SUNNY SPAIN

July 5, 2001

Last weekend we deserted Switzerland for the weekend, exchanging Lake Geneva, temperate weather and an explosion of roses for the Mediterranian, near-Texan heat and a profusion of bougainvillea (does anyone really know how to spell that word???) and oleander. Coastal Spain is a very odd mix of the northern and the southern, at least to the American eye: the shrubs and small plants seem desert or tropical -- prickly pear, century plants and big purple-blue morning glories in addition to the flowers mentioned above -- but the coastline itself has the rocky cliffs of the Pacific Northwest, while the trees run more to evergreens than palms.

We spent our three days and nights on the Costa Brava, "camping" as the locals apparently understand it. Actually, by the standards we saw around us, we really were "roughing it". We had no electrical appliances, no patio furniture, no refrigerator; our tent was not big enough to stand up in, and our bed was only an inflatable mattress. On the other hand, we had access to: a deep blue swimming pool of respectable size with a surrounding patio of brown ceramic tile; an indoor/outdoor cafe worthy of any resort; ping-pong tables; a pool table; a fussball table, and sparkling white, palatially sized sanitary facilities with hot showers and hair dryers. *And* the beaches.

Our campsite itself was the stuff of honeymoon dreams. Unlike most of the other sites, which were laid out in a gridlike pattern with views ranging from moderate to none, ours felt almost secluded. Over a small rise and screened on three sides by brush, our small site perched above a steep slope overlooking a rocky inlet of the Mediterranean. Jagged islands of rock curved out from the shore into a little archipelago; the waves breaking against them could be seen not only in sunlight but also by the full moon, which rose almost directly in front of our tent....

....OK, by now I've probably convinced most of you that I'm an outright liar, or at least abusing my poetic license. All I can say is, camp at Cala Llevado if you get the chance(*), and reserve plot A118 if you're a party of two with a small tent and no electrical appliances. Never mind that the map makes it look far away from most of the amenities. It is. You won't care.

As for the moon, check your calendar. ;-)

Till next time,
-- Lyn

(*) DO NOT rent a bungalow. They're all up by the road, nearly half a kilometer from the beaches.

Copyright 2001 Lyn Pierce