I'd only been in Spain for
a few hours, when I found myself in a beach house in Sa Tuna. Alicia
and Xavier, my Spanish hosts, had left a couple of their guests there
and had travelled to Girona (100 kms. north of Barcelona) to pick
me up from the railway station.
It was after midnight when
we got back to the beach house on a hot summer's night. This didn't
seem to bother Elias, as he added another log to the smouldering fire
in the loungeroom. Alicia greeted Laura, Elias' partner, with a big
hug and kiss as if they hadn't met for years. Then when all the introductory
formalities were over, Elias insisted that a log fire always provided
a special atmosphere, no matter what the weather!
"Toasting bread or cooking
over a log fire is so much more exciting over a burning log," he assured
me, as I wiped the perspiration off my brow.
The following morning we
were off to Platja Fonda (Deep Beach), with its black sands and pebble
shores. Xavier's parking skills were unsurpassed as he managed to
sqeeze his little Lancier into a space which looked smaller than the
length of the car itself. This saved us much walking, as the beach
was packed on this beautiful, hot and sunny summer holiday afternoon.
The small alcove was surrounded
by cliffs, topped with million dollar houses, and the beach was carpeted
with brilliantly coloured swimmers making the beach look like a giant
patch of hundreds and thousands.
The black sands retained
the heat jealously, so it was imperative to were sandles to and from
the water. And within a couple of hours I'd braved the deep waters
and been for 3 swims, more than in the past few years! Dozens of simmers
were in the water, and a few just lazed away on their air-matresses.
Back on the shore, many ladies sunbaked topless (a very common sight
on the Mediteranean beaches), even a much older wealthy lady who was
being rubbed down by a very young and handsome toyboy, but I felt
sorry for one lady in a yellow one-piece bathing suit.
She was a little plump,
and when she came out of the water, she'd managed to trap lots of
pebbles in the back of her swimwear. These uninvited guests had found
there way in through the opening at the upper back of her bathers.
And now she was busily on a seek and find mission, desperately running
her fingers over her back and guiding those little culprits out of
the closest exit possible. This routine went on for quite a while,
when in a final act of frustration she peeled of the top part of her
swimsuit, ridding herself of those little villains once and for all.
Lots of boats were moored
nearby, most of which were in the middle of party festivities. Each
time I swam out, I got to about 100 metres off shore and stopped.
This seemed to be enough to satisfy my adventurous spirit, without
turning it into a mini crisis. I'm not a bad swimmer, but we hear
so many horror stories in Australia about sharks and creepy-crawlies,
that it was as far as I dared to venture. As with many attractions
over-run by tourists, there was an element of rubbish in the area
which became intolerable at about the 100 metre mark.
As the hunger pangs set
in, it was decided to drive to Aigua Blava (Blue Waters) another beach
nearby. The restaurants were very busy, but finally we managed to
get served, and enjoyed an interesting variety of food. Being Greek,
I love olives. But I've never had them stuffed with anchovies before!
A serving of dried and salted pig snout accompanied our Orujo drinks
(an alcoholic brew appropriately named 'firewater').
But much of our conversation
revolved around the pirate!
The pirate was a mean looking
man dressed in shorts, sandals and tatoos. But the kerchief around
his head gave him the appearance of a pirate. The restaurant owners
had told him he wasn't welcomed to sit at their tables, but he refused
to leave. So they refused to serve him! So over the next 45 minutes,
we observed him as he gazed over the sea and made numerous mobile
phone calls to 'who knows who'. But I guess the inevitable had to
happen, and hunger got the better of him. And soon he was just an
image in our memory banks.