There are many good reasons not to fly Ryan Air. First among these reasons, of course, is that the plonker in charge has no respect for customers and doesn’t deserve to have any. The reason uppermost in my mind this very early morning, though, was that the Mr Plonker’s plane that would be taking our hosts back to their Xmas celebrations in the UK was due to leave Alicante airport soon after 6:00 AM. It’s an hour down to Alicante from Jalón and our friends had a bag to check-in (15kg limit, hardly anything – thanks Mr Plonker) so the alarm roused us at 3:00 AM. In fact, I’d been awake since 12:30 AM waiting for the alarm so it had hardly been worth getting undressed and going to bed at all.
Even when the autopista running between Jalón and Alicante is busy, it’s quieter than our M1 at midnight. In the early hours of a Spanish morning, the road is all but completely deserted. Who else but those poor unfortunates with a seat on Mr Plonker’s early morning flight would want to be on the road at 3:30 AM, anyway?
I’ve never seen an airport so quiet, either. I dropped off my passengers and concentrated on finding my way back home. At 5:50 AM and after having only 80 minutes of sleep, I collapsed again.
The day proper began at 10:00 AM. We shot into Calpe to enjoy the sunshine and see what might be lurking around the lagoon. The sun, however, was accompanied by something more than a stiff breeze, so much so that the normally calm Mediterranean sounded like a proper sea with breakers hitting the sandy shore. Such wildlife as there was, a distant group of Flamingos and the odd seagull, was hunkered down. Most interesting was a small group of fishermen mending nets in the uncannily quiet fishing harbour.
With the wind spoiling plan A, we headed for the Consum supermercado to implement plan B, which turned out to be a lunch of wondeful bara rustica (bread similar to the best of the French baguettes) and prawns accompanied by allioli, on the naya back at home. Why is it that we Brits pay through the nose for pathetically small prawns when the Spanish can buy 500g of good sized cooked prawns for a mere €3.00? It makes you want to spit!
A bright afternoon gave us the chance to settle lunch by walking el perrito through the vineyards to Lliber where there is a small bar overlooking the square. A matching pair of cafe solos [espressos] together with a digestivo of generous measures of Soberano [Spanish brandy] finished things off admirably.