How It’s Going

How it’s going - cocktail bar
Did somebody say Happy Hour cocktails?

Jesús Pobre! It might sound like something you’d shout if you hit your thumb with a hammer, but it isn’t. More later. It’s been a while since we last posted, so we’re well overdue in letting you know how it’s going on this one-off trip without our Vince. We’re three quarters of the way through our 4-week stay in an apart-hotel in Dénia. It’s a very different kind of holiday but we’ll save our final thoughts and conclusions for our next, and final post of the trip.

Many apologies to our subscribers if you’ve already received a copy of this post. Or no copy. Or two copies!! Our email server threw a wobbly a few days ago when I pressed send. It’s been gallons of black coffee and multiple calls to the hosting service ever since then and hopefully all is resolved. Until next time it does it…

The winner of our most visited town award this trip is Jésus Pobre. Only a 20 minute drive inland from our hotel it’s a small town which puts on an artisan market every Sunday. And we’ve been there every Sunday since we arrived! Some markets, like the Monday one in Dénia, are enormous, with row after row of stalls selling mostly bags & belts, and shirts & shoes, with a side order of dodgy watches and sunglasses. The Sunday market in Jésus Pobre is a lot smaller, but much more interesting.

Food choices
Oh, my rumbling tummy!

First of all, as an artisan market, most of the wares are hand-made. From ceramics and jewellery to local liqueurs and honey. Primarily though, we were there for the tasty treats. We didn’t know where to start. On display were little open pies with the crust pinched in to stop the peas rolling off, and flatbreads with all sorts of weird and wonderful toppings – we chose one with fresh sliced figs topped with anchovies. Not a combination I’d have thought of but it works! No, really 😀

For the sweet toothed there were all kinds of sticky tarts, or chocolate treats but we chose a bag of pumpkin fritters, made that morning. Before handing them over the stall-holder pops them in a paper bag, tips in a ton of sugar and gives it all a shake. I really hope my dentist isn’t reading this…

More food

It only takes an hour or so to browse the market. There are tables and chairs spread here and there around the sunny square so you can take time out for a cool drink, or to munch on the goodies you’ve purchased.

There’s a real local feel to the place. We retreated to a café-bar full of families, noise & bustle. There were old codgers (probably younger than us!) stopping by to hold shouted quick-fire conversations with friends before moving on to chat at another table. We saw a bemused little boy peeping round the door to stare at us pale foreigners, and an enormous dog was watching proceedings from a balcony above us. We nearly joined in the birthday song & multiple toasts with a group of men old enough to know better. I couldn’t believe the amount of beer & spirits being cheerily consumed at 11 am on a Sunday morning!

That said, we counted ourselves lucky to have the time to sit people-watching in the cool shade. These guys were clearly enjoying a well deserved day off after a hard week’s work. We’ll be there again next Sunday as this time it’ll be their special Christmas market.

One aspect of a long break in a single location, is the ability to really explore and get to know the place more deeply. We’ve thoroughly explored Dénia now – we can even find our way to the supermarket without the satnav! The walk along the seafront into town seemed a long way at first but now we do it it without a second thought. We haven’t done it in the evening yet but that will change soon as the Big Christmas Light Switch-on takes place in a couple of days. We’re definitely getting our daily steps in. One walk took us from the green lighthouse on one of the port’s breakwaters, to the red lighthouse on the other. Across the water they’re about 500m apart. To walk from one to the other however, was a sweaty 10k!

Lighthouses by moonlight
The red & green lighthouses by moonlight!

A more rewarding walk we tried was from Calp to Benissa along the 10k coastal eco-trail. The idea was to use the information boards along the route to learn about the flora and fauna of this protected coastal zone. The thought of a gentle amble along the nice flat waterfront really appealed. How wrong we were! The bit I missed in the description was the word “cliffs”, in “explore the cliffs and coves.” Every single cove was reached by a seemingly endless flight of steps carved into the cliff, followed by an equally steep climb back up again. My watch recorded 96 floors climbed – which is 288m! We ached for days. We did however see some spectacular waves crashing into the cliffs and harbours.

Sea spray
Spectacular waves…

It’s just as well we’re doing all these walks into town and further afield. Unfortunately the amazing Spanish seafood and “see drink”, are having predictable effects. We need to walk off as many calories as we can before we head home mid-December 🙁

And while we’re on the subject of food, today’s top tip if you’re on one of these breaks is not to get carried away at check-in. Our lovely receptionist offered us an amazing, never-to-be-repeated offer, available only on our first day, for discounted meals. We turned down the breakfasts as we prefer just to have something light in the apartment. In that case she said, here’s a whole 20% off evening meals if you pay for seven at once. Right now, never-to-be-repeated etc. etc. So we did. Then we discovered that a) you could walk in off the street and pay the same as our “discounted” price, and b) the food really isn’t anything special. We chalked it down to experience and have spread the meals evenly over the four weeks. Lesson learned.

By contrast, we’ve been getting great food and good value by eating at Els Magazinos. This is an arcade in town which specialises in regional and street food. You can eat French, Thai, Veggie and of course Spanish with a selection of Tapas restaurants and fine dining. Our favourite place offers five kebabs of different meats and fish, salad, fries and a beer each for €20. Bargain! And delicious too.

Els Magazinos
Els Magazinos

Actually all this talk of food is making me peckish. It’s Saturday night here and time we headed off in search of sustenance. There may also be wine involved. We’ll be back in touch soon to wrap up the trip and maybe share one or two thoughts about this kind of break versus a ‘normal’ trip in the motorhome.

Speak soon!

Fog bank
It’s not all sunshine – this eerie fog bank rolled in for an afternoon
More food
More food! Kebab deal at Els Magazinos
About Ken Tomlinson 217 Articles
Semi-retired biker, blogger and world’s best grandad. Doesn’t take life too seriously. Discovered motorhoming in 2015, sold up and downsized to fund more travels. Now with added Yorkshire.

2 Comments on How It’s Going

  1. Hi Ken,

    Found your latest email update in my spam folder so am late reading it. Denia is one of our favourite places and we have spent a month in the van camping near there. We’ve also thought of spending a month in a flat so I am very interested in your conclusions. I too find it very enjoyable getting to know a place in more depth and developing routines over the weeks. I a currently three years behind in my blog – just up to hunkering down in France to see Covid out! Thanks for keeping the blog going – very interesting. Robina

    • Hi Robina, thanks for your comments 🙂
      Three years! That must be some sort of record… I get frustrated to find some of our emails go straight to spam. You’re not alone in that respect. Unfortunately there’s very little I can do from this end as the filters are set up by your service provider. One option might be to add us to your safe sender list if you have one.

      I fully intend to do a wrap up post from this latest trip. I really do. Yes, most definitely. But probably not today. Since returning home we’ve been plunged into Christmas preparations running in parallel with selling our house and buying another. We head up to Scotland in Vince at the end of the week so I hope to find some time before then.

      Thanks so much for staying with us all this time!

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