Spanish Mission

Spanish Mission

Getting to Denia had been a bit of a mission, but upon being woken by the sound of the waves and stepping out on the balcony of my room at the Hotel Los Angeles to look out to the ocean - none of that seemed to matter any more.

I'd spent the night in the hotel because I'd foolishly left London without the key to the apartment that I'm staying in while I'm here. The apartment belongs to my aunt and uncle, and overnight my Aunty Jean has texted me some detailed instructions on how to find the spare key:

'In flower pot near steps tip out in there long time pot not round not v big up step on right.'

I climbed over the security gate, found the designated pot and industriously smashed it open to claw through the root-bound earth. No key. After a bit of negotiation via text they are couriering another key to me in Denia, so it will be another night in the Hotel Los Angeles - not the end of the world.

From the hotel I drove along the beachside road Las Marinas and explored the centre of town, stopping for coffee on Calle Marques de Campo - the main street where you can promenade in the sun.

Denia is dominated by its castle, strategically placed to look out across the Mediterranean Ocean.

The hotel's wifi wasn't working and while some cafes and bars offered a free wifi service, I decided to invest in a portable wifi network so that I could keep working while enjoying the sun and blue skies of Spain - a temporary escape from London's cold rainy grayness.

I tried the Vodaphone shop first, but there was only one girl serving and she was busy with another customer, so I headed to the Orange store where they were friendly and helpful but just about to close for the afternoon siesta:

'Come back at 16:30' said the sales assistant.

No one is in a hurry here.

I headed back to the hotel and tried out the reasonably equipped gym and then walked out onto the beach to soak up some sun. It's so rare these days for me to stop - just stop and sit - that to be able to stretch out on a towel on the deserted beach of Denia was a priceless luxury. There's lots of studies showing the health benefits of regular bursts of sunlight, and it's definitely something I've been short of recent months. You can take a Vitamin D3 supplement to compensate but I've been a bit rubbish at doing that, so I guess that it's not surprising that it felt strangely restorative to soak up the sun's rays. I even managed a quick dip in the water - a bit on the cold side, but surprisingly swimmable.

Siesta over, portable wifi modem purchased, I found a bar on the Calle Marques de Campo, downed a couple of cafe con leches and then moved on to some Jerez sherry while snacking on salchichon iberico, queso, and bread smothered in aioli.

I could get used to life in Spain.

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