Our time in Aguilas was full of special guest stars, so I shall try to give a bit of detail about each visit. First to arrive all the way from Bournemouth were Jane and Rachel. This was quite an achievement by Jane, as up until recently, she has had a morbid terror about flying - even hearing the word used to give her the screaming heebee jeebees !! Now, although still nervous, she is able to complete short flights, so a lot of credit to her. A lot of credit also goes to Rachel who had to sit next to this quivering heap of nerves for two hours as she ate her way through a few sets of Rosary beads !!! Nevertheless, they arrived safely and we picked them up from the airport to drive back to Aguilas. This was quite an achievement by Jane, as up to recently, she has had a morbid fear about driving or being driven on a motorway. Now, although still nervous, she was able to sit in the front seat without trying to throw herself out of the door, so a lot of credit to her. A lot of credit also goes to your correspondent
who was under strict instructions to drive sensibly, not to talk to anybody and keep the speed to under 50 mph !!! They stayed at the town's posh hotel, but due to a super injunction that has been taken out by them, I am unable to give the details of the bed swapping that took place on their first night there.
Like most people, they fell in love with Aguilas and had a great few days exploring, walking, eating, drinking and playing strange games such as Dobble which took Jane to amazing levels of concentration and excitement. Our nearby beach bar provides fresh fish and seafood - the paellas are a thing of wonder and taste. Rachel takes after your correspondent and will try to eat anything as long as it is accompanied by wine or beer or wine and beer !!! Jane, however, is not a lover of things untoward and was delighted to find that the hotel provided a culinary delight of an omelette in a baguette to keep her going !! Their time here was brief, but it seemed that they enjoyed themselves immensely.
Overlapping with the girls, were Jane, Dave and Nell. They were
on the campsite, pitched beside us. Jane is an old school friend of W's from deepest Newbridge, who disappeared to travel around the world about 20 years ago, and I remember W saying that she wouldn't come back, as she would meet an exotic guy, from an exotic country and fall in love with him and stay in an exotic country. She met Dave from Grantham and they stayed in New Zealand and then Sydney. Nell is their 5 year old daughter and their arrival would certainly liven up the campsite. Nell has a love of all things animal. Thus, Cusco became the full focus of her attention. He would give me such loving looks as I handed his lead to Nell who would take him for a drag around the campsite. As has been mentioned before, this is a quiet, sedate campsite, so the screams of "CUUUSSSCOOO COME BACK!!!" soon woke everyone from their afternoon reverie. Once Cusco made his escape at full speed, Nell turned her attention to the cat at a nearby caravan and would soon be seen crawling underneath motorhomes and vans etc... looking for the said cat, who had now legged it in the same
direction as Cusco.
Dave and Jane brought different aspects of fun to the party. Before leaving the UK, Dave bought o portable barbecue from John Lewis online store. This he felt would be perfect for travelling around Europe, but little did he know that each country has different adapters, valves and tubing. Not to be thwarted he ordered a Spanish thingy to be delivered to the campsite for us to attach to the aforementioned barbecue, which was a great plan, with only one small hitch - it didn't fit. Oh, the fun we had driving around ironmongers, trying to explain in my best Spanish how we wanted a valve taken from one tube and attached to another before cutting a bit off something else and sticking it onto the other end. " Fun " may not be the most accurate word, but you get the general idea. Eventually (after at least three days of swearing) all was sorted and as a reward, Dave then cooked some rather splendid meals on the barbie and plied us with many fine bottles of wine, that certainly seemed to taste different to our usual box of four bottles for ten euros.
brought her own happy-go-lucky outlook on the gay abandonment of the rich tapestry of life - particularly, her "resting bitch face" - her own words !!! A car was hired and we all had a great time exploring more of the surrounding area, especially the restaurants. It was with this travelling trio that we first ventured as a group to the restaurant by the castle at the top of a very steep hill, and the food was stunning - maybe even better. Petanque was palyed most afternoons, but as neither Dave nor myself are particularly competitive, there are no real stories of rivalry to report........ Most of the rivalry at the time was between your mild mannered correspondent and a wildman from Cheadle Hulme called Terry. How his lovely wife, Jane, and two dogs , Pippin and Frodo, put up with him I do not know . The other combatants were Mike and Rosemary from the wilds of Somerset, and while Rosemary played the game with a light touch and delicacy, Mike's plan was to demolish anything in front of him - both boules and people !!!
Not more than a day after they had left, I opened the
door and found that there was a motorhome in the pitch that they had just vacated. Not just any motorhome, but Betty - the touring vessel of John Gee and Wendy from the valley. I have to confess dear reader, that I took this in my stride and was not surprised at all - mainly as I knew they were arriving that very day. The weather had now started to get a lot warmer and sunnier again, so this gave WFTV (Wendy from the valley) the chance to sit still for as long as possible - only moving to track the sun from her chair - in order to get a deep suntan in only two weeks. Your correspondent has never been to the valley from whence she came, but understands the the sun does not tarry there for very long. John threw himself into a culinary frenzy and produced the most amazing concoctions from a potato, an anchovy and a chickpea!!! Verily, we were becoming used to other people cooking delights for us . As we still had the car, more towns and cities were explored and different food found to taste, our favourite being cazon, which is delicious
and is a two metre long shark. The bar had already caught and cooked it for us, so that avoided any unpleasantness on our part. Another trip to the castle restaurant was in order and am pleased to say was just as good - tempura aubergines in honey mmmmmmmm. Ceviche -mmmmm.
We had read that on a particular bank holiday, all tourist attractions in Cartagena were free of charge, and as luck would have it, this very day it was, so off we went. John and I had an amazing time exploring the Roman Theatre, The Agusteum, El Barrio fel Foro Romano and the fascinating streets of this amazing city. Everywhere you looked we found fascinating architecture, outstanding Roman remains, the spot from where Hannibal began his march to Rome !!! Wendy the Navigator, WFTV and Cusco found a bar that served cups of tea and chocolate cake, before moving on and finding a bar that served white wine, before moving on and finding the tourist shops were open, before moving on and finding a bar serving more white wine. I think it was only the white wine that gave them the ability to feign interest as John and
myself regaled them with the wonders we had seen.
Once WFTV decided her tan was up to the adequate level to show off, she returned to the valley and to Tesco's by the power of plane. John had planned to stay on a while longer before driving home in a generally northward direction. He probably had visions of a relaxing week or so, but then my family had tracked us down again and had arrived in Aguilas. Wendy the navigator seems to have been complicit in this as she had helped arrange an apartment for them, not just overlooking the sea, but overlooking our favourite bar !!! Your correspondent took this in his stride, in fact his stride was taking him to the airport quickly but they caught him !!! Another trip to the restaurant at the castle ensued (we liked it there) and leisurely strolls around the lovely town, with many stops at little bars, meant the time passed pleasantly. Getting slightly lost with them in the little car and ending up driving over the top of the mountains was certainly something to be remembered.
In between all this, we even found time to meet up with
Alan and Sam the Springer Spaniel in Alicante. Wendy was worried that he would have gone off the rails after Annie had gone to Australia ( see previous blog ) , so she was pleased to see that all was well and he even told us of all the meals he had been cooking himself. Was great meeting up with the two of them, but the biggest greeting was when Sam saw Cusco and charged along the promenade and a very noisy and excitable spaniel meeting ensued.
In all the time we spent in Aguilas and all the guests who visited us, it was strange that nobody had actually stayed in Claude - everyone had stayed in hotel or apartment or their own motorhome...but wait... who is that landing at Murcia airport... it's Colette !!!! Our final visitor and the first to stay in Claude !! This provided a nice piece of symmetry, as Colette had been the first person to visit us in Claude nearly 15 months ago on our first night at Lytchett campsite. It was a damn sight warmer in Aguilas and a few pleasant days of walking, eating, drinking and laughing were spent before she
left to fly home.
Then John organised Betty and left to drive home.
Then that left the three of us, and a few days later we had packed Claude and we too had left wonderful Aguilas.
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