Postcard 3 from Benidorm

The Day of Forgiveness!

One of the landmarks is The Cross or La Crue on the Mount of Sierra Gelada. It’s a fabulous walk that only takes an hour or a little more if you’re walking with me as I stop and dream. It was carried up there by the local Catholic Monks in December 1961 from the Church of San Jaime and Santa Ana as an atonement for the sinful wearing of bikinis that had just become lawful on Benidorm’s beaches. After my stern warning from the hotel fitness person Danny about not doing the La Crue to Albir walk I’m still hankering for something that will get me out of breath (Ooo er missus) so this fits the bill nicely.

I wait until four o’clock for the temperature to moderate a little and begin with a walk down the strip. It’s Saturday so I think it will be bouncing but it’s just comfortably busy. There’s no one on the bucking bronco though. 

I stop at a café to preload with liquid and meet a couple of ‘ladies of an age’ who went this morning and insisted on buying me a litre of water with their order. I don’t suppose they’ll ever see this but by the time I arrive at the top I’ll want them canonised (clearly after they’ve gone, I don’t want to jeopardise what’s left of their extended years). It’s not particularly far from here, a little more than 3km (about 2 miles – 4 miles round trip) but it’s most definitely UP with capital letters. At the top it’s 36 degrees and today there’s no breeze so it feels like 40+ I look towards the cliffs of the Sierra Gelada and feel the energy-sapping heat from the still air. It’s at this point that Danny’s sage advice really hits home!

Back at the sea-front bar I bump into the same ladies that bought me the bottle of water and joke with them about being alcoholics. They’ve been back to their apartment, had showers and a snooze since then but there’s no point in letting fact get in the way of a good laugh. I tell them of the heat at the cross and whilst it hadn’t been as hot when they were there early in the day it was threatening and that’s why they’d insisted on the water.  

It’s gone seven thirty now so pointless going back for a shower, I can do that later, I buy beers for us all, a big jug filled with cold, golden liquid and a huge dollop of gratitude. Siobhan is from Ireland (now wouldn’t you guess that?) and Jean is from South Wales not far from where Linda’s family hails. Siobhan is highly amused when I tell them of my request at the top for their canonisation as I drank the water that they’d bought me and, being Irish, she tells me that there needs to be a second miracle for that and she’d settle with beatification where only one miracle is required. A bottle of water may be a little bit too ‘of this world’ to be appropriate evidence for sainthood but if I ever see the Pope I’ll put a word in!  

They had a business here but now retired and usually go back to their respective hometowns for August but when they saw the weather decided to postpone it and enjoy a few nights of foam discos and bucking broncos. Of course, it’s not quite like that but they’re a fun-loving and very funny pair and the night goes quickly.

My walk back through ‘the strip’ with the inner warmth of the beer to match the warm cocoon of the night combines to float me back to the hotel feeling very ‘mellow’.

 Enjoy the snaps. Love G x

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