I decided to have a quiet Christmas and stay virtually in Altea, on my own doorstep so to speak, at a near-by hotel half way between La Olla and where I now live on the edge of the old town.
In no time flat though I was struggling into an absolutely jam packed car park. I found myself battling with an invasion.
Cap Negret was surrounded by all manner of vehicles, charabancs, tour buses and every imaginable kind of vehicle from mini Fiats and electric cars to Mercedes and BMWs.
I managed to eventually writhe my way onto a rough bit of un-tarmacked ground, made for the check-in desk and headed for the bar after having dumped my gear.
Then came a surprise. The folk I came in contact with were almost all foreigners most of whom were British! The plot thickened… they were speaking in a dialect that I had last heard in any depth when I was working years ago in the English midlands.
Being nosy, I wandered around and did some snooping. I soon discovered that most of ‘em were ex-pats from South Yorkshire and the North of England. The number of ‘ayup thee’ and ‘ow are tha me duck.’ In a short time, it felt like I was back in Sheffield, Mexborough, Chesterfield my Derbyshire birthplace, Doncaster or even Nottingham.
Of course these folk were no longer Ilkley Moorites, they were ex-pats and most of them had settled on the Costa Blanca further down the coast in places, like Torrevieja, Orihuela and Guardamar. Now like me, they were enjoying a ‘different’ Christmas holiday.
And they were thoroughly enjoying the break. Most of them were in the retired or OAP bracket but were really letting their hair down. There were blokes wearing Santa Bobble Caps and lasses dolled-up in Union Jack frocks plus the sort of colourful ‘clouts’ that I’m sure they would never have worn in Scarborough, Filey, Skegness or even Blackpool. Right now they were celebrating Xmas on the Costa letting it all hang out.
Happily, the weather was superb with sunshine all day plus the most awe inspiring, brilliant sunsets and fantastic panoramic sunrises.
Here in the heart of the Costa Blanca these folk were having ‘the time of their lives.’
Happy New Year to all,