Sunday, 8 January 2017

Winter in Spain - Week Six

Sunday 1st January
New Year's Day

We got up pretty late today. I had a slight hangover. At lunchtime we drove down to the Arenal to watch the New Year swim. About 50 people, many in fancy dress, took to the water. Not us though!
New Year swim
We met Sue, Andy, Maggie and Nigel in Spasso for a drink then went to Scallops for lunch. We had a good meal for very little cost. After lunch we took Button for her walk before heading back to the villa.
As sunset approached, I drove to the Cap de la Nao to take some photos.
Golden sea at Cap de la Nao

Sunset at Cap de la Nao

Monday 2nd January
A quiet day

After some shopping at the small Saladar supermarket we drove to Maggie and Nigel's. We met their dogs and I was able to print out my insurance documents for Morag. Lyn was in her element surrounded by eight dogs.

Tuesday 3rd January
Highway to Hell

We drove up to Pinasol to meet Sue and Andy and visit a clearance shop called Highway to Heaven who were having a sale of stock. Our friends in Javea affectionately know it as "Highway to Hell!" The shop is at an English pub and bowling green. The green was in good use. We all grabbed some bargains at the sale.
Bowling in the sun
We went from there to Scallops restaurant for our breakfast.
In the afternoon we drove up into the Montgo park and went for a walk with Button from the picnic area.
The Ibiza ferry returning to Denia

Wednesday 4th January

After another Scallops breakfast we took Button for a walk near the Parador. This section of the coast has blocks of the sandstone cut away forming what at first look like ancient walls of buildings. I think that they are actually the result of quarrying the stone for decorative use locally. There were several rock pools here and Button had great fun chasing the fish!
Chasing fish!

The stone quarry
We went to the Arenal for a drink then on to Andy and Sue's apartment for Pimms and a snack. It was very pleasant sitting in the sun and chatting with Sue, Andy, Maggie and Nigel.
Lyn at the Arenal
In the evening I had a go at using the live comp facility on my camera to take star trails from the roof terrace.
Star trails from the roof terrace

Thursday 5th January
Three Kings

Our third Scallops breakfast was followed by another walk for Button in the rock pools near the Parador.
In the evening we drove down to the Port to see the festival of the arrival of the Three Kings, a major festival all along this coast. It was very interesting with spectacular costumes, drum bands, dancers and live animals.
The Kings arrive - by boat, not camel!

Joseph, Mary and Jesus

Gifts for all the children - I didn't see one for Jorge

King Melchior

Geese, part of the parade of farm animals

King Caspar throwing sweets to the children

King Blathazar
Once the parade had passed, we went for a drink then Andy, Sue, Lyn and I went to Scallops for a steak.

Friday 6th January

We drove via the motorway to the Albufera de Valencia, a large lagoon about 50 miles north of Javea. We were disappointed that we were unable to find any good bird watching or walking areas. We stopped at one viewpoint where it was possible to take a boat trip on the lake. We passed up on the opportunity because of Button.
Tourist boats on the Albufera
We drove on to El Palmar, the main town in the Albufera park, and walked through the town. We were surprised at the huge number of restaurants, all set out for meals in the sun. The car park had been empty when we arrived. Where were all the customers to come from? We stopped for a drink at one of the bars and returned to the car park to find it absolutely full. It seems that the whole of Valencia comes here on Three Kings day for lunch!
Restaurants along the canal in El Palmar
We started on our way back and stopped at El Perellonet for a picnic on the beach. The extensive beach was all but deserted. We threw the ball for Button who had a good time on her birthday.
Button on her eighth birthday
When we returned to the van we were surprised to find the passenger door unlocked. We didn't realise until much later that the lock had been forced and Lyn's handbag and our coats had been stolen! Luckily they had not taken our passports, which were in the glove compartment, or Lyn's binoculars which were under a cushion on the back seat. The thief must have forced entry and taken the handbag and coats and scarpered quickly.
Once we got back to the villa the evening was spent ringing banks to stop credit cards

Saturday 7th January
Javea Town

We went down to the Arenal to meet Sue and Andy for a drink. Button had a good run on the beach. There were a few less people around today now that the Three Kings festival is over. We did a little shopping for the evening meal as we had invited Sue and Andy to join us.
We drove into Javea Town to report the theft to the police but arrived too late as the police station had closed at 2 pm. We walked around the town for a while and had a hot drink at a bar.
A street in Javea old town

An interesting take on Christmas decorations

Javea market hall. It looks old but was built in 1948
Sue and Andy arrived at the villa in the evening. We had a fish and chip meal and played a game of "Canalmania". I won - at last!

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