Finding out motorhome friends Mandy and Roy from Isle of Wight were just along the coast in Benidorm we made a return trip to visit them. The campsite we found was about 20 minutes walk from to the beach with views of the hills on the outskirts of the town, a real oasis of calm and sunshine, quite a surprise considering the reputation of the town. Contrary to all the well known images and my thoughts op this high-rise metropolis, the ‘original old town’ has a character all of its own, quiet back streets small shops and plenty of tapas bars with interesting and colourful food laid out in cabinets to tempt people passing by.
We enjoyed wondering around the area and trying various tapas, glancing at souvenir tat, saw some fancy cars and very strange clothes in shop windows.
The wide promenade along the sea front was quite busy and nice to amble along people watching, but our best discovery was a very pretty small bay beside a natural park area which showed us an unknown side of Benidorm.
The unplanned stop was a great addition to our amble along the coast and culminated after a couple of days with lunch outside Bessie and an afternoon planning to meet up at Newbury Show next year.
Next stop we arrived in Jávea reuniting with 4 other couples we had spent time with in the first part of the year. A game of boules soon kicked off during the afternoon and provided a couple of hours of fun for everyone, culminating in a get together and socialising over evening drinks. Our friends from Parcent, Trevor and Irene, drove down from the hills to visit us, we had a wonderful lunch together overlooking the beach and catching up since we last saw them in February.
The weather then took a bit of a nose dive over the next few days, cloudy, windy and ultimately a morning of heavy rain with thunder and lightning resulting in flooded pitches. Quite dramatic but it drained away quite quickly leaving only clearing up and drying out; thankfully we had already packed our awning and contents back inside Bessie and simply watched the drama from inside.
We walked down later to the beach area and saw that it was having a makeover. Six heavy duty excavators were working non stop to create a huge sand wall between the promenade and the sea, the full length of the beach. Bad stormy weather forecast over the next few days was being prepared for in advance to help prevent flooding as had happened in the Gota Friá storms earlier in the year.
After a wet and soggy 3 days the sun finally came out again, happy campers put their shorts back on and got out to check the sand wall had indeed stood firm against the storms. We took our partially done jigsaw outside to do do in some better light, and in no time at all friends came around, with much enjoyment and conversation the 1,000 piece puzzle was soon completed.
Making up for lost time with the enforced confinement for most of the previous 3 days, my step count was pitiful I only completed 10,000 steps twice in a week. Weaving our way around the streets, promenade, harbour and back certainly helped and we could enjoy the sights of Christmas emerging in the shops, tasty treats at the covered market in the town and later see some of the lights when it was dark.
Finally I complete a marathon for me with over 20,000 steps or over 9 miles in one day. We rested by the marina end of town and watched some sailing dingies and surfers riding the waves. I loved watching the waves crashing and enjoyed trying to catch the spray on my photos.
Our time in Jávea was finally over and it was time to head further north in two stages up to the port at Bilbao to catch the ferry back home to Portsmouth. We really enjoyed all the culture in the cities during October, had a memorable birthday evening with friends in early November and a chilly 4 day excursion to various towns in the hills.
The last 4 weeks in Spain was wonderful, we made great new friends spent a week with them, and spent time with many more along the way. To think this is only our 3rd year of motorhoming, we have certainly enjoyed some great company and are looking forward to returning again in February 2020.