Today it was 38 degrees in Germany which is like a billion Fahrenheit or something....think the temperatures that Spain gets to when it starts to set on fire and you are just about there. So, I was really in the mood to write my latest instalment of my amazing birthday trip through Spain.
In these photos, you are witnessing some of the hottest weather we had in Spain. To create a rather gross image for you, I couldn't rub my sun cream in so well due to the sweat...that's the problem with trying to do anything in Spain other than go to the beach...you end up melting...
Even so, I was really pleased to be stopping in Guardelest. I have been to this town before, on a trip when I was on holiday with my besties and it's just stunning. My parents have been there too. I think it's a pretty normal tourist day trip from all of the tres 'classy' resorts near Benidorm.
Anyhoo, it's a gorgeous town built on top of a mountain. It has white buildings, tiny winding streets, lots of tourist shops and stunning views. This photo does not do justice to the blue of the lake at the back of the castle....but at least on this visit, it didn't take me 21 attempts to take one picture with me in it AND the lake. Boom!
(From left to right): Me in front of a salt lake/a traditional Spanish building/the town square in the sky/a view of the mountain it is built on.
On the way to the next stop, I couldn't wait to get there. All I knew was that at the end of another sticky drive was the opportunity to really cool down. The waterfalls at Callosa are just beautiful. It's a very popular destination. You follow a stream up a mountain, going past waterfalls on the way. The water is crystal clear, lined with green plants, pink flowers and skirting dragon flies.
It would truly be paradise if the water was just that right shade of cool. It's not...it's absolutely freezing. In twenty minutes I was nearly able to completely refrigerate the bottled water we had cooked in the car. I got in up to my butt.Why is it that the back is the worst part to get in cold water?
It stopped me sweating...and watching other people jump into the water shrieking was too funny. I also beat Andi as he only dipped in his feet!
(From left to right) Someone else enjoying the waterfall/ Me cooling my feet in the freezing plunge pool/ A view from the top.
We headed closer and closer to Benidorm for our one night 'under the stars'. We stayed at an executive campsite (well in comparison to the Benicassim festival). I was able to wash my clothes (bliss), take a warm shower (bliss) and eat pizza while sitting on real furniture (bliss.)
Unfortunately, unlike Benicassim, it was freezing throughout the night. Boyf was NOT sharing the warmth on this occasion.
(In fairness, the tent was infinitely more comfortable than the other campsite!)
In the morning, we ate in our own personal restaurant (the car) and then sat in front of the pool, sinking coffees and playing Ludo. Before long, it was time to head off towards Alicante.
Now I have flown to Alicante on a number of occasions (mainly to head to some beach resort somewhere) and shamefully had never visited the city centre. Even though the place amounted to a giant clay oven, it was still beautiful. Well...the old town and sea is very beautiful...we didn't get much further than there. Psychedelic pavements - yes please!
Unable to stand the heat for much longer, we collapsed in a cute little restaurant in a square behind the government house to enjoy the Menu of the Day. I tried Gazpacho (yum) and then some kinda crazy beef schnitzel thing....(greasy) and then I had some salted caramel ice cream. All of this was ONLY 10 Euros. It also meant we didn't really have to locate dinner anywhere later. I don't know about you, but heat wipes me out.
(From left to right): Alicante Government Building/The 'boardwalk' by the sea/The life-saving fountains!
So on our way to Cartegena (our next overnight) we went to the Mar Menor, which is basically a resort built on a strip of land which separates a ginormous salt lake from the open Ocean. There quite literally wasn't a cloud in the sky. We went to the fishing area first and it was a tiny little port with some restaurants. We followed the road up to the light house and I spotted water.
Needless to say, we were in the water pretty sharpish. In order to reach the wonder of cooling water..I had to negotiate another of my all time sea fears: seaweed AND men in Speedos (shudder). Having been in the water for 10 minutes, I realised I wasn't in the promised salt lake, but the sea.
So off we went again and found the most beautiful bay. The water only came up to just below my knees and was as warm as a bath. You could see little silvery fish swimming around your feet. I was full on relaxed...watching the sun move down until I thought I saw a shell move.
Andi assured me it wasn't a crab...but I wasn't convinced. Those weird sea spiders live under sand, don't ya know...and hide in pretty things just so they can freak me out with their strange-ass sideways movement.
I walked around, a little more aware...
(From left to right and then down....) The light house at Mar Menor/The salt lake/The beach I thought was the salt lake but that turned out to be the sea/People in the salt lake/Me in the salt lake before I realised there were crabs AND jellyfish in there (shudder).
We ate ice cream and picked out a postcard before hitting the road again. I was excited to head to an area of Spain I had never seen before: Cartegena and then the BIG one. MADRID. Guess what? You lucky folks get to hear all about that in next week's post.
If you missed out on the other steps in my journey so far...catch up more about Spain here:
Before I go - am I the only one to be really freaked out by what is in the sea? Do you have a love or hate relationship with the creatures of the ocean?
Come back and visit soon!