It’s been a crazy week in Benidorm this week, with announcements coming left right and centre about lockdown changes. I’m fact, I think this has been the busiest week we’ve had since pre-lockdown times. It’s been a week of hope, a week of things getting better and a week of change. In both my personal life, and the life here in Spain.
The rest of the Comunidad Valenciana joined us in phase 1 and it made a major difference to our lives. The opportunity to travel further afield and see some of the beautiful places that we’ve been missing desperately since Lockdown was implemented. It had been so long that we’d stepped foot in Altea, Javea, Moraira. Bars and restaurants that we’d become regulars at had become a thing of the past. But this week, we were back and it felt wonderful.
On Tuesday, we headed off to Javea to sit out and have dinner at Acqua, part of the Javea company bars. I’ve been desperate to get there and watch the sunset over the Montgo mountain for so long, the Javea company make a mojito sin alcohol which is my absolute favourite drink to sit by the sea and just exist with. It’s the perfect spot to people watch and see the waves crash into the Arenal. The Javea company bars are just stunning little spots and do divine food at good value. We ended up ordering the BBQ tray, which is around 22€ for two. You get loads of meat and some friends and it’s just delicious! We took Rio with us who loved sitting there.
It was strange being in Javea, but we felt so safe in the Javea company bars. Upon arrival, you’re offered sanitiser to clean your hands. The tables are spaced with a very generous distance apart so the social distancing is more than adhered to. There are no menus available anymore, but they do have a QR code to scan which opens their menu on your device.
We’ve been on plenty of walks, which is keeping us active and we’ve still been keeping up our exercise regime at home. I’ve started studying much more Spanish again noticing that it’s been forever since I spoke so it would be a good idea to brush up before being in the big wide world again! I’ve been loving going to Portus Massai for my iced coffees too, they have the most gorgeous backdrop of flowers and a wonderful view of poniente.
Wednesday was the first day where masks are compulsory everywhere in Spain where you can’t maintain a 2 metre distance. It’s made some people complacent with rules, but now I know I can put it down when we’re in safe distances of people, meaning that most of the time it is around the neck, I feel okay about it. I’ve ended up ordering some super cute reusable masks, they’ve already announced that masks will be compulsory on planes for quite some time yet so it made sense for me to invest. I can’t wait to show people my mask, you’ll know it’s totally me when you see it!
We’ve been on many walks this week and covered some Kilometres. We’re allowed to walk wherever we like as long as we’re heading to a bar, or a friends house, and there’s no set times to do this so we’ve been able to walk to some lovely places. We’ve also been filming live on Facebook each morning, which people seem to be loving. We’re both loving going live in the morning and chatting away to everybody and showing people different areas around here. The most popular video is on 25k views and the most viewers at one time has been 380 of you which is just mind-blowing! It makes it more interesting when more people are commenting as there’s more to chat about, so it’s awesome when people are sharing and tagging their friends, so a massive thank you if you’ve been somebody who is sharing! We don’t always know exactly where we’re going (I’m not going to live tiki beach down am I?) but that’s all part of the fun, right?!
We’ve also been receiving requests about places people want us to video, and we definitely do take request! Any ideas, or places you want to see, are more than welcomed. They do get lost in a sea of comments though, so it may be worth dropping it on a comment on the Facebook post that this blog post will link to, or sending me an email so I don’t forget!
We’ve headed up the La Cala mountain, we’ve wandered around Javea, we’ve seen Altea deserted and we’ve walked around a very sleepy Levante, amongst many poniente walks. It feels awfully strange walking around these places that were once rammed so empty. It was massively surreal being in Altea and not seeing more than a handful of people. It was even stranger walking around the Benidorm strip and it being silent. It’s such a weird situation.
We’ve been getting on with things at home, with lockdown easing up it can be difficult to remember sometimes that we are still in a form of a lockdown, just one so different to the one we knew before. We are still limited to what time we can do exercise, and we still can’t go out unless it’s for an approved trip, like going to a bar, or a friends house, or an appointment etc. We still can’t go out for walks past our exercise slot. The police presence has really gone down though. There aren’t so many patrols going around anymore.
On Friday, we headed off to Acqua again. Alex finished work relatively early, so we drove up to have a drink by the beach. Of course I ordered a mojito! It was so lovely to be able to soak up some sun at 4 in the afternoon. It’s the first time in so long I’ve actually been able to sit and sunbathe. We had booked a table at Mex y Go for 6:30, which is our favourite Mexican restaurant on the Costa Blanca.
We arrived a little early to our reservation but they were more than accommodating to let us sit down and order. The tables again are all space out generously on their terrace. The staff were wearing masks and gloves at Mex y Go. The menu is a print out at the moment, due to restaurants not being allowed to hand out menus, but the menu was still impressive considering the situation. A lot of restaurants wouldn’t go through the hassle of writing such an extensive menu with good quality paper and stuff, so it was a surprise that they were so apologetic for the menu having to be paper at the moment. We have baby nachos to start and then always follow with chicken double fajitas for 2, which like always, were served super quickly and at a super high quality. It’s yummy there so if you do fancy a Mexican dish and can get to Moraira, I’d definitely recommend it!
After we’d been for our morning walk and had spent some time watching TV and listening to Bob Iger’s audiobook, we saw the news that Pedro Sánchez, the president, has announced that tourists will be able to visit Spain again from July without quarantine. It brings hope that soon we’ll be able to have our own summer holidays and see people again. I’m quite looking forward to the day we can book holidays again. I’m desperate to get a weekend away at Thai Asia Gardens and Vivood in Guadalest, but I’m also keen to do an epic road trip across some European countries, so I’m keeping my eyes peeled on the news for more updates. Our numbers have been pretty good in Spain, if you can call it that, as the numbers have just continued to decline day by day.
The comunidad valenciana announced they were holding us back from progressing to phase 2 through caution, in hopes that we’d all move together next week. It makes sense as it would seem backwards to take away some freedom of movement again keeping different health zones doing different bits. It requires a lot of police work too, so I guess they see it a simpler solution to just wait out another week. I’m looking forward to seeing how Benidorm and the Costa Blanca moves forward and how tourism will look during phase 2 and beyond.
I hope you’re all keeping safe and well and are too starting to see that things will get better. We have a new appreciation for going out for morning walks, the importance of keeping in touch with people, appreciating flowers and sunrises and sunsets and a need to stay connected and together during what’s been a crazy few months. It’s only May, we can still have a fantastic year, we still have plenty of time for summer, we just have to keep optimistic and keep going.