We left New York on Tuesday the 30th September at 6.30pm heading for London. It is only a six hour flight going that way versus a seven and a half hour flight going the other way. We arrived into London Heathrow, Terminal 3 at 6am and got a transfer to Gatwick which took about an hour and a half in peak hour traffic. We were booked on a flight to Alicante in Spain at 11.50am and we were starting to feel the effects of the time difference. In New York terms it was about 4am and we had only had a few hours sleep on the flight from New York. We were asleep on the flight to Alicante before the plane took off – I remember waking up at one stage trying to work out where we were.
That little nap did us the world of good as we were raring to go when we touched down in Alicante. We picked up our rental car and headed to Javea where we were going to stay with our friends from Brighton, Glen & Jo. Glen had emailed us the Google Map instructions and I had printed them out as we didn’t have any data on the iPad in order to use Google Maps on there. I tried my best to follow the instructions to the letter but was constantly worrying we were going south instead of north. Even without data you can open Google Maps and it will show your position as a blue dot and move as you move. The blue dot was moving north so all good.
After about 60km we got to offramp number 63 which we dutifully took. Again I tried in vain to follow the instructions but when none of the roads have road signs with their names on them there was a bit of crossing everything and praying going on. Luckily the map had a couple of photos on it showing the road with a building which I was able to recognise – paint by pictures stuff! We got to the road where there road was supposed to be off but we couldn’t see it – it didn’t help that the road signs (yes there were now road signs) were facing away from us. We decided to stop at a Garden Centre and ask for directions – the lady wasn’t too sure but thought it was back by the golf course.
Steve said “do they live on a golf course?’ – I wasn’t sure. Anyway up the road we went again and we said if we don’t see the road we’ll stop at the golf course and call Glen & Jo. Wallah – there it was, road sign and all and on the golf course. Two happy Kiwis pleased to see two happy Poms. Sheer good luck I say, not good management. They both conceded that it probably would have been a good idea to mention that they lived on a golf course.
We met Glen & Jo in Santorini six years ago – they were on their honeymoon. They normally live in Brighton in the UK but have a villa just outside Javea. We have caught up with them in Brighton on a previous trip to this side of the world and saw Glen in London in June this year. It was so good to see them both again and to enjoy their lovely Spanish villa with a beautiful in ground pool.
We had a beautiful home made Gazpacho to start with for dinner followed by some well cooked steak – so good to have a home cooked meal and to sit outside to eat it. Of course this was washed down with a couple of bottles of champagne and some Spanish red. A perfect night catching up on all the news.
I didn’t wake up until 9.30am and could have kept on sleeping which is unheard of for me – the day befores travel had caught up. We spent the day relaxing before heading into town to walk along the waterfront down to the Port. That night we went to the Old Town for dinner to a typical Spanish restaurant called Casa Grau – the food was delicious. I had a Cava with dinner – the Spanish equivalent of Prosecco. When they mentioned Cava I immediately thought of the Fijian Kava. It was cool wandering through the little alleys and seeing the 14th century church in the square.
Another late night meant another late start – what are holidays for anyway? We had a bit of rain but it cleared just in time for us to go into town to get a data card and to hunt and gather for the evening’s meal. The afternoon was spent by the pool. Jo and I then went for a walk to Benitachell a little village just up the road which had a great view of Mongo which is a mountain that looks like a sleeping elephant. We enjoyed another home cooked meal this time cooked mainly by Steve & I – it was good to be cooking again. More champagne, cava and chit chat followed.
We were up a little earlier on the Saturday morning to prepare for our six and a half hour drive to Sotogrande. We had a fabulous few days in Javea with Glen and Jo – we thoroughly enjoyed their company. Luckily we will be in London again in November so a catch up has already been planned. Jo made us a picnic lunch for our journey and we were off.
Xàbia or Jávea is a coastal town in the province of Valencia which is in the Valencian Community Region of Spain by the Mediterranean Sea. Situated behind a wide bay and sheltered between two rocky headlands, the town has become a very popular small seaside resort and market town. Half of its resident population and over two thirds of its annual visitors are foreigners.