The March 2023 drive was a credit to Jan and Norman Gomm who put together a lovely route with good roads, magnificent scenery, wholesome farmyard smells and even a band and fireworks (or gunfire?) to welcome us to the restaurant in Los Garres. There was a great buzz in the dining room and the staff were very friendly and efficient, apart from a slight delay with the Smith’s lasagne. A new record was set for the amount of different foto locations and my thanks to Team Gomm for their help in this regard.
Many nice cars to see at the March Ace including Neil’s newly upholstered Healy 3000 and Den’s nearly finished XJ6 re-build. It will be presented in all it’s glory at the Antic Auto show this coming weekend on the Jag stand. Otherwise, some members cars were parked in Noah’s Arc fashion (2 x 2 for the non-biblists) and here they are. See you all at the IFA and on our next drive on the 19th.
Neil and Tonia took us on a very nice drive via San Felipe Neri (Harry’s Bar), Parque Natural El Fondo, Elche, Novelda (Santuario de Santa Maria Magdelena and Parque d’Oeste) and then to lunch in Crevillente via the ever popular (with those of us who enjoy DRIVING) N325. The route enabled me to be at three different locations so there is a nice variety of fotos this month.
Following the Ace Cafe assembly on Jan 1st a hardy bunch of members braved the sub 20deg temperatures and went on a short drive through the Parque Natural El Fondo including Norman and Janet in the new Cossie. Everybody enjoyed the spin and hopefully this might become an annual event to welcome a new motoring year.
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.