The Finale

This is it, the final blog from our Spanish trip. It is over, the travelogue ends here (until December with the Lanzarote trip and Christmas when we come back to Spain, then again in the Spring, all being well.)

This morning we went to the bank to conclude the business of opening bank accounts. Luis, the bank worker who has helped us throughout, was delightful. He has already transferred one of the direct debits and will complete the rest ASAP, which, since this is Spain, could be months away. No matter, the Kutxta Bank is small and friendly unlike Sabadell which we are leaving without conscience.
After the banking business we went to our favourite Spanish bar in Calpe town for tea and water and tapas and to bid a fond farewell to Candido, the guy who serves there and with whom we have developed a very affable relationship over the years that we have been restoring the house.

Back home and back to the depressing business of packing, tidying up the house, the last chutney deliveries, packing the car in preparation for departure. We had a scratch lunch with what was left in the fridge, and excesses were put in a carrier bag for Audrey. We hate waste so we have a caring, sharing relationship with Audrey to make sure that there isn’t any. Between her and the compost pit, most stuff is covered. I know that Keith will thoroughly enjoy my Honeyons (onions in vinegar and honey) and pickled chillies because his tastes are very similar to mine. He once had the cheek to complain that one year’s Mermelada Volcanica (chilli jam) wasn’t as hot as the previous year’s batch. That’s my boy Keith!

We left for the airport at 16.30 and had a great drive that ended at 17.35, a journey that we always estimate will take 1.5 hours. Hmmm, that self depressing accelerator pedal on the Peugot 308 was responsible, I’m convinced of it. When I commented to Garrath,

“Gosh that didn’t take long,” he replied drily, ” I’m not surprised, you were doing 140 k.p.h!” It was that pedal Garrath, not me! Fortunately the pedal doesn’t do automatic depression in radar controlled zones, a very smart design feature by Peugot.

Needless to say we reached the airport early and because of that we there was no queue at the check in desk. Bags through we were free to meander through the various checks on the way to the departure lounge. Cleverly they always make you walk through the airport shop first and there I purchased a perfume that I can only get at airports or on planes.

I resisted the urge to go into El Corte Inglés zapateria (shoe shop) first because there was no room in my hand luggage for shoes and second because I have filled my shoe buying quota for this holiday. I even had to leave a new pair behind, a delightfully frivolous pair in glitter and patent leather. They will do nicely for the Christmas trip.

What I failed to resist was the leather shop where I purchased a new wallet. I had determined that I would buy one on this trip but since we hadn’t been to any markets or done any shopping other than food shopping I had failed in that mission. No matter, I am now the proud possessor of a very flash, designer job that fulfils all my requirements.

We found a seat in a Tapas bar, got drinks, I rearranged my hand luggage to include the perfume, transferred all my vital cash and cards to the new wallet and then we waited for the gate to be called. Garrath is always anxious on travel days – he would have us at the airport the day before if I let him – so he took on the responsibility for jumping up and down every fifteen minutes to see if the gate had been called. Eventually it was so we proceeded there to find that a queue had formed even though the gate hadn’t opened. I fail to understand why people do this? The plane can’t leave until the last person is on board so why queue? Is it the Sheep tendency in people or is it a peculiar British addiction to queueing? I just don’t get it at all.

We sat and waited until boarding had commenced and got on the bus that was to take us to the plane. Because we hadn’t rushed to be the first in the queue we were among the last on the bus so very near the door and therefore early on to the plane while those who had rushed to be at the front of the queue were among the last. Makes sense doesn’t it?

The usual routines were followed, packing the bags in the overhead lockers, turning off electrical equipment (always traumatic for cyber junkies like Garrath and I) the safety check, taxiing to the runway, take off etc etc. Now it is time to settle into the flight, accept the fact that the holiday is over and for me to reconcile myself to returning to the wrong side of the Channel. No driving at the other end so a few G & T’s will ease the pain a little, but only a little.

Such is life!