La Aventura with Patti & James

06 July 2018 | Faial Island –Atlantic Portugal
24 June 2018 | National Holiday day in Faial
22 June 2018 | afternoon whale watching boat trip
20 June 2018 | an enjoyable day trip to another island.
19 June 2018 | Fabulous Faial. – Azorean Island
18 June 2018 | Faial Island – Horta Harbour - Mid Atlantic
29 May 2018 | Mid Atlantic - in the middle of nowhere
26 May 2018 | the cruising yachtsman’s haven
25 May 2018 | party day in Hamilton
10 May 2018 | Vero Beach/Ft Pierce –road trip to Jacksonville.
12 April 2018 | Vibeke onboard
17 March 2018 | lovely to return to Belize and Mexico and meet up with sailing friends along the way
24 January 2018 | I have become so interested in Guatemala textiles
17 January 2018 | So great to catchup with so many friends and our families
01 November 2017 | what a wonderful Guatemalan fiesta to experience
29 October 2017 | Volcanic crater
28 October 2017 | Antiqua - Guatemala

Summer in Spain

17 September 2016 | Almerimar on the Med coast - late July to mid September 2016
high 20’s, with sea breezes
IMAGE:- our Almerimar favourite shots

During a check-up with the surgeon at Barts in mid July -and his recommendation for me to go swimming in the sea for shoulder and arm exercise and to aid with the healing of my mastectomy and infection/emergency operation chest wound, and with no further hospital appointments until late September ..... our summer in the Spain plan was hatched.

Our great Oz sailing mates Roger & Sasha have an apartment overlooking the beach in Almerimar, southern Spain - the apartment was currently vacant - and yes if we were OK to pay a minimal rent to cover the bills etc they were more than happy for us to go there. THANKS SO MUCH GUYS!

We had been in Almerimar in late 2011early 2012 with Roger & Sasha when they had purchased their 'project' apartment. At that time we were both there on our yachts - La Aventura and Ednbal both heading out of the Med and off to cross the Atlantic Ocean bound for the Caribbean. During their winter layover, and after we had sailed off - they had both worked very hard refurbishing their tired, outdated 2nd floor apartment with a fantastic result.

The apartment is in a perfect location - main entrance right on the marina and with stunning western views from their balcony out to the sea and Sierra Nevada Mountains.

As we were already very familiar with Almerimar and all its facilities we felt immediately 'at home' on our arrival in late July. We quickly got into our daily routine of a pre-breakfast and late afternoon walk along the promenade and a swim in the sea off the stony beach - all 5 mins walk from the apartment.

Almerimar is a small non-tourist Spanish village, and at this time of the year FULL to overflowing with Spanish families on holiday. About 15 years ago, during the boom times along the Spanish Mediterranean coast an extensive marina development, with associated apartment complexes was completed. Thankfully there is still a small village atmosphere, and just a few expat English residents and 2 or 3 establishment catering to them with UK TV, Fish & Chips and Sunday lunches etc. The nearby 'big town' of El Ejido is very much a hub for the vast 'grown under canvas' agricultural business that dominate the coastal landscape, and bring wealth, employment and prosperity to this area of Andalucía.

Other that watching the Spanish TV broadcasts of the Rio Olympics for a few weeks during August, we spent our days pottering around the village, wandering around the marina looking at the yachts, listening to music and podcasts and generally not doing much. I got into study mode listening to my Spanish language CD lessons - but with the lack on someone to chat with to have continual 'spoken' practice I am still very much at 'poco' level. The nearly tourist office had a separate study room which we were able to visit every few days during the week for WiFi. We made a few day trips into El Ejido via the local bus - especially to visit the seafood market and have a few long extended lunches at the market bar. Their unique selling point was that they have plenty of cold beers, and chilled wines AND for a small fee they cook on their grill our seafood market purchases - just perfect!

During our last week we hired a car for a few days. We drove to a few of the nearby seaside villages and generally enjoyed driving around for a few hours each day. We had a 'big day out' to Granada. A 2 hours drive to a magnificent city.

After our late afternoon walk and swim, when the temperature had dropped enough to enjoy being out - and after the blazing western sun had gone from our balcony we enjoyed our pre-dinner drinks and tapas people watching.

The Spanish families would spend all day at the beach and come out for dinner and to walk the promenade from10pm. The pizza restaurant and ice-cream takeaway closest to us was packed every night well into the early morning hours. The families always ate in big groups of mainly 10 to 12 of all ages from babies and toddlers to the oldies in wheelchairs. They came out every night so well dressed - the mums and ladies in elegant dresses, high heeled shoes and designer handbags- very few in trousers. The men and young boys were dressed in cotton shirts of subtle colours and dress shorts - all the little girls looked beautiful, always in pretty summer dresses and bows in their hair - very handsome people indeed. The young teenagers wandered the streets in small groups - not mobs, chatting, and always checking their mobile phones. We saw no rowdy, drunken or dysfunctional behaviour.

The nearby beachside nightclubs started 'booming' from midnight and it appeared that 6am was the standing closing time - clearly nocturnal people! We were not disturbed by any of the music AND they were always so well behaved!! It was obvious that drinking alcohol was not the big priority - just being out with friends and the music and dancing was what they were there to enjoy - how refreshing!

The local council supports an extensive and varied activities programme in and around Almerimar throughout the summer. A beachside bookshop and weekly book swap was popular for drawing books for the kids, crosswords as well as novels. Every night the circus entertained the little ones with rides a beautiful wooden traditional merry-go-round, a pond dodgem car play area, and various stalls. The open-air movies were held every Wednesday night commencing at 9.30pm - but only kids movies. Saturday evenings 'big band' concerts at a nearby castle were apparently sold-out. The 1st week in August was Pirate Week - all the shops and restaurants took on the theme in various degrees and ways. There was a street market for 3 nights and the finale was a dress-up and band parade all through the streets and around the marina, 100's attended and got into the spirit. There is an antique car enthusiast in El Ejido and he drove his 10 or so cars into the village one Friday night and parked them up alongside one of the marina areas for everyone to admire - they were all in beautiful working condition. Throughout various squares around the village bandstands were setup for evening concerts - all of various styles of music for different age groups. The Catholic Church even had an outside music event which was actually enjoyable!

All in all we thoroughly enjoyed our 'Summer in Spain', and both felt fit, well and happy. During our stay we talked about our fortunate past, reminisced on previous wonderful adventures - both land and sea, remembered great friends all around the world, and tenuously allowed ourselves to discuss possible future plans - mainly aiming to stay healthy.

Vessel Name: La Aventura
Crew: James & Patti

Who: James & Patti