After our successful golf trip to France the previous year we had all agreed that we would reprise the event . Four of us went to France but by the time it came to make arrangements to go to Spain we were down to only two – the boys had dropped out and left the trip to the dads to enjoy by themselves.
Undeterred by this disappointing snub we went ahead with the arrangements for a few days golf in the sun. Richard sorted out the accommodation and I saw to the tee bookings and the car hire and with all arrangements in place we set off for Spain and the sun on a coolish sort of day in May.
We made it to the airport in good time and checked in nice and quickly. At the next desk was a rather large man which irritated us slightly when we had to pay our £15 surcharge for our golf clubs, which seemed a little unreasonable to us. Here’s a thought; if the average man is about twelve stone then a twenty stoner at £8 per kilo excess charge should have to pay about £300 extra to squeeze into the tiny BMI seat. But they get the flight for the same price us as us while we pay £15 for sports equipment weighing in at about only 5% of the weight difference.
That seems grossly unfair but we paid the penalty without complaining and rushed through security to the bar. We enjoyed a couple of beers and waited until the last possible moment to make our way to the departure gate. We thought we were being suave but when we selected the wrong route to the gate and realised only quite late on so we had to abandon our assumed cool disposition and break into an Olympic sprint to get to the correct corridor and the departure gate that was within a few minutes of closing when we finally panted through.
The flight was good and before we had time to get bored we were landing in Alicante airport and Richard organised our arrival with military precision and sent me off to sort out the car hire while he waited for the bags and the clubs at the baggage carousel. That was a great success and we completed our separate tasks with an impressive meticulousness that had us out of the airport car park and on our way to the holiday accommodation within thirty minutes of arrival.
This was important because Richard knew that the Mercadona closed at nine o’ clock and it was vital that we had acquired vital alcohol supplies before this happened. Richard displayed excellent navigational skills and guided us into the underground car park of the supermarket with about ten minutes to spare.
This was my first time in a Mercadona and I have to say that it was disappointingly Tesco. Mercadona is a Valencia based supermarket company and the largest operator in Spain with over one thousand stores on the mainland, the Balearic Islands and the Canary Islands, over fifty-five thousand employees and an annual ten billion euro turnover.
There was not much of a traditional Iberian shopping experience here and it was an anonymous sort of supermarket that you could find in any English town. Never mind, who am I to complain, it had exactly what we wanted, an extensive alcohol section and we filled our trolley with beer and wine and gin and we remembered to get some food for breakfast and then we paid and completed our journey to our apartment at the Las Ramblas golf complex.
We quality checked the beer, had a ham and cheese sandwich before we went into Villamartin for some food that neither of us really needed but didn’t feel that it was appropriate to say because we both naturally assumed that the other was hungry. Overfed and tired we returned to the apartment for gin and tonic on the balcony where to our great dismay it started to rain. The spring weather in Spain had been unseasonably poor so we were naturally nervous that this might mean bad news for our first golf outing tomorrow. Thankfully it blew over quickly and we both went to bed in optimistic mood.