Sunday, 18 February 2018

Benicassim - Spain - Day 75 - 79

Tuesday 13th - Saturday 17th February 2018

Well our time out in Spain is flying by and the days when I have to put pen to paper fingers to keyboard to write this blog seem to come around very quickly - and because we're not in full 'Tour Mode' it's sometimes a bit difficult to think of something interesting to say.  When we're properly exploring we often find ourselves in a new destination every couple of days, but here in Spain we're tending to park up for a week or two and just settle in to enjoy the area in which we find ourselves.  Therefore, much like when you live in a permanent location, we often repeat the same activity several times and thus our 'news' seems to have become a bit repetitive!  So with this in mind, I'm going to tell you where we're up to at the mo but then have a bit of a break from blogging until we leave here at the end of February!

And you may well ask 'Where's 'here''? - well for at least the next two weeks our home is the Azahar campsite at Benicassim - and once again it's the only one out of 3 in the area that has room for us!  But happily, there is actually plenty of space here - in winter each 'camper' is given a double length spacious pitch.

Our next door neighbours are a couple
we met back in 2015 on our first trip to Spain!
The site is another rustic one and typically very Spanish with quite a lot of vehicles parked long term, but even though  the facilities are a bit dated the're functional and clean, so with loads of British neighbours to chat to we think we're going to be quite happy here for a while.  And that was even before we'd seen the town itself which has turned out to be one of the most beautiful so far!

But I suppose I'm getting a bit in front of myself here - I've not told you about the latter end of our stay at La Vila Joiosa.

On Tuesday we repeated our coastal walk back towards Benidorm but without dropping down into the town.  We just went as far as the Watchtower at the top of the hill with it's magnificent coastal views both to the south west and the north east - and it was in that direction that we could easily pick out Calp and the Penyal d'Ifac - the rock that had provided a very strenuous climb back on the 22nd January.

You can just about see Penyal d'Ifac (the rock at Calp) just slightly left centre of the picture!

Behind me is the coast to the south west and in front of John the coast to the north east!

We stayed in that fantastic dining room for quite a while and partook of both coffee, and a little later lunch, but eventually we had to tear ourselves away and start our return journey!  However, even though we'd covered this ground previously we enjoyed our walk so much  that we found ourselves compelled to stop again at one of the little rocky  picturesque coves  - Cala Fonda! 

There were a few people risking the elements and bathing in the altogether, but to be honest, it was a bit to  drafty and cold for that!

Can't imagine what John's looking at ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿ˜‚

However, even without any 'bathing beauties' the scenery was quite breath-taking!

Wednesday was just another lazy day in the sunshine - but maybe we were being a bit to lazy because, as we hadn't got much else to do, we nearly had  a falling out - and over such a stupid thing!  We'd decided to go for a walk down into La Vila Joiosa and have lunch in one of the sea front cafes but as we walked we started to bicker about how far we should go and where we should eat - I think maybe we were being offered a little to much choice!  We both huffed and puffed for a short while, but as usually happens when we get a little grouchy, we were soon both laughing at ourselves and realising we'd got nothing to grouch about - we're so lucky to be living this idyllic lifestyle!

In the end we didn't pick the restaurant - it picked us - La Cana Marinera!  A very friendly chap spied us eyeing up his menu board so he dashed out to tell us more about the delights that were on offer - and as his tables were already quite busy we decided to take him up on what sounded like delicious delights!  We feasted on the best mussels I've ever tasted, along with sea bream with charred veggies, and the only thing that wasn't quite excellent was my cheese cake dessert - but for 12 euros each (about 21 quid and that included a pint each) we weren't complaining.  And all that was scoffed at a table overlooking the Med and in lovely warm ๐ŸŒž๐ŸŒž๐ŸŒž.

Thursday was moving day - about 150 miles back northwards up the coast to the town of Benicassim, and on the way we had the usual tasks of refueling and shopping.  So with time allowed for our late lunch break at Moncofa it was about 4ish before we arrived at the Azahar site - and a bit later than that by the time we'd set up camp,settled in and introduced ourselves to our neighbours - however it wasn't until next morning that we realised we'd met before!

Friday was always going to be an exploration day - a day spent familiarising ourselves with what the area has to offer and finding out where things are located!  So with that in mind we toddled off along Benicassim's lovely promenade which is lined with beautiful old pine and palm trees and which is backed by both graceful old villas from the late 1800's and early 1900's and also with lowish rise more modern apartments.  . The villa on  the right - The Villa del Mar - is now a restaurant, and from what we could see we will be gracing it with our presence sometime in the very near future!  It was built in 1891 and has a lovely garden so you can choose to sit either there or at a table on the prom itself.

Then after about half a mile or so the promenade ends but from there our walk continued for another couple of miles along the beach board walk which is supplied with sun loungers along it's way!

And the only thing that detracted from our meanderings was the fungy fog which drifted in from the sea and almost obliterated our views completely!  However, we didn't let that spoil things - we partook of our coffee as planned and then wandered up into the town to see what that had to offer.

On Saturday we hopped on our bikes and took ourselves off to explore the Via Verde (cycle track) that runs mostly along the sea front for about 4 miles towards the town of Oropesa.  The trail is a converted railway track and the part we rode along followed the coast closely - but we did have to pass through a long dark tunnel and several deep cuttings!

We rode along the green bit and then a bit further

And from what we could see the views that this route offered should have been stunning, but unfortunately, yesterday's fungy fog was still with us so we couldn't really fully appreciate them - so I satisfied myself with taking alternative pictures instead!

However we didn't let this short spell of less clement weather deter us - we continued to the end of the trail and then went a bit further still  until we reached the town of Oropesa, and that had quite a few wonders of it's own to reveal!
The first being the streets which were lined  and hung with what must look like myriads of chandeliers in the dark!

And then we came to the Jardines Marina d'Or - a huge walled garden that enclosed artifacts, sculptures, landscaped flower gardens, mosaic benches and other creations, along with bird cages, canals, waterfalls, fountains and a large 'pond' with loads of unusual water fowl such as black swans and multi coloured ducks, and also some rather large carp!
You wouldn't need many chips if you'd got him on your plate!
We've only ever seen these in Dawlish before
A Caddi that had seen slightly better days!
Coffee with a shark!

I'm not sure what these two are but if you know - answers on a postcard please!

And you were never short of somewhere to sit
There were literally hundreds of benches like these
Once we left the formal walled garden there was still about another half mile of less formal ones that had mosaic benches like the one above in all shapes and sizes along with lots of rest areas and children's play parks, and as well as all that, the sculptures on the beach were a bit special.

This was a beach shower - and I was very tempted to go and press the button!
But as you can see from the pic the fog was still quite dense, so rather than going any further we turned our wheels homeward and decided to save further explorations for a better day!  And seeing as I've already put so many pics on I may as well share the one of our lovely tea as well!

Mustard glazed chicken with salad and warm tomatoes and beetroot topped with goat's cheese - yum ๐Ÿ˜‹๐Ÿ˜‹

So that's it for now - and like I said at the beginning I'm going to have a bit of a break from blogging - so if you want to read our next episode you'll have to tune in at the beginning of March - and by that time we're likely to be starting our slow trek homewards, and that will be with great anticipation because by then our son Adam, his partner Vicky, and our Grandson Jack will have had a new addition to their family!

So for now take care and we'll look forward to seeing you again soon!  ๐Ÿ˜—๐Ÿ˜—

Click here to see our Spanish camping spots