April Drive to Agost Pottery
We assembled in Nonduermas on a bright, sunny morning and drove via Albatera, Hondon de los Frailes and the western approach to Novelda before stopping for coffee at Casa Miguel. A short spin then to the Emili Boix Pottery in Agost where the man himself gave a very entertaining demonstration while many of our members bought some nice pieces as a memento of the visit. Onward we drove via Verdegas and Aspe before skirting Novelda on the way to lunch at Las Palmeras in Crevillente. We had Jaguar, Porsche, Mercedes, Ford, Mazda, Triumph and MG cars in our convoy and everybody seemed to enjoy the roads, the pottery and the food. Success !
Feb Drive to Sierra Espuna 15 cars departed from Lo Pagan and made their way to Alhama de Murcia through flat but scenic countryside before climbing through Totana to a coffee halt at the lovely Sanctuaria de Santa Eulalia where some explored while others ate and drank. Onward then to Aledo and into the forest park in the Sierra Espuna. The slow drive through the smooth forest roads was perfect to allow both drivers and passengers to take in the views and we then emerged from the park to stop for a very nice lunch at Restaurante Hermanos Mandola. What a pity that the sun refused to shine through the clouds but nevertheless we had a very nice day out.
PS. I was stopped by the Policia Trafico in Los Alcazares on the way home and breathylised but all they found was lungfuls of fresh air and agua sin gas.
We were promised a long drive and that’s what we got although not as long as some had feared. Fast, smooth (a few pot-holes) roads were the order of the day through flat farmland and countryside where vine growing was very prevalent. We gathered in Hondon de las Frailes and motored in the direction of Monovar, Pinosa and Yecla before a break for coffee and yummy cakes at Casa Boquera. More of the same for the second half and a return to Hondon via Pinosa and Novelda where we enjoyed a very nice meal at El Fogón de la Solana . Thanks to Johnny and Rachel for organising a great day out.
Christmas Lunch 2021 We went to La Cosecha in Benijofar for this year’s Christmas lunch and enjoyed a lovely meal, a superb raffle and a cherry pie mystery. 44 members and friends gathered for the festivities and many thanks to Lesley for organising the raffle in which everyone won a prize. How lucky we are! The Cherry Pie mystery. Well many people ordered cherry pie but were disappointed when they were told that the pies were all gone. The waitress then told our table that she had found one cherry pie and Lesley said that she would have it because she was the treasurer and they would not get paid unless the cherry pie was delivered to her pronto. The waitress went to get the pie but returned sans pie and with the sad news that the pie had had an accident (unspecified). We reckon that this was a lie because we later checked with Torrevieja Hospital and no injured cherry pie had been admitted on that day. We had peach and pear crumble with custard instead and it was yummy. See you all at the Ace on January 2nd and on Johnny’s January Jaunt on the 30th. Calendars will be available at both these venues.
IN THE TRACKS OF LA VUELTA
The November drive, as the name suggests, was a very rough replica of the 8th stage of the Vuelta a Espana from Santa Pola to La Manga. Our version started in Pilar and finished in La Manga consisting of a trip along the coast between Lo Pagan and Santiago de la Ribera, a turn inland to La Puebla and La Palma, a return to the coast at Cartagena where we we treated to a visit of no less than three cruise ships and a coffee halt at Vista Alegre. The second half took us over the hills through the tin mines to Portman and onward to the lighthouse at Cabo de Palos before returning for lunch at Los Belones. The day started out dull but brightened as we went on and roofs started to open as we stopped for a photo shoot on the climb out of Portman. A very nice day was spoiled by the poor quality of the lunch in Campo Verde, a restaurant which we had visited before with happy memories but not on this occasion.
MOJACAR WEEKEND OCT ’21 We have had some drives since the lifting of Covis restrictions but this was the first weekend away since May 2019. We decided to re-visit Mojacar for ease of booking, familiarity with the hotel and a good knowledge of the roads which reduced recce time. So, off we went on the Friday and took the coastal route via Águilas to arrive in Mojacar in mid afternoon. The bar beckoned but some of the more sensible ones went for a paddle on the beach instead. After dinner the sing-song started and we learned that the words of “Alice” are the same in Dutch, Norwegian and English and that all Irishmen do not know the words of the Irish Rover. On Saturday the serious motoring for serious drivers took us into the hills to the North of Almeria and we even found time to visit the Circuito de Almeria where some bikers were having fun on the track. The roads were fantastic as was the scenery and some people even spotted some Ibex who were admiring the cars. Phil won the award for Driver of the Day having no problem keeping up in his Mk1 Fiesta and Ian won the Hamilton award for determination after doing most of the route in second gear in his SLK. Back to the bar for more punishment and more music (?) after dinner. Sunday dawned and we set off for home via Garrucha, Águilas and Mazzarón and what trip is complete without a visit to Burger King for a whopper, fries and coke. First time ever, to the dismay of some, for the PCC. Huge thanks to Johnny for taking us to places very few have been before.
A small but select group gathered at the Sunset Cafe in Los Altos for the 4.30 pm start to the August Drive. It was good to welcome back Felipe and Amalia and also some guests who accompanied Ian and Carol and Neil and Tonia. The route took us via Los Montesinos, Montebello, Pedrera and Hurchillo before a stop at La Tetería de Cueva in Jacarilla. The architecture here was fascinating and well worth a visit, especially if you were a Flintstones fan in a former life. After the refreshments we departed for the return leg via San Miguel and Campoamor and then arrived at Restaurante Los Cucalos where the meal was excellent and the service was swift and entertaining.
JULY DRIVE TO ONIL MAZE
Our July drive on Wednesday the 14th, Bastille Day, was scheduled for one of the hottest periods in recent times but Ian must have had divine inspiration or luck on his side as he took us up into the hills to the cool air and shady trees of Casa Tapena near Onil. We gathered at our new spiritual Ace Cafe home at Nonduermas and headed off to Crevilllente, Novelda and Agost, stopping for a coffee and comfort break at Casa Miguel (formerly Don Camino). Lovely roads so far but things could only get better as we left Agost and took the CV827 to Castalla and then the CV 802 to Onil. Smooth, winding roads with great scenery and hardly another car or bicycle to be seen. On arrival at Casa Tapena some brave souls ventured into the labarinta (maze) and when we left three hours later we could still hear the cries for help. Oh well! The picnic area was shaded by tall trees and the cool mountain breeze was very welcome. All in all a great day out and enjoyed by all who took part. We now look forward to Terry’s evening drive in August.
A shorter than normal drive (by Johnny’s standards anyway) greeted the seventeen cars which gathered at Meroil, Callosa and departed at 11 pm. We wound our way through Benferri, La Murada, Fortuna and Abanilla before crossing over the Sierra de Abanilla on the RM-A9 road which afforded wonderful views of the surrounding countryside, particularly on this, the clearest of days. We then passed through the metropolis of Barbarroja before arriving in Hondón for lunch where the food was acceptable but where the service was somewhat lacking. I dare say there are still some people sitting patiently waiting for postres. We now look forward to Ian’s drive on July 14th. Please note this drive will be on a Wednesday, bring a picnic and you will be guaranteed an AMAZING day.
As you can see from Nathan’s letter to members the COM have held a meeting and there was quite a lot to be done considering the fact that, due to Covid, we have not been able to hold meetings for some six months or so. When planning future events there was much more to be considered than the usual date, time, place etc. Restrictions had to be kept in mind, locations where social distancing could be respected, meeting/coffee/lunch venues and suchlike and we would like to think that we put some effort into getting it right and providing the members with a varied and interesting set of drives over the summer months. Of course we cannot please everybody and already we have received a complaint about one of the proposed drives. All I can say (as the person who suggested the drive in question) is that there was a lot to be considered such as familiarity with the route and the location of the overnight stay in order to cut down on recce work etc. and also an issue regarding the deposit money for the Ibiza trip which is being held by the travel agent. While we accept that members may have legitimate complaints from time to time my belief is that the club would be better served if those people would join us on the COM and put their valuable suggestions to a forum where action could then be taken for the benefit of the membership as a whole.
A wonderful turn-out of 18 cars, including two new members, celebrated the return of the club to the roads of the Costa Blanca after a six month lay-off due to the Covid restrictions. We assembled at the BP near Zoco Market and travelled via Formentera and San Fulgencio to the fabulous roads around the Parc Natural del Fondo where we enjoyed a picnic, a chat and, for some, a walk around the wildlife park. Back on board again and onward via San Felipe Neri, Catral, Dolores and Benijofar to the finish in San Miguel. A slightly different drive to what we might usually expect but one that was enjoyed by everyone and we now look forward to another drive in June hosted by Mr Halvorsen.
Our December/Christmas drive was organised by Johnny and, as usual, he did not let us down. Sixteen cars made it to the start line and It was great to welcome Dafydd’s 1969 E-Type to the club and to welcome back old friend Mick Whybrow in the ex-Dafydd XK8. What seemed like a fairly mild beginning while we distributed calendars at two locations soon became “interesting” as we visited the aerodromo de Mutxamel and then took the CV819 to meet the Tibi-Xixona road. This was a wonderful drive although some passengers were a little squeamish at the prospect of falling off the edge of the precarious mountain road. We all made it safely to the CV810 and then back to El Cortijo in Formentera where we were faced with a mountain of a different kind, a mountain of food. Those with doggie bags were well satisfied and everyone received a Christmas gift in the form of booze, biscuits and chocs. Happy Christmas and a safe and trouble free 2021 to all our members.
PRESS COVERAGE OF CLUB EVENTS
Richard and Terry have combined forces to get some coverage of club events in the local press. So far we have seen the results in The Costa Blanca News, The Weekly Post and The Leader. Let us know if you spotted any club related news in any other publications. Also if you have purchased a car, changed a car, modified a car or done anything car related (bank robberies don’t count) let us know and we will put it on the club website and/or the facebook page.
NOVEMBER DRIVE; DEJA VU ALL OVER AGAIN
Our November drive was a lovely mix of new roads and parts of some old favourite drives with a clever loop system to bring you round in circles so hence the Deja Vu title. We started (well, most of us Johnny) in Pilar de la Horadada and the route took us to San Miguel, Rebate, Jacarilla, Bigastro, Hurchillo, Orihuela, Molins and back via Torremendo to lunch at San Marino (not the one in Italy but the one in Campoverde) where we tucked into a herd of ducks. Clear blue skies all day long and quiet country roads gave us a great day out and our thanks to Ian and Carol Smith for putting it all together. Alan brought along his MX5 for it’s first club outing and Ian had the SLK’s roof up all day because he had to. Den had the Oxford on the doorhandles as usual (he blames the crossplies) and Frans has made a purchase which we may see in December and nice to see Rolf in the big Merc.
Another very successful post-lockdown drive with 17 cars appearing in Formentera for a drive which would take us down to the coast at La Marina and then to Santa Pola where we had two short stops to take in the views of Tabarca Island and visit the little chapel of Ermita de la Virgen del Rosario under the shadow of the cliffs at Gran Alacant. Onward then via Arenals, Balares, Dolores and Daya Vieja to lunch at Paco’s Restaurant. Our thanks to Team Sawkins for organising the day and we look forward (Covid permitting) to next month’s drive to the Jalón Valley.