Day 20, 23rd Jan – To rock or not…

I did! I did!  I did see climbing bolts!  

Then I saw the UK Climbing logs for the area (tons of baby-easy stuff for me which is incredibly rare in a country that counts bolts in the rock as being there for wimps).  

Then I looked out of the window to see pine trees bent almost horizontal in the prevailing gale, sweeping its way through the valley.  

Oh well.

So, we walked down to the lake, which is very beautiful, sat by the roadside to have our picnic, and walked back.  M stopped to take a lovely picture, it’s very good, really captures the sense of the area. He achieved this with the use of his expensive variofoculs.  Just as he was thinking that he should be careful not to loose those essential glasses the wind whipped them away.

Up, up, up they went.  Over the Dam wall, down the other side, lodged somewhere on the scrub cliffs of the reservoir.  I saw roughly where they went.  Then I noted how impossible it would be to reach them, even if I did want to risk life and limb in the attempt.

It put a damper of the day.  He still managed to see the climbers on the various outcrops of rock though, we observed which climbing areas were protected from gusts.  Which was great, because for tomorrow, we know where to go now! M can’t wait…!

The nearest town with a cinema is L’Alfas del Pi. We’d done a death-defying drive down 270 degree road bends to get there in time to eat before the 7:15 showing of “Vice”, which M has really wanted to see all week.  The cinema owner was very accommodating.  He took us to the notice on his door that showed us that films are played in English on a Thursday, Sunday and Monday.  Today, of course, is Wednesday.

All was not lost, however.  We’d read the trip advisor reviews of the “Deja View” café.  Once inside we discovered the owner had a broad Geordie accent, and was serving braised steak with mash and veg.  

Ordinarily, you understand, we wouldn’t countenance eating English food in an English bar, in Spain.  But we were sat down by the time we realized.  And the upside of being there (apart from the very tender braised beef in onions) was the local knowledge that there were two opticians, one in Benidorm, the other in Calp where we could get M an eye test and replacement specs. 

There was also an interesting contrast between Guadaleste and L’Alfas.  Mac, of Irish descent, has absolutely ‘gone native’. His English accent is barely recognizable from the bullet-fire Spanish that he shares with the locals.  His fiancé is a local girl; he is enmeshed, ensconced in Spain and it’s difficult to see him going back to the UK.  

Trish, however, from the ‘Déjà vu’ has been in Spain 16 years, run a bar and then a thriving restaurant here, lives in a caravan in her son’s garden and decided long ago that the Spanish language wasn’t for her.  She left because of immigration into Newcastle (today running at <1% of the population), she’s considering returning for the grandkids and her Italian husband’s access to British health care.

Mac’s bar was full of Spanish, Trish’s café serves anyone but.  Two different ways of being in one part of the world…

Tomorrow I’ll start back on my ‘Learn Spanish with Paul Noble’ audio book and get better at communicating with the locals.

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