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Published: August 8th 2007
Well, OK, only in the broadest possible sense - but I did go to Javea in Spain to play in a mixed netball tournament. Javea is on the Costa Blanca near Valencia, so when the opportunity to play came up, how could I refuse?
We were feeling confident, as we had just won the grandfinal of our Thursday night competition (see photo at right of the successful team), but with one team coming all the way from Malaysia, who could know what the competition would be like?
As it turned out, most of the teams were from London (and full of Aussies and Kiwis) and even the teams from Javea were ex-pat only.
Had good and bad luck on the trip. It all started at the airport ... there was a crew of 14 of us (two teams exactly, so no injuries allowed) so we hired two vans. Before we even made it out of the airport car park one of the vans had had an accident!!! (No - I was not driving - and it was not even the one I was in, so I can't even be accused of distracting the driver with too much chat).
Eventually - after we sorted out a new van - we drove to Javea. Arrived just after sunset (after getting a bit lost on the way) and drove to our villas. As our villas were not that close to one another, we all stopped at the first one and unloaded. It was quite far from town - approx a 15 min drive, and in a really quiet, peaceful area. Those of us staying in the second villa checked out the first villa for not more than 20 minutes.
When we got back to the van, we found a shower of broken glass on the roadside, a window smashed and only one bag gone ... my handbag, with my passport in it!!! Yes, yes - I was stupid to leave it there, but it was also really, really bad luck - especially given how quiet the area was. Was a bit gutted, as thought that my brother was the only one in the family who lost passports.
Anyway - as it was Friday night, there was really nothing I could do, so apart from reporting it all to the police the next day, just tried to enjoy the
We were able to take some comfort from the fact that we had decided to take out the extra insurance that covered, among other things, broken windows.
Despite the loss of my bag, had a really great time - we ended up coming third (of 10 teams) and I got a trophy!!! They gave out an award for MVP, best attacker and best defender at the end and I got the best defender!!! Was kind of cool - as the winners were voted for by the teams, and also because I felt I did not contribute that much - was mostly playing against tall guys, and could not really stop them getting the ball over my head.
Obviously - we had some big nights out - although as the netball crew pretty much took over any bar we entered, did not meet many Spanish people (apart from the Guardia Seville - Police).
AND - I got my passport back! Someone handed my bag and passport in to the police. Still no phone (so no texts at the moment) and lost my cash and iPod, but at least was able to return to London as planned.....
was good, as the police came round and told me on Sat night, so I was not stressing for too long. Otherwise would have had to travel to Madrid to get an emergency one and would have missed my flight on Mon. So - all is well that ends well.
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