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.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Surf 'n' turf

We went to see some friends on the coast the other day. Alicante province is loaded with Britons. It's where most of we British immigrants live. Here, on the Costa Blanca, down in Malaga, on the islands of course - Balearics and Canaries. Notice the trend? Coast and Mediterranean. There are plenty of us in Murcia and on the Costa Brava too but less so. We're everywhere of course. You'll bump into Britons absolutely everywhere. In the museums in Extremadura, in the countryside of Huesca, in the most obscure corner of Salamanca, we'll be there. We're an adventurous bunch.

The coast is maybe 60km away from Culebrón, just an hour, but it's not the same as where we live. It's odd though, there are stacks and stacks of us in Pinoso. I've no idea why. I mean, in our case it was pure chance. We set out from Santa Pola, on the coast, looking for somewhere we could afford. By Pinoso we could just about do it. I think that lots of people like Pinoso because it's nice. It has lots of bars and restaurants, the countryside is nice too and there's always something going on. I think that people also think, we did, that we were in Spain. Not in the sort of place that people go on holiday but the sort of place that people live.

I like Benidorm. It's brash and full of chips and burgers and biker bars. It's an extreme example. I wouldn't like to live there but it's nice to visit. It's also very, very Spanish. Lots and lots of Spaniards choose to holiday or live there. It's as Spanish as some village in Guadalajara where you might still see the occasional donkey or where people drink from wine skins because they want a drink and don't expect someone to take their snap. It's not the same Spain but it's just as Spanish. In just the same way that the traffic free roads around Pinoso, the rice with rabbit and snails and the local dance group with swirling skirts would be well out of place in the middle of cosmopolitan Madrid.

So, as I said, we went to the coast. It's a lot warmer on the coast. As we drop the 600 metres from our house down to the sea the temperature slowly increases; sometimes by as much as 7ºC. The traffic increases too and the number of people and the number of houses. Basically then the coast has better weather and more people. There's more of everything. If we're lusting for an Indian at home the nearest one is about 30km away. The nearest place to get a battery for my watch is 40km away. Get the idea. Now, when we were with our friends on the coast, there was an Indian in the town. No batteries for a Tag though. It's probably true to say that the coast is a little less Spanish than our rural spot in one way. Where there are lots of tourists Spain bows to the foreign presence be that in Santillana del Mar, Barcelona or Altea. So restaurants open for dinner as well as lunch, the restaurants adjust their times too and, of course, there's even more English.

It's great to visit but it's not that easy to get gachasmigas or even faseguras.

No comments: