Sunday, 24 January 2010

A brief recap......

No time for a full blog this evening as we only got back at 3.30am this morning and I am up at 4am in the morning as I am in London with work for two days, so I'll cover the holiday in instalments if that's ok with you? Yes? Ok.......

We had an amazing week, the weather was very kind to us for the whole week and I have a tan that will be the envy of London mainly due to forgetting to put suntan lotion on for most of the holiday. We did see a couple of clouds during the week but on complaining to the Hotel manager they had them removed and replaced with a gentle breeze.

The Hotel - The Arenas Del Mar in El Madano - was nearly incredible. The decor was lush and contemporary, our room overlooked the bay and had an incredible view of the sunset. The food was mainly great with a few exceptions and the staff were friendly and efficient.

It had all of the right ingredients but like a poorly baked cake it just let itself down a little bit around the edges.

Thankfully this gave me ample opportunity to exercise my cynicism muscles. I'm  not sure I could cope with absolute perfection, how would I replace the time I spent moaning?

The minor irritants were mainly cosmetic. As an example they piped music through the hotel and the pool area. Imagine that someone had hurriedly bought 12 CD's at a car boot sale and then put them all in one big CD changer and pressed 'Random Play'. Consequently, our version of paradise was accompanied by classics such as 'unchained melody' - every 15 minutes, 'Whiter shade of pale' - instrumental version and most bizzarely Bing Crosby's 'White Christmas' at 3pm in the afternoon on a blazing hot January day. I could go on with the list but I think if you really fired your own imaginations and thought up a list of records you did not want to hear whilst sunbathing you would be surprisingly close.

Secondly, the pool was hotter than a really hot bath and twice as salty as the sea right next to it. I had to keep getting out just to cool down.

Worse, the pool had a strict 'No Inflatables' policy meaning that my portable ferry that I had lugged all the way there was mostly redundant except for a few cruises on the open sea. Mind you the takings in the Duty-Free section at the rear of the craft were a pleasant surprise.

Our strict, self-imposed  'do nothing and go nowhere policy' was breached on a couple of occasions for a few trips into the town particularly to watch the Manchester Derby in an English bar full of ex-Pat Manchester United fans from Cornwall and such like. When Giggs opened the scoring I was roundly jeered by approximately 30 sofa supporting comedians so I think I can be forgiven for publicly airing my own beer fuelled version of the Carlos Tevez dance following our redemption. Strangely most of the them disappeared ten minutes before the end of the game despite the result being on a knife edge.

The absolute Zenith of our holiday occurred on day three. Our Hotel probably holds 450 people but as we were very early in the season there were approximately 40 people for the whole week. Disregarding the low occupancy the in-house entertainments manager Monica valiantly tried to recruit people to her daily dose of shit games and bizzare exercise regimes. By closing my eyes and switching my I-Pod onto full volume I managed to put up my very own 'No Thank You' sign. However, one particularly gullible woman who had just arrived agreed to an Aqua Aerobics section presumably thinking there would be loads of people joining in. To her evident horror she had to take a one-to-one Aquathon to pounding Techno music lasting 45 minutes, with Monica coaching her from the side of the pool whilst the rest of the Hotel looked on in a combination of barely concealed horror or in my case uncontrollable laughter. I literally had to have my buttocks separated afterwards, after clamping them together so tightly on her behalf. Comedy gold.

Our return flight was delayed and Mel's flying anxiety was fuelled as a result. I managed to buy some extra leg room seats to try and help and as we finally boarded the seat next to her was empty and she began to relax. Without warning a gorilla sporting a Che Guevara T-Shirt unceremoniously plonked himself next to her claiming that he was too ill to sit next to his wife further back. He then preceded to shake like a shitting dog whilst doing an impersonation of an extra from Tenko. At one point I thought he had actually coughed one of his lungs up. He attempted to befriend Mel with a winning opening line "Sorry about the coughing love, I've been in bed with swine flu all week, would you like me to buy you a drink". Mels reaction was difficult to hear properly but sounded something like "Oh Clucking thanks".

Stony silence accompanied the rest of the flight interspersed with retching and choking from coughing Bob. I decided to take control of the situation and put my I-pod on and went to sleep.

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