Tag Archives: Alicante

Torrevieja

The trip from Alicante to Torrevieja was straight forward and uneventful.  We set off in flat calm conditions and as the day progressed the wind picked up to an ideal 13 knots on our beam, about and hour from Torrevieja.

We’re here for repairs to the watermaker and some ‘snagging’ and the Lagoon dealer had reserved us a berth – it was just big enough for us to squeeze into with fenders each side, if the fenders had been bigger we wouldn’t have fitted!

On Monday morning the technician came to fix the water maker, a defective valve was the problem, but it all runs perfectly now.  While he worked Valeria and I undertook some much needed cleaning.  We then had lunch in the Marina and came back to do some laundry.   So far there doesn’t seem to be anything much of interest in Torrevieja and so our excursions ashore may just be limited to some light shopping.  .

On Tuesday, nothing happened as the Lagoon dealer here had to get Lagoon’s agreement that the door and leaking air con were warrantly jobs.   We went shopping.  We walked along the sea front and then to the supermarket.   From there we went to the Mercado Central which we’d hoped would have loads of fresh fuit and veg at reasonable prices – no such luck.  By Altean and Valencian standards it was very disappointing and more expensive than the supermarket!

Wednesday the guy turned up to finish off the ‘snagging’ and in the afternoon we went to a local shopping centre to do some clothes shopping.

A pretty un eventful visit really, but then Torrevieja only existed as an old watch tower, the Torre Vieja, in the early 19th century.  It was a centre for salt production for most of that century and in the 20th century began to take off as a holiday destination and was then inevitably ‘discovered’ by the expats.

But this now means we are free to set off east again on our return journey to Valencia, planning to stop in Calpe and Javea en route.

 

 

Alicante

Leaving Altea at a leisurely 9.30 we motor sailed down to Punta Bombarda and then turned south west along the cliffs north of Benidorm.   The wind was from the right direction to sail but as it approached the cliffs it turned parallel to them and so we were heading directly into them, until we got to the Ensenda de Benidorm, Benidorm Bay when the influence of the cliffs disappeared and with a slight alteration to the planned passage we hauled out the jib and motor sailed in towards the coast, passing north of the Isla Benidorm.  

Benidorm from the bay
Benidorm from the bay

The wind speed was only 10 knots which under sail alone, close hauled (as close to the wind as we can get) would give us 2 or 3 knots – we needed to make 4 or 5, hence the engine.  One engine in these conditions would need to run at 2700 rpm or more to make that speed, motor sailing we could run the engine at 2000 rpm.     Although tacking back and forth added a couple of hours to our passage, it did give me loads of practice tacking and using the auto pilot steering to the wind rather than a course, which so far I’ve not been able to do.   As we got down to Cabo de l’Horta the wind picked up from east of south and held steady at 15 knots, almost our perfect point of sail as we were heading just south of west; the wind was right on our port beam and we were making 5 knots under sail alone, as good as we’d have made under engines !! 

We arrived of Alicante at 4.30 pm and were safely alongside by 5.  More massive yachts and a bill to match!   The Capitania was like the entry lobby to a large hotel, although the facilities were rather basic and the internet only worked in the building.

Ayuntamiento
Ayuntamientothe town hall

The following day we took a wander around a bit of the ‘old town’ of Alicante.  The Ayuntamiento, the town hall, is quite an impressive building but the plaza outside is too small to be allow you to get the fiull impression.

Mercado Central
Mercado Central

We stopped off at the Mercado Central, the two story fresh food market, where we bought a large supermarket 5p carrier bag of selected fruit for 2 euros. 

Basilica de Santa Maria
Basilica de Santa Maria

We wandered assed a couple of large and impressive churches  both apparently from the 14 or 1500s.   Again the town had encroached so close to them that it was difficult to appreciate the magnificence and scale of the buildings.   In the both churches there were services in progress but the congregations could be numbered on the fingers of one hand, but it was a Saturday afternoon I suppose.

 

Concatedral de Sant Nicolàs de Barí
Concatedral de Sant Nicolàs de Barí
Calle Miguel Soler
Calle Miguel Soler
PLaza Gabriel Miro
PLaza Gabriel Miro

And then we had lunch in a tapas bar called La Barra de Cesar Anca just off the Plaza Gabriel Miro, and that is where the sightseeing plan faultered, well ended really.   The food was delicious and definitely not conducive to climbing the hill to the Santa Barabara Castle.   We managed to make it along the sea front esplanade back to the boat and that was it !

Passig Esplanada dEspanya
Passig Esplanada dEspanya

 We ended the day with washing the side of the boat closest to the pontoon, laundry and tapas for a late diner, with wine of course.

The area around Alicante has been inhabited for over 7000 years apparently, with the first settlement being founded by the Phoenicians, although with a day to explore we didn’t see much of that history.   My impressions of Alicante, based on this fleeting visit were rather disappointing, although I am probably doing the town a dis-service.  The old town is very cramped, three and four story buildings built side by side giving a rather cramped and crowded feeling.  By comparison Altea was more ‘traditional’ and Valencia far more beautiful, vibrant and interesting.

Torreveija bound …..

We returned to Valencia on Sunday, the 10th, had the engines serviced today, the 11th and are due to set off for Torreveija tomorrow. It is about a 30 hour passage non-stop but we have 16 days to get there and back so will be doing some sight seeing. We plan to visit Denia, Altea, Alicante, Torreveija, Calpe (we’ve found another festival in near by Benissa) Javea, Gandia and then be back here in time to get to Mijas for the wedding.

Regrettably we can’t get to Mijas by boat, time is not on our side at the moment and so we’ll be getting there by train and hiring a car before flying home from Malaga. A real shame and I feel guilty letting Roger and Jo down.

So tomorrow should see us in Denia overnight before heading off for Altea.