18 Aug 2007

The rain in Spain falls mainly ….

….. on Cala Llevado. Or so it seemed on the second night of our trip to Spain. An eventful night - everyone asleep, all the balcony and bedroom windows wide open, and these amazing howling winds wake everyone up – except the two littlies who slept through the whole thing. Well, this was a storm and a half – both Nic and I agree that it’s probably the worst storm we’ve experienced for a long time (Susie – winds like in Bulgaria last year, but with thunder, lightning and much much rain!).
We’d watched the lightning in the distance earlier in the evening, but it was so far away that we didn’t hear any thunder at all. But obviously between then and midnight, it made its way here. And it hit suddenly and violently – the thunder and lightning must have gone on for over an hour, and the rain was incessant. I had visions of the steep cliffs these apartments are built on becoming saturated and sliding down to the sea! So not easy to get back to sleep when it was all over.
Once we were all up, we flew around the apartment getting in beach towels off the veranda rail (those that hadn’t blown over), closing windows and doors. We hadn’t been able to close the kitchen window so had shut the door on a floor covered in stuff that had blown off the shelves. The wind also blew a large framed tapestry off the wall in the living room.
In the morning we realised we were missing a few beach towels and located them below, one hanging in a tree. There is no direct access from here, so it was a long walk around down to the beach, then up a steep path to retrieve them. So we set off with a broom (!) and managed to get them both back. A night and morning of much excitement for all.
However – back to our trip: We’d headed off to Spain with the car packed to the gunnels. We had to leave the blow-up dinghy and paddles behind – just not enough room. We called into Collioure on the way down for lunch, and arrived at Cala Llevado late afternoon. A pleasant surprise – Nic checked in and found out that the apartment she’d booked had been upgraded – to one with four bedrooms and with the most amazing view ever. Couldn’t believe our luck. There was a [not insurmountable] downside – a small and not particularly clean kitchen. But after a thorough clean of everything – not a problem. All worth it for the location and views.
Early morning, as I sit and type this on my laptop while we’re waiting for the kids to wake (to be posted when we return to France), this is what I’m looking out at:


Cala Llevado is a huge camping [and apartments] area situated on the coast about half an hour’s drive south of the Spanish border, and between the holiday resort towns of Tossa de Mar and Lloret de Mar. But as the photos show, not built up and absolutely gorgeous.
This is a first for me – a European holiday in a resort! It’s not the type of holiday either Nic or I would normally have chosen, but this was for the kids and they’re loving it. And so far so are we. Having been lucky enough to have grown up in Australia on the coast, been brought up and lived at Cheyne Beach (Dad was a professional fisherman), I suppose I compare beaches and coastlines to that. But this place is rather special.
Cheyne Beach: 4 miles of beautiful fine white sand often virtually to yourself, compared to Cala Llevado: small sandy and pebbly coves surrounded by cliffs, the turquoise Mediterranean and crowds of holiday makers. Very different, both beautiful.
Although I have to say, yesterday’s swim in the little cove behind the apartments (not shown in the photos) was cut short by the unpleasant discovery of ‘floaters’ – let’s just say personal things that shouldn’t be in the ocean, as well as lumps of what looked like solidified fat. Yuk. Nic even picked one up to try to identify it and couldn’t get the grease off her hands. We moved to another beach but obviously that wasn’t going to be any different. We just didn’t look so hard. We figure it must be the yachts/luxury liners in the Mediterranean throwing this stuff overboard?

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