Followed coast road, tucked in behind the high-rises along water, every square inch of ground grows some crop, fruit or vegetable. Departed our white stony stellplatz in full glare and heat. Stopped in Cullera for groceries, a much more affluent resort town. Hmm - giant bull cutout on hill - not sure why when there has been no livestock in this part of country to date. Plenty of prostitutes along this main road paralleling highway, sitting on single chairs in blazing sun, sometimes under umbrellas. (One chair was vacant...). In towns there are cabaret clubs, dancing girl bars etc, all with a row of rooms out the back. Made lunch while men went into Bunnings look-a-like, John to get strips for his steps (Ann fell out of door face first a couple of days ago), BoyRob to get glue for seal on shower door which has started to peel away. At 2pm finally found a shady patch to pull up - in the heat glad to sit in air-conditioned cabin and eat our rolls. On towards Alicante, haven't made much headway today through narrow towns and traffic lights (great opportunity for the photographer passengers though!) stopped at one of sprawling pottery/ statues places, surprising range of very colourful Spanish style homewares inside, ceramics, tiles, platters - sigh, too hard to get home... Driving on through smaller towns, no pedestrians, shutters down - feel we are the only people awake during the siesta afternoon...in and out of mountains and valleys.
|A Lady of the Broad Daylight...|
Drove past Calpe, striking monolith of Penon de Ifach, overlooking all adobe coloured houses (“…little boxes on the hillside”). Past golden dome of Russian Orthodox Church.
Coast road became more interesting around Altea and Benidorme, islands, fish farms, colourful flowers (incl flowering cactus, lantana, oleander and bougainvillea). Amazing twin towers of Edificio Intempo in Benidorme topped by gold dome. Heavy Muslim influence in Southern Spain, fabrics, architecture, temples, signage. On to highway to make up some time, Maxwells ran out of fuel at 1001km and had to stop suddenly. Couldn't get them on radio or mobile- we drove on to next fuel stop to wait, texting/emailing our location until re-connected. On road again, Torrevieja Lake pink! (algal bloom?) Air thickening with dust. Now we are on major highway, tolls are thick and fast - we are rethinking Norway's #1 position as "scalper". Overpopulated along coast, fields full of litter, dust, desolation. Couldn’t see attraction - why are there so many people here?? Guess its weather in general - hot for those who otherwise live in perpetual cold, and it’s certainly cheap to live here. We were going to go out to Cape Palos to see where battles against Barbary Pirates were but can see from here the narrow isthmus is choked with high rises!
|No more room for Barbary Pirates...|
Followed coordinates to Aires at Santa Ana, spent rest of arvo/ evening doing washing/ drying, following worker Teresa's instructions (eg press "pause" to start!!) Gates of compound were closed overnight due to risk of vandalism/ theft – apparently we are in a poor neighbourhood...