't stay long after we'd eaten and walked back up the long hill and settled in with the TV and some Grand Designs (satelite tv with all the English channels = happy hubby).
Wednesday 11th - So started the day with fruit/cereal breakfast then off to find another beach at Torre de Horadada and Playa mil Palmeras. We did lots of walking and driving as it was too windy to sit on the sand, then back for an afternoon relaxing at the villa for a bit of sunbathing, a bit inside, a bit of crosswording and a bit of reading. I wrote and then posted the three postcards, because I do like to do them early in the holiday so they get back to the UK before we do! For dinner that evening we drove down to a restaurant called Treetops (another recommended) and that night they had a steak and wine deal for 20 euros per couple so we both had the steak and shared the bottle! Then back to watch the film Benjamin Button that was in the cupboard on DVD, it was very good but somewhat dragged out a bit. Late evening our daughter sent a text saying she was having a panic and are we near the two earthquakes that have just happened in southern Spain. We knew nothing about it, so tried to find a Spanish TV channel to see if we could get any information, but couldn't.
Thursday 12th - We had a lazy villa day and managed to find some news off the two earthquakes at Larco, which was about 60k from where we were, they said it was the worst they had experienced for 50 years and 10 people had been killed. My brother-in-lawA had also text to check we were OK, reassured everyone we were fine. We had lunch over the road at the Pasty Shack and headed out about 4pm, but all the shops were shut so we headed to the beach and marina at San Javier, very pretty place. Then came back and later had dinner in Restaurant Mary also over the road. I nearly had my paella but they said it would take 40mins to prepare and we'd heard that the Irish pub, Fibber McGees, was having a blues night so thought we'd eat something quicker and head down there. Glad we did actually because the two Spanish guys that performed blues all night were very good.
Friday 13th - We didn't get up till 9am ish and had a very lazy start so no chance of getting to the shops before they siesta! So we sunbathed/read/crosswords etc and finally left the villa about 4pm and headed to Torrevejo for a lovely walk along the beach and through lots of market stalls (all quite tacky). We stopped for an ice cream which I managed to drip all down me (hubby said it was due to the date). Then back to the villa by 8pm. We'd only bought 4 tshirts, two rings and a little train, so I was stressing a bit about having enough gifts to take home. We didn't bother with dinner that night as neither of us was hungry so stayed in and watched The Castaway/Tom Hanks from the video collection in the cupboard, which we both really enjoyed.
Saturday 14th - I got up at 7:30am (an hour before hubby) and checked emails etc online as I'd found a free wifi connection from halfway up the stairs, sitting on a cushion as they are very cold marble stairs. Eventually we went for a long walk on the beach at San Pedro all the way to San Javier (about 5k) then found a lovely beachside restaurant for lunch where hubby agreed to share my long awaited paella (they'd only cook it for two as it takes so long to cook and comes out as a huge flat pan to share) it was delicious! Then of course we had the long walk back. It was about 25 to 30 degrees C all day and I got a bit burnt on my back without realising it. Of course we didn't need dinner that night so had a TV evening again, mostly Britain's Got Talent which was very funny.
Sunday 15th - We were up early and pulled up the blinds to find a very cloudy sky and then some rain so we did nothing but a bit of reading and crosswords till 3pm ish then went for a very windy walk on Playa de la Horadada beach which totally blew the cobwebs (and my new haircut) away! A card on the fridge recommended dinner at the Rebate restaurant, it was excellent (hubby had steak and I had sea bass with garlic oil). The whole place was quite classy and the staff were very attentive. Outside there was a large pond with ducks and baby ducklings swimming and in a nearby pen was an ostrich. There was a wedding reception going on in the function room next door too. On the way back we stopped off at the Irish pub for a Rockabilly band, they were really good and had the totally packed pub bouncing. We didn't stay long though as only sitting room was outside and it was getting a bit chilly. A really lovely last night.
Monday 16th - It seemed too much time to kill before our flight home but not enough time to go anywhere, so we very slowly cleared up, emptied the rubbish and stripped the bed then because we were packed and ready to go in plenty of time we went over the road and had a proper lunch at The Portabello pub, in case there wasn't much at the airport. I even found and bought a book at the pub to take back for the children "Sophie visits Spain" for some language learning. Drove the car back to the airport car park and they drove us right to the airport doors, then took the car to keep it safe till it's needed again (such a useful and easy service). We had a good flight home and we sat together, only because we queued at the departure gate for an hour and half (stupid system). On the bus back to the car park we were saying how we'd travelled without any problems just before having a problem getting out of the long stay car park!!! Sooooo eventually got home about 7:30pm UK time.
All-in-all a lovely holiday and proof that hubby and I can survive a week alone together :o)