Scorched By The Sun Of Spain

Posted on: 29 July 2009 by Gareth Hargreaves

Kitty Neale explores the Costa Blanca to uncover the local insects as well as the many delightful coastal areas nearby.

Hello again. There is only one way to describe Spain at the moment and that is sizzling. If I spend much longer in the pool, I think I might develop webbed feet, but my husband tells me that as long as I don’t start to ‘quack’, I’ll be fine. Very funny I tell him, but I suppose I shouldn’t complain. Since moving to Spain he is like a different man; relaxed, humorous, and definitely no longer uptight with the pressures of work. He now looks fitter, younger, and I no longer fear for his health.

At our age, swimming is the best exercise and doesn’t stress the joints, at least keeping us fit. However, there are times in August when I would just love the temperature to drop a little, if only at night. It’s for this reason that I would recommend air conditioning, but so far we haven’t had any units fitted in this house. Definitely the next job I tell my husband, as once again I jump into the pool.

From around mid-July, the cicada’s can be heard and when we first came to Spain, I must admit I made a bit of a fool of myself. We had overhead electric cables, and when I first heard this high pitched, strange sound, we had a Dutchman in the house installing a fire. I pointed to the cables, asking him if he thought there was a problem. ‘No, no,’ he said, his English not quite perfected, ‘it is a little animal with wings.’

How can I complain when we still haven’t mastered Spanish, but of course I eventually found out he was talking about an insect. Though we have been here for many years now, I have only seen two cicada’s, which considering their numbers is surprising. The ones I saw were about the size of a large moth, with transparent wings that had lace-like markings. I must admit it’s a relief when their noise stops for a while, and when their mating season is finally over.

We’ve seen more horror stories on television of Brits who have moved out here only to fall foul of builders or local and regional development rules. Our heart goes out to them, especially when they are in such hopeless situations. I can honestly say we have never had a problem, but that there are still those who, seemingly through no fault of their own, end up losing everything. More than ever, I’m glad we shied away from new builds.

However, I’m glad to hear  the Spanish government is now doing something about one large developer who has left homes unfinished, and people who had paid money up front, thousands of pounds out of pocket. The government has ruled that this money must be paid back, and hopefully this one ruling is just a start. We love Spain, the people and the culture, but of course we don’t love what sometimes seem senseless, bureaucratic rules - but at last this is one we highly approve of.

As for this area, I thought I would share another of my favourite places on the Costa Blanca. Last month we looked inland at Gaudalest, so this time I thought I’d tell you about a lovely coastal area.  In the shadow of the Montgo Mountain, Javea is one of the region’s most popular resorts. It has a thriving ex-pat community along with some of Spain’s finest golden beaches. Javea is an attractive destination for both visitors and residents, offering plenty to do and see. It’s divided into three areas - Javea Pueblo, the old town - Javea Puerto, the port - and Javea Playa, a golden beach.

The old town is a whitewash of gothic style buildings, and the Church of San Bartolome is well worth a visit. The busy food market offers regional fresh vegetables and fish, but if you want to get away from the hustle and bustle, pop into the Tourist Information Office. They will provide you with a pamphlet of suggested walks, giving you the opportunity to get the most out of Javea Pueblo, its history and culture.

Javea Puerto is still a functioning fishing port, offering spectacular views across the bay, along with a pleasant promenade dotted with open air restaurants and bars, while if the beach is more to your liking, head for the golden sands of Playa de Arenal. There are plenty of cafe bars and restaurants with something to suit every taste, but for the more athletic, there are nets in place if you fancy a game of beach volleyball. There are also play areas for children.

Definitely worth a visit while in the area is the rocky outlet, Cabo De la Nao, which is 8km south of Arenal. There you will find a stunning view, so have your camera ready. You can see back over Javea, and on a fine day, even as far as Ibiza.

There are more wonderful places to visit along this coastal region, and we’ll look at them soon, but next month I thought we’d look inland again.

Until next time, love and rainbows,

Kitty

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