[Nice one, David.]
I’m getting too old for 03:15 alarms. I’m certainly getting too old to awake at 02:30 waiting for said alarm. We got up early, bleary-eyed after just three hours sleep and prepared to fly back to Spain. We’re trying something new – well, several things new, really.
Firstly we’re flying into Valencia instead of Alicante for the first time. At the time of booking Valencia proved to be almost 50% cheaper. Our hope was that it would prove to be a quieter, less touristy airport and that we might avoid the occasional Benidorm set that frequent the Alicante route. Fingers crossed, we boarded and were on our way by 07:00.
It’s a 20 minute shorter flight to Valencia, too, and we touched down at 09:00 some way ahead of schedule. We were bussed from the plane’s parking spot on the apron to the terminal. The fact that we’re too old for 03:15 alarms was put into stark relief when a young lady on our shuttle bus offered to give up her seat for us. Arghh! “Thanks but no, we’re fine.“ The bus swiftly delivered us to the terminal where two warm bodies checked our passports much more quickly than the pedestrian automated passport readers ever do. – another advantage. We were soon wandering towards the car park for our rental car.
Having changed airports, it was now time for our change of rental car company: Giner in Benissa a town just a few kilometres from Jalón. This seemed flaky. I had booked on-line, a Seat Ibiza giving my email address and required dates, some while ago but booking on-line clearly just generates a message to the company – nothing actually happens immediately. Some 24 hours later I did receive an email saying that my booking was made. My confirmation came with instructions to make our way to the 2nd floor of the multi-storey car park where, in space 759, we would find a permanently parked white car. This was not ours, it was a marker. A man would either be there or shortly be there. It seems that the representative was actually a third party company looking after the distribution of rental cars for several agencies.
Arriving on the 2nd floor of the car park, sure enough, there was the marker car and, after a minute or two, there were two men one of whom knew our name and popped off to get our car “in 3 minutes”. It was a Spanish 3 minutes that took about 10 minutes. We had been early, though. I signed a 1-page contract and was given a key. We drove out of the airport and onto the autopista in a rental car having paid absolutely nothing nor having provided any driving license or credit card details. We were to call in to the office in Benissa later to pay and complete the formal paperwork. How delightfully trusting. I chose to call in on our way to Casa; the Giner lady was very friendly, too. This could be habit forming.
We arrived in sunshine and rebooted Casa. All seemed well, if a little dusty after a 6-month absence. Our standard welcoming lunch of calamares [squid] washed down by a glass or two of rosado seemed in order.
The day already felt quite long but I couldn’t resist checking out the pool by the ford opposite the bar to see if any friends were flying. Sure enough, there were several Orange-winged Dropwings (Trithemis kirbyi) flashing their wing patches and quite a few Epaulet Skimmers (Orthetrum chrysostigma), too. Neither species frequent the UK so they are always good to see. Both were doing a lot of basking on rocks.
Changes were clearly the order of the day. We’d known that we were flying towards some unsettled weather and the sun that greeted us, if anything, was something of a surprise. A couple of hours later our view had changed to this.
We’ll see what tomorrow brings but we’re expecting changeable.