On Wednesday (1st February) we left Cullera and the lovely Santa Marta site. We only had about 60 miles to go but we knew Benidorm was going to be busier and we might have to visit a few sites to get a pitch. However we knew where we wanted to go, Arena Blanca, and duly input co-ordinates into the SatNav.
We stuck to the main road, as opposed to toll road, and it was absolutely fine, plus we got to drive along the coast for some of the time. We also found a couple of supermarkets en-route. We went into ‘Family Cash’ as we could see it had parking that we could use. It was a bit like Home Bargains AND they had PG tips! But no fresh milk. They also had mini Maxi-Bons, which I didn’t see myself but Calv found and, knowing my obsession with Maxi-Bons, he hid them in the trolley for me to find at the checkout – it’s the little things 🙂
While I was putting the shopping away he decided to head into Lidl’s to see if they had fresh milk. They did! But he didn’t buy any (even though he’d had his pocket money – I keep saying anyone who tries to pick his pocket is going to be really disappointed as he never takes a wallet out – I’m in charge of the money apparently). Anyway the point is he wanted me to come in and see just how NICE the store was!
Okay I concede – I liked Lidl. There I said it! We bought fresh beefburgers, fillet steak and diced steak. And chocolate (no Cadburys though…)
We arrived in Benidorm about 2.30pm. At our chosen site the lady on reception was making noises about us ‘being too too big’ and I swear she didn’t believe me when I said we were 8.5m! Anyway there were just 2 pitches available, and, apart from a car parked badly right opposite our chosen pitch, it was fine. What was quite amusing though was all our new neighbours clearly believing Calv needed loads of helps getting onto the pitch, so there were lots of encouraging ‘keep coming’, ‘bit more’ etc. When he got into place within a couple of minutes they wandered around muttering about what a tight lock this van had (it really hasn’t!!)
This is a small site, at 150 pitches. There’s 1 over the road with aobut 2500, and another behind us with 5000 pitches. And they’re all busy! There’re so many people who spend months here, and, as far as we can tell, many of them don’t leave the site. That’s not something we can understand at all.
We’ve got free Wifi and TV (there’s an aerial point on each pitch). Which is nice 🙂
So. Benidorm. It’s everything you’d expect. We’ve been here 2 full days now and have cycled down to the seafront and then walked, and walked, both days. There’s a lovely cycle path right outside the campsite; unfortunately it stops at the part of the road where it starts getting busy! Anyway it’s not a problem; I’m getting more and more confident on my bike. The drivers here though are somewhat more impatient than those we’ve encountered so far. Never mind eh?!
The promenade is really busy, even now. So there’s people wandering in the road (it’s not busy and is 1 way – cyclists, including us, were cycling both ways along it) plus, of course, the mobility scooters! We like the ‘limos’ best 🙂
We struggled to find somewhere to park our bikes and in the end had to jump into the scooter parking.
On the 1st day we walked all the way along the Levante Beach and up the hill to the viewpoint (not the best area – wouldn’t recommend it). The lifeguards were stationed on the beach even though there was no-one in the water, and they stayed there when it rained! There’s also a good police presence.
On the 2nd day (today) we went the other way into the old town and found Placa de Castella and the other 2 beaches. There’s a definite different feel along the seafront here and it feels busier. Although we think this is because there is just the promenade and not a handy road to walk in! It also feels a little more Spanish, in that there are more Spanish people wandering on this side. Must admit we preferred Levante Beach.
Both days we popped into The Bulldog, a nice, small relaxed bar towards the top end (Old Town) of Levante Beach.
We were originally going to stay 4 nights, but extended this to 5 so that we could go to see The Rat Pack at the Benidorm Palace. We booked the tickets today 🙂 It’s about 1/2 mile up the road from where we are.
We also did a bit of shopping in Iceland (very useful, and they have Cadbury chocolate).
We’ve got an indoor swimming pool onsite and it was really nice to get in for a swim yesterday. We didn’t go in today because I was busy making a gourmet meal – Beef Wellington 🙂 See below for my makeshift rolling pin (a bottle of Nip from the Hip flavoured rum). It worked a treat! (And dinner was lovely – even if I do say so myself!)
Tomorrow we’re hoping for some sun (we had a little bit today) and then I’m looking forward to popping down to one of the nearby bars (there’s plenty of choice and we’re a couple of miles inland) to watch the rugby. Not sure Calv’s looking forward to it quite so much, but I’ll feed him some San Miguel and he’ll be fine 🙂
We’ll be moving on on Monday, just as far as Alicante though. I’ve been there before and really liked it. That’s my next job – to investigate sites close by.
Will post again in a few days. See you then xx