Our motorhome exchange friends Tana and Graham live in Torrevieja, Spain. They are an expat British couple who have an apartment in Torrevieja, but also a small motorhome. For anybody new here at Travel with Kevin and Ruth, they came to Canada to use our motorhome back in June and July of last year. Now, we get to use their motorhome for a couple of months here in Spain and Portugal.
Our best option to get to Spain originally was to fly to Barcelona. But then, we had to make our way from Barcelona to Torrevieja, a distance of about 570 kms (353 miles).
I explored the options a couple of months ago. We could have flown from Barcelona to Alicante, but it wasn't really that cheap. A better option was to take the EuroMed train and that way we would see some of the countryside as well. And, it was easy to see that booking in advance on the Renfre website offered the best discounts. So I bought the tickets about two months ago.
Tickets were €28.00 ($40 CAD, $30 USD) each...a price that would double if you were to buy them closer to the day of departure. It pays to plan in advance sometimes.
Our train was scheduled to depart at 10:00am. We had to make our way from Badalona to the main Sants station in downtown Barcelona, and that was just a single local train for about a 20 minute ride. Then, we had about an hour wait in the main train station.
Barcelona's main Sants train station.
Our train boarded at 9:30am, and everybody had assigned seats. The tickets very clearly stated which coach and which seats you were in. But it's always funny watching people get themselves sorted. We tossed our bags on the rack above our seat, and sat down. Simple, right? We don't get how it takes other people so long to get themselves settled.
Scheduled to leave at 10:00am, and it was 10:02 when we pulled out. Not bad!
On the train to Alicante.
Didn't take long, and we were up to 158 km/h (98 mph).
For a while that was the fastest we went. Eventually though, we sped up and the highest I saw it at was 202 km/h (125 mph).
It was really tough to try and take photos from the train. There was a really bad reflection on the inside windows and even though there were a lot of scenic opportunities, the photos aren't that good. I did take a video for you at one point...
And, here are a few still shots. Like I said, not the best.
We arrived in Alicante exactly on schedule at 2:55pm. Pretty efficient system. Then, we had to make our way from the Alicante train station to the Alicante bus station. I had all of this planned and knew that it was only a ten minute walk.
We arrived at the bus station and went to the information desk where the girl told us to go upstairs to booth number 9 to buy our ticket for the 4:00pm bus. The ticket was €4.50 ($6.50 CAD, $4.85 USD) for the 45 minute ride.
But...Tana and Graham weren't going to be in Torrevieja to meet us. We had talked a month or so ago and they had a great deal on a cruise leaving January 5th...a day before we were scheduled to arrive. They felt bad asking, but they wanted to know if they paid the fees, would we change our train ticket to January 4th. Then, they could take off on their cruise January 5th. But we said to just go ahead...we're pretty self sufficient and we can figure things out on our own.
And so they left on their 39 day cruise from the UK to South America and back. Wow!
Instead, the plan for us was to call their friends Pat and Rod who would meet us at Tana and Grahams apartment.
Our bus from Alicante to Torrevieja.
The ride was supposed to be only 45 minutes, but I think we got on the milk run...it made quite a few detours to check for other passengers, and it arrived at 5:10pm or so.
Alicante and area is popular with British tourists. There are a lot of cheap flights from the UK to Alicante and so it's easy for the British to get away from the cold and damp and get some sunshine. So the coast between Alicante and Torrevieja is lined with hotels and resorts and rental apartments.
We also saw some boondockers along the way!
We walked from the bus station to the apartment...about ten minutes. As we arrived at the apartment, it was easy to spot Louis! That's the nickname of the little motorhome we'll be living in for the next two months.
This is Louis!
Pat was there to meet us with the keys to the apartment. Tana and Graham are away on their cruise, and have left us the use of the apartment for as long as we wish to stay until we take off with Louis. We'll probably hang out here and relax until Monday, and take off with the motorhome then.
They've left us lots of little notes and paperwork...as well as a couple of bottles of wine...a very nice welcome, thank you very much!
Welcome, and enjoy!
She even made us a shepherd's pie and left it in the fridge for us so we wouldn't have to make dinner. Nice!
By then, it was dark so we didn't bother going out to look at the motorhome just yet. It's a beautiful sunny day today, and calling for a high of 17C (63F), so maybe we'll go check out the motorhome later. Hey. I'll make a video so that you can look at it with us!
Yesterday's journey from Barcelona to Torrevieja.
We bought a pair of these binoculars for ourselves at Christmas...Excellent quality, a nice case, and a great price. They're on deal of the day today...