I´ve been to Spain a handful of times, and returned to Alicante this time with a slightly different mission. Me and my roommate were flying with a paralyzed man, as his personal assistants and caretakers. He is paralyzed from the chest down, and has limited use of his hands, so we have to help him with nearly everything. He has 3 different wheelchairs, one for bathing, one for traveling, and one electric one he can drive himself in his home, and we were on our way to his vacation home in Valencia province.
Just the drive from the airport to Villa Martin was a small culture shock. Seeing flamingos with their heads deep in salt flat ponds and endless fields of orang groves was so exotic to me. Coming from the woman who usually travels for 8 months a year but has only traveled 6 weeks in the last 13 months. I´ve actually spent more time in quarantine than abroad, a total of 6 weeks and 5 days after I´m done quarantining from this trip.
Spanish lockdown was slightly stricter than Iceland. There are mandatory masks everywhere, even outside on the street, and curfew at 10pm. You would be fined for walking without a mask or driving after 10, and the police were all around. Restaurants and bars had to close at 6, but the sun didnt even go down until 8, so it was fun daydrinking and then going home and sunbathing. There were 3 pools at his residence, but not very much sun.
We were surprised at the cool weather, temperatures daily below 20 degrees celsius, and a lot of rain. It doesnt normally rain in the area, but it rained every other day for two weeks for us. We still got a tan, and some beach time, and even though the ocean wasn´t quite warm enough, we went in anyway and enjoyed people´s stares. The palm trees and deep purple flowers in gardens brought smiles to our faces everytime, and the price of wine and tapas made our wallets especially happy.
We shopped til we dropped, not only because it was cheap, but because there were things we found that you couldn´t buy in Iceland. A foldable bike, a Nespresso machine for 64 euros, a blow up stand up paddle board… our suitcases will be heavy on the way home. It will take me 3 covid tests to get back, and 20 hours of travel through Stockholm where covid´s on fire. I just have to make it home, uninfected, and finish my quarantine since its finally my turn to get the Pfizer vaccine. Only a few more weeks and travel will start to get easier and more worthwhile for me… yay!