Blogs in this series

Life in Culebrón is a disconnected series of pieces about the banal and ordinary of everyday life in an inland Alicante village seen from my very British perspective.

Monday, August 18, 2014


I couldn't help it. My gaze kept wandering to the man sitting to my right. He was shirtless and his belly was so huge that it was squidged onto the table even though his chair was pushed well back. I also noticed the young women in bikinis in the restaurant but Maggie must never know.

We were in Tabarca. It's an island just off the coast from Santa Pola though we'd travelled over on the boat from Alicante. Considering that the Med. is nothing more than a big lake and given that we were hugging the coast it was remarkably choppy.  The crew were handing out sick bags willy nilly. I expected to succumb but despite the sweat dribbling from my forehead I reached terra firma with breakfast still somewhere in my digestive tract.

The island, it's actually an archipelago, is a place that locals and tourists go to get a bronzy and to eat. In the summer heat the main things you smell in the air are hot cooking oil and sun protection cream. Lots of the home team take everything bar the kitchen sink and set up bedou style, on the beach. They carry army feeding amounts of food. Most people who go there though eat in one of the several restaurants. Menus are principally fish and seafood based. Rice dishes, paellas, are de rigeur.

The island  was used as a base by pirates to raid the coast so, in 1760, Carlos III used a group of shipwrecked Genoese as a garrison on the island. They came from the islet of Tabarka and so the Spanish island, our island, got a new name. The remains of the fortifications, like the church are somewhere to stroll in your flip flops and swimwear before or after eating.

I think I was the only visitor on the island with full length trousers.

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