Capers on the Costa Calida

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March 17th 2016
Published: March 18th 2016
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The date - November 2015.

The place- Claude’s meeting room.

The purpose – high level talks.

The subject matter – where to spend Christmas.

The biggest concern – running low on beer!!

Yes, dear readers, Wendy the navigator called an emergency meeting over our destination for the festivities. Our original plans were to head for a campsite at a place called Cabo de Gata, but moves were afoot to alter these as Wendy had heard a rumour that the weather there was not to be up to our usual standard. As you can imagine, your correspondent was shocked by this news and immediately had to open a can of beer – although the possible reason was that his latest one was empty. While I was in the fridge collecting, Wendy and Cusco the chief spaniel, quickly checked on the internet and a new base was chosen –the previously unheard of town named Aguilas!!!

The date – March 2016.

The place – at Claude’s table.

The purpose – write a blog

The subject matter – the last 4 months

The biggest concern – have a guess.

Yes, dear readers, a blog of Aguilas. On arrival at the site, we advised reception that we would be staying for about a week – just to get a feel of things (the campsite not the receptionist) and now, four months later we are still here. How can this be?? Has Claude broken down?? Have Interpol tracked Cusco down??? Is there a free brewery??? None of these I’m afraid, just that Aguilas is a lovely town, the campsite is excellent and there were many, great, fellow campers that created a wonderful community atmosphere.

The town was initially described to us as being very “Spanish”. Your correspondent was reasonably sure this was true due it’s location in Spain, but after a few walks in, I began to understand the description. Although it is in the centre of the Costa Calida and is in possession of huge, sandy beaches, it cannot be described as a tourist destination. There are plenty of bars on the promenade and in the main plaza, but you will not find any English speaking staff. There are no “British” or “Irish” bars, no souvenir shops or tourist traps, just a typical working Spanish town. Despite Cusco nearly being arrested early on, we have settled into a relaxed style of life here.

I had planned to give a day to day account of our stay here, but as I struggle to remember yesterday, I will restrict myself to some of the many highlights that have come our way during our stay.

Undoubtedly, the most important one that got the whole campsite talking, was your correspondent’s victory in the table tennis competition. When the draw was made of 64 players, well maybe closer to thirty, although twenty may be more accurate or I suppose you could say ten, ok ok ok, there were eight of us, until Theo the Dutchman left the site, then just seven until Alan injured his knee, so then we were six, then Annie announced she didn’t want to play and asked Derek to replace her but he never turned up, so five was the number now, but then big Pete found better things to do, this left four of us, so eventually after one more departure, the number of combatants totalled three – but what a three they were !!! There was Chris a cheeky scouse chap and little Pete a cheekier scouse chap and your correspondent, and let me tell you dear readers, we took table tennis down to new depths!!! Anyway I won!!

I shall introduce some of the campers to you. To paint a scene you need an easel, canvas, paint and brushes. Claude was parked at the bottom of an avenue and at the other end of the avenue, as far away as they could get, were several vans in a row. On the left hand side we firstly come across Maureen and big Pete. They lived near here for many years and ran a kennel/cattery business – or Maureen found Pete in a kennel/cattery, I never got to the bottom of that one. In the next van along we find Chris and Neil. Chris is of the table tennis fame, while Neil is a Scottish Buddhist, which is a perfect example of an oxymoron if ever I have written one. Moving along we come to little Pete, who came up with the table tennis idea (we should have let him win) and Fran who is a fellow escapee from Glasgow. At the end of the row was a French van which housed Alex from East Kilbride and Suzie from Surrey – they were involved in many of our adventures, and became Cusco’s foster family. A better crowd of people to talk to, play petanque/table tennis with, get help from, laugh with and drink with you couldn’t hope to meet.

The camp has a social room that is used for many things including free wine supplied by the owners. It was in here there was a pre-xmas party. It was organised by Roy and Sue who also performed – he on guitar and she on vocals. Your correspondent is always wary of such shindigs and my fears were confirmed when they launched into their brand of country music. A fellow miscreant named Gary, soon made an excuse of going to the toilet and was never seen again, but I was trapped in the corner with no escape. To make matters worse, many people started singing along in various tones and disharmonies. Beer, wine and rum were my only friends that night.

Christmas eve is the day before Xmas and the campsite threw a mini party with much free food and beer and wine. It was at this do that we met Alan, Annie and Sam – one of whom is a springer spaniel who became Cusco’s best friend in the whole world. Meeting them has been one of the best things that happened in Aguilas and made it special for us, even better than the day I found a euro coin on a bus!!!! The time they spent here was a riot of bars, restaurants, beach runs with dogs, trips to mountains, god knows how much alcohol and eating, sharing confidences and feeling like we had known each other all our lives. Sam was and still is the springer spaniel, easily the biggest of that breed I have seen. He had a mission to track down every cat in Aguilas and dragged Alan into many an interesting bush!!! He and Cusco were inseparable and watching them charging along the beach and swimming in the sea was delightful. Wendy and Annie were inseparable and watching them charging through the shops and sales was not as delightful. Your correspondent and Alan and the bar on the promenade were also inseparable!!

For many years, your correspondent looked on in bemusement as people in Australia would have barbecues on Xmas day. Such a thing was uncommon in the UK, especially in the frozen wastelands of Kirkintilloch, so it was to my utter amazement that Wendy announced that is exactly what we were going to do!!! Mercadona (local supermarket) was emptied of all things edible and drinkable, the bbq was prepared, guests were readied (Alex and Suzie) and a frenzy of preparation was started. I helped by drinking beer and staying generally as far away as possible, waiting for my call to cook the food. Cusco kept a close eye on the kitchen area, helping by eating anything dropped on the floor. Much fun was had and after the food Alan, Annie and Sam came round to join in the festivities. There was a distinct possibility of a few sore heads the next morning. A very special mention must go to John Gee of the Valley for making and providing probably the best christmas cake in the world - ever !!

Wendy returned to the UK for a week in late January and thus missed the paella party!!! This was a party with paella for those a bit slow on the uptake. It kicked off at noon, with word going round that it would finish at two. Not two in the afternoon, but the next morning!! This cannot be possible I thought, usually I am considering going to sleep by nine thirty of an evening – the plan would be to take it easy and pace myself. With Alan’s help, by four o’clock I was quite, no, very drunk and asleep by five. Real rock and roll stuff!!!

The surrounding area has been thoroughly explored. Cartagena is an amazing town further up the coast. We visited with Suzie and Alex and walked for miles around the streets. It was only let down by the fact that it was Monday. This meant there were no shops or museums and only a few bars were open. In effect, Cartagena is closed on Mondays. Your correspondent was convinced that when Hannibal was planning to leave on his trek to conquer Rome, he was told not to start on a Monday as the shops were closed. The delights of Aguilas have been tramped around. The Castle and it’s views, the windmills, the Glasgow train (I jest not) and Icarus have kept us busy.

When we arrived here, your correspondent noticed many notices notifying him of a Carnaval. I was impressed they were going to that much trouble for me and was only slightly disheartened and crestfallen when I discovered it was not for me, no indeed, it is only one of the biggest Carnavals in Spain and is broadcast live. Tickets would be purchased for this. To join in, the campsite has a Carnaval with more free drink which cheered me up, but sadly it was fancy dress, the news of which threw me into a pit of despair and custard. Fancy dress occupies the same level of hell as country music according to your correspondent. Wendy however threw herself wholeheartedly into the project and costumes were found. I shall not describe the costumes, but will leave you to look at the photographs attached. We then found out that there was a prize for the best outfits and we were then shocked and stunned to find out that we had won and accepted the prize of a meal at a very posh restaurant in town!!

That concludes the first of my reports from Aguilas. I am sure Wendy will point out several omissions, so they can be put in later. The next report will have special guest stars and new adventures, so don’t miss out!!

Additional photos below
Photos: 48, Displayed: 29


19th March 2016

Love your outfits!
Another great blog with much humor and beer. Continue having fun!
19th March 2016

Love the write up and it's about time G! ;-) It makes me want to meet up with you guys over there in Reg.
19th March 2016
The winners

Looks like a lot of fun. Loved the fancy dress. Hope the meal was good. Great to see you both looking so well. xx
20th March 2016

Love listening to local music

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