Day 1 of Phase 1 in Benidorm

Monday 11th May 2020

Wearing red driving around Benidorm lockdown

Yesterday has been the 52nd day of Benidorm lockdown that we’ve experienced. We are 6 days or so behind everybody who has been here since the start, but Monday was the first day of phase one life in Benidorm.

I thought that the second lockdown was released, I’d be wanting to go to a bar and have a drink and a dinner. But I didn’t. This virus hasn’t gone away, it’s still around. It’s just there’s room for us in hospital. It turns out, it’s been so long since I went for a drink out or dinner out that I don’t even fancy it anymore.

We went on our morning walk around poniente which is still limited to the time slots allocated. Bars and restaurants were either opening, cleaning in preparation for opening or shut. At 9 about 1 in 3 bars were open in Benidorm.

It was relatively quiet walking along for the morning walk, we saw a few people but considering what a beautiful morning it was, there wasn’t hardly anybody about. We tried to see which bars and cafes were open, but the ones we love were all shut. We get lots of people tuning in to our Facebook lives which is absolutely amazing. By the end of the 20 minute clip, we had had 1,000 people tuned in. When I checked just now, 16,000 people had tuned in. I’m so glad it’s able to bring people some comfort to see one of their favourite places again, even if it is virtually.

Facebook lives of Benidorm during lockdown

My workload is starting to pile up on me recently. I’ve got a backlog of content to sort out for clients, I’ve had marketing meetings today and still need to schedule some content and sort it out. I am trying to keep on top of everything as it’s a good distraction to what’s going on.

Alex didn’t have any live classes today, so for the very first time since before lockdown began, this one felt like the most normal of pre COVID19 days. The longer the day went on, the more we saw people walking the streets, walking together in groups, grouped together in bars and restaurants sunbathing with drinks. It just felt odd. People were reporting on Facebook that some bars were ordered to close for customers not following guidelines regarding social distancing but I don’t know if that’s true or not. I’ll wait to see what the news says.

The bars opened today but would have to follow strict cleaning and disinfecting. A lot of bars haven’t been able to get in properly since lockdown began, which is why a lot used Monday, the first day their staff could join them in the bar, as the first day to just get in and clean up in preparation. Staff will have to disinfect toilets at least six times a day, disinfect tables after each use, not allow the use of menus, oils, vinegars etc and wear PPE. There were reports on Facebook about how well some of these businesses had done. One person commented that they’d been to Granier in Villajoyosa and they’d been fantastic and even put screens between tables.

As we were driving around, there was a lot of police. Although it’s allowed to be in the car now, it still felt so wrong and nerve wracking. I felt like the police were going to stop us and tell us off or fine us. They didn’t, most didn’t even bat an eyelid, and the ones that did just smiled or waved at us and carried on. There was loads of people walking about, and loads of cars on the road.

Cavalier King Charles spaniel driving around Benidorm lockdown

As we drove by Benidorm hotels, we saw police tape was still over the front of them all. I didn’t see one hotel that was open. Although hotels are allowed to open for those in the Marina Baixa or people who are travelling home to stop off at, it looks that none have opened and took up the offer. If the hotels did decide to open, there’d be no common areas open. No use of the pool, no use of restaurants. It definitely wouldn’t be a normal hotel experience. We drove by Thai Asia Gardens too and I longed to be inside. I cried a bit as we drove around, cried for the world we’re all living in and cried for the bubble that I’m living in.

It felt bizarre and strange to be in the car for the first time since that nerve wracking drive from the airport. The drive where I had to sit in the backseat. Now, here I am sitting in the front seat, with Rio in the back. It was strange. Was it fun? I don’t know. Did I love seeing everything? Yes. The sun beamed down and as we drove by the strip and along the tribute bars, I thought about how this area has never looked so clean and tidy. And that if people would just be cleaner and not trash it, even the strip could be a lovely place.

We drove around La Cala de Finestrat too, there were loads of bars open around the bay and small businesses. It almost looked back how it was when I first used to go there back in 2012. Albeit a few more bars. I remember being taken there by a friend and wondering where on earth we’d gone. I was staying at the Hotel Bali at the time and for the first time, I couldn’t see the Hotel Bali in Benidorm. I thought I was miles and miles away. You can watch the drive by clicking the link below:

https://youtu.be/Fz-olIElxVw

We had mascarpone, tomato and chicken pasta for dinner but I’m still not up to eating a full dinner yet. I want to eat a full dinner, I just can’t. I’m just not that hungry. I try and try to eat but it’s hard. I ate about three quarters of it, and had some fruit this afternoon which is more than I have been having. I need to eat well so I don’t lose my abs!

We watched some of Asa’s show, but ending up missing some of it. He’s a good friend of mine and is keeping people entertained in lockdown with singing, photos, chatting and videos. He did a quick shoutout to my mum too which she loved. I think all of us in the family tune in to watch Asa’s show at 7pm U.K. time, Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

We’d watched some Brooklyn 9 9 today. I don’t tend to watch it religiously as I didn’t get to watch it from the start when Alex put it on. So I just dib in and out. I read a bit of my book too but I’m finding it hard to read and concentrate. They keep talking about all these different characters and I have no idea who they are. As it’s all in third person, you never find out what’s going on in the characters head which I think is one of the major ways to get to know and relate to a character. I did some Duolingo too. I’m trying to keep up my yoga but I’m distracted most of the time so end up just doing a quick yoga stretch in bed. At least I still haven’t missed a day yet. I also wrote an article for Pet Money Saver about how Rio, our dog, might be feeling in lockdown if anybody is interested in reading what I think a dogs thoughts of it all might be.

Every day more is another day less.

Keep smiling,

L x

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Hola! I'm Lauren ("Loh - run") — A twenty-something, engaged, English girl living on the Costa Blanca, obsessed with travel, love and elephants.

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