An adventure to Spain

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Playa de Zapillo, Almeria Spain

The journey begins….
We haven’t taken any time out away from the world of jumping in the sea in ages, so I’m taking m folks out to Spain for a few days over New Year. It should be a right giggle as I don’t speak a word of Spanish. Dad seems to take the Derek Trotter approach, say stuff in English only slower and louder. Mums Spanglish is great however she tends to get caught up in the conversation rather than translating. By hey you know me, go with the flow right!
Mega storms were forecast for our day of departure. Not entirely sure why we had to book the 7.30am flight out of Gatwick though. Living in the back end of Wales it takes an age to get to the airport. Airport parking said we had a 10 minute window in which to meet them at the terminal. But hey where there’s a will we’ll find a way.
We hadn’t been on he Road an hour when we hit a police roadblock. Uber hail storm at Pont Abrham had caused an accident so the road was closed. We pulled up to the police car to get the low down, mentioned we were heading for the m4 and then Gatwick. He almost chuckled at our predicament, knowing there was an alternate route but we’d do just as well waiting for the main road to open.
After about 20mins we were on our way, police escort and all! Roads white with hail and one poor car that had flipped onto it’s roof. Thankfully it looked like the occupants were okay, but you’ve gotta feel for them none the less.
Penllegaer, mum announces a pit stop. Too much tea drinking with Granny before we left. We pop into the services, but would you believe they are shut. Not to worry we’ll pop over to the garage instead. Open but not actually open. We can see the toilet doors from the window but no access, fuel payments are being made through the cashiers window. We seriously considered making a deposit 😉 Luckily McDonald’s is open 24hour, though I don’t think they appreciated our lack of custom.

Our road journey was pretty much a straight run. Mind you at stupid o’clock at night, the roads were empty. One last stop for a cuppa at Copham services (M25). FYI…very nice, all shiny and new. A bit like the land that time forgot at 4am, I can only imagine the hussle and bussle when daytime travellers are about.

So, our journey to London was pretty painless. We telephoned the agency driver half hour before our arrival, parked up at the drop off point, again impressed with the service. The guy was on time, efficient and very polite (Cophall Park Parking).

Online check in…. What’s the all about?
I was under the illusion that one ‘checked-in’ upon arrival at the airport. How wrong was I. Mum checked us in weeks ago. It strikes me as a little strange that one can check in to an airport without actually being at the airport. I can understand the theory behind it. Those without luggage can just whizz straight through to departures.
Gatwick…South Terminal…EasyJet. Another inspired idea, checking in all flights on any desk. I’m sure it works like a charm when folks aren’t late for their flight. We arrived with hours to spare, only to join a que of hundreds. EasyJet staff were highly entertaining announcing last calls for other flights, pinching the folks that were late out of said mega que and bumping them to the front. Obviously it’s the Christmas holiday period, so things are bound to be a bit busier. All in all a relatively painless process. Our flight was posted at gate 94, much to my surprise it wasn’t a million miles from the departures lounge, winner!

I’m flying….
EasyJet economy, expectations were realistic. Little plane, no entertainment, inflight food (at a price). Not a problem, you get what you pay for hey. Flying to a not overly popular destination and opting for direct flight. Flight itself was only about two and a half hours, but jeeeperes the seat so uncomfortable. Sleep was the obvious choice, the price was a crook neck and the inevitable numb bum.

Yes that’s right folks, it’s still up there we saw it! Landing through the cloud cover was fab, i’m not entirely sure the pilot knew when we’d find tarmac but he got us down in one piece. Take off and landing are definitely my favourite bits about flying, the rest is like sitting in a cupboard. The airport is dinky by comparison to Gatwick, passengers are already waiting at the edge of the tarmac to board the return flight. Passport control and baggage collection another surprise. Though with it being another land that time forgot there were two planes parked up, so not overly taxing the facilities and staff.

A quick taxi ride from the airport to Mr T’s apartment, we made it!
Stunning view with the sea spitting distance from our front door. I’m in need of sleep before venturing into the med, plus it’s blowing a hooly, leftovers of our British storms I reckon. Tomorrow is hopefully sunshine and sea play day.

Cleopatra – MD & Senior Coasteering Guide
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