Thursday, 31 March 2011

Calooya Calella

Here we are back in one piece after a few days in Catalunya, having heeded Rosie's sage advice here a few days ago to steer clear of any roadside hold-up stratagems.

The latest trick to persuade you to stand and deliver is to stage an accident at a quiet spot where two cars appear to have collided. 'Victims', usually children, lie down by the roadside or even in the road in poses of suggestive of dreadful agony and bloody injury, liberally spattered with tomato ketchup or strawberry jam. The 'survivors' wave you down frantically. Being the kind-hearted Anglo-Saxon that you are (as indicated by your number plate) you stop, whereupon your car is surrounded by chattering, wailing, gesticulating Romanians. As soon as you leave your car to lend a hand, they drive off in it with all your luggage, cards, passports etc, the dead and maimed magically come to life and spring into activity and drive off at high speed in the old bangers that have been arranged to look as though they collided. You speak no Spanish, your mobile has disappeared, you're in the middle of nowhere, you can't prove who you are and you feel that in the course of your life it's just possible that you may have spent better days than this.

Another trick which we managed to avoid involves traffic lights. You stop at a red light, someone taps at your window and informs you that you've got a flat rear tyre. Of course you have: this bloke has just punctured it. He offers to help you change it, but first explains that you have to set up your warning triangle not less than 30 metres down the road. You open the boot (i.e. trunk, Spadoman), fish out the triangle, trot along the pavement to set it up and meanwhile your new friend has disappeared with all your luggage.


There is an entrancingly beautiful stretch of the Costa Brava that we try to get away to every now and again. It's too steep and rocky and furrowed with cliff-girt inlets for there to be much development. There are a few tiny fishing ports and the occasional modest marina. It probably hums unspeakably with tourists in summer, but off-season we can count on having it more or less to ourselves. Below is part of the coastal walk from Calella de Palafrugell to Llafranc. Irresistible. And not a wrecker in sight.


Dave said...

Sounds just like Norfolk.

Sarah said...

looks beautiful. Haven't been to that part of Spain, think it will go on the list. Ooooh so much to do, so little time.....

Rog said...

Thanks for the tips Chris.

I'll be staging a fake accident on the B1652 outside Swaffham in the morning.

Rog said...

PS that last pic looks gorgeous. That perfect azure sea must make you think of Scotland. People's skin is that exact colour in Glasgow.

Geoff said...

Chas & Dave sang you can stick your Costa Brava, I'm telling you mate I'd rather have a pint dahn Margate wiv all me family.

Ah, but had they been here?

Rosie said...

Don't advertise these empty glittering coves too much. This is the time of year best for biking around them.
Glad you missed the pirates. They are just beginning to arrive here in droves.

letouttoplay said...

Entrancing indeed. Worth all the dangers of the journey there, I should think.

Christopher said...

Dave: Does it? I wouldn't know, I've only been there twice. But having read Rog's comment below you convinced me.

Sah: It's rather special, not what you (you = people in general, I wouldn't include you in the lump) associate with the Costa Brava. Come on, you've got time on your side, not like us what the Spanish call jubilados.

Rog: Any luck? With bail, that is, not suckers who fell for it?

Geoff: Chas and Dave. They don't make them like that any more. And I wonder what happened to George Formby?

Rosie: I won't tell another soul, promise. (But biking? The coastal paths we take are mostly stepped, if you aren't hopping from rock to rock and being thankful the Med. has no tides.)

Mig: Absolutely. And we managed to pass Swaffham without incident.