What is it about 3:20 AM in this house? Last night I had carefully remembered to power off the computer completely, as opposed to hibernating it, so as not to be awoken by the ghost in the machine suddenly awakening. This time I was awoken, again at 3:20 AM, by a curious scratching sound at the bedroom door. Another excursion from bed across the cold tiled bedroom floor revealed that the culprit was Jake, the black and white moggy, who seemed to want to be let out. “OK, I’ll cross yet more cold tiles for you but don’t you dare tap on the window to be let in again”, I thought.
Having once again woken up for the second time, breakfast was calling. Yesterday, we’d positioned the mottled poinsettias and eaten the no-longer-mottled-once-cooked flat beans which just left our yellow and green mottled mushrooms to be dealt with. On the Sunday before the Immaculate Conception (i.e. last Sunday), the local Mas-y-mas supermercat had been open in the morning so I was tasked with popping out to get some eggs and, hopefully, some interesting Spanish sausages to accompany our mottled mushrooms by way of a warming brunch. Jalon looked disturbingly quiet as I drove into it. Even more disturbingly, there were no welcoming lights glowing across the front of Mas-y-mas. The sinking feeling that we had miscalculated was confirmed by metal shutters across the entrance door. Drat! Last week’s Sunday morning opening must have been by way of special dispensation for being closed on the Monday of the Immaculate Conception. Disgruntled, I returned empty handed.
Undaunted and driven by hunger, Carol began a raid of the cupboards for things to accompany our long-awaited mottled mushrooms. Triumphantly, she raised a can of Heinz baked beans, some left-over potatoes which could be fried, and a packet of sliced morcilla (Spanish black pudding). Given the success of the cupboard raid, we soon settled down to a perfectly reasonable brunch.
Carol and I had had an abortive visit to Altea on a previous Spanish trip since we didn’t really know where the interest was or where to park. Armed now with more information from Geoff and Pam, we decided to help disperse our latest calorie intake by trying again. We wandered along the promenade where we past a family standing apparently selling slices of cake. Curious, I thought. However, additional calories being the last thing we currently needed, we resisted their advances and continued to the marina.
Altea’s main attraction is the old town centred quite high up around what was reportedly an attractive church. This is where we headed next. We found our way up various hilly streets and pathways burning yet more invaluable calories and eventually found our destination. The streets were certainly very attractive and the church had some pleasingly blue domes but it’s facades seemed less than scintillating to this observer. Nonetheless, it was a pleasant enough place for a wander before finishing with a beer in a local bar (oops, more calorie intake).
On our way back we called in to Calpe in search of difficult-to-photograph flamingoes in its lagoon. To our deep disappointment, they now proved totally impossible to photograph due to being completely absent. Our quarry had flown.