Blanes – Christmas Eve
From Colònia Güell in eastern Barcelona, we fought our way through the morning traffic to reach the northern ringroad, then with no particular rush, we cut back onto national coast roads to both avoid any unknown tolls and to enjoy the expansive sea views. We stopped for a big grocery shop in a very busy Carrefour, as all shops would be closed for the next few days, then we made our way to our chosen Christmas campsite on the coast at Blanes.
We booked in and picked out a quiet spot in the shady trees, noting that all the other motorhomers had already bagged the prime real estate – the beachfront sites. Still, the clear, calm blue sea was only a 20 second slow walk away, and still clearly visible from our windows. We had a quick walk around the facilities and out to see the beach promenade, happy with our choice of rest for the holiday season. After settling in for a while, we returned to sit on the beach with a glass of red and enjoyed the calm tranquillity of the lapping waters as the sun set; a very different Christmas Eve to the norm.
Blanes – Christmas Day
After opening some very thoughtful gifts, we kick-started our day with large bacon butties that would set us up for our obligatory festive swim. Before we could make it into the water, we got invited by the campsite owner to attend their Christmas day celebration meet, where we were immediately inundated with snacks and booze. We met a lovely Dutch couple and chatted to them as we all consumed far too much pink bubbles and sweet, nutty treats. When turning down further top-ups we mentioned a desire to swim later and after heard the word loco mentioned a few times with furtive glances in our direction.
The owner sang a few a cappella flamenco tunes and the local ladies shook out a few basic dance moves as the party got flowing. A little tipsy after the lovely festive campsite get together, we had to postpone our swim plans until later in the afternoon. Around 3pm we finally suited up and went for a long sea swim, perhaps an hour or so, doing lengths parallel to the coast. The sea was still around 16 degrees, so it was comfortably warm in our wetsuits, not the usual deep chill experienced when completing swims in Scotland or the Lake District over previous Christmas breaks.
We cooked large chicken breasts stuffed with mushroom, cheese and tomatoes for our Christmas dinner, and served them with all the usual trimmings. We enjoyed it all with soft background music and smooth wine, with a view of the calm blue Mediterranean Sea from our window. We later walked over to the beach to watch a glorious sunset, followed by samplings of Amaretto and Laphroaig Select to finish off our special day.
Blanes – Boxing Day
We woke up to another beautiful, bright day and a cloudless sky, so thought it necessary to go for a long, unhurried walk and enjoy the sunshine. We proceeded along the coast into the local town of Blanes, where the weekly market was in full flow.
We bypassed the markets in favour of a loop around the marina and harbour walls, before returning through the town and seeing the local squares and central church. We climbed up some local rock formations on the beachfront that offered a great vantage point back over the town and coast. We returned the same route to the campsite, passing many people sat out in cafes or walking the promenade in the sun, some with young children playing with their obviously new toys – roller skates, bicycles and scooters.
We had a leisurely lunch and then decided to go for an even longer sea swim again, as the water had been so inviting. We swam longer lengths along the coast this time, back towards the town centre, loving the calm waters flowing easily by us. We dodged a few lines cast from fishermen sitting with rods pointed into the lightly breaking surf.
After the warming bliss of very long, hot showers we enjoyed a second Christmas meal from yesterday’s leftovers. Later in the evening we again had a lazy walk to the beach to enjoy a similar cloudy-red sunset over the beach.
Blanes – Day 4
Feeling idle and fully relaxed, it seemed like it would have been rushed to race off this morning, so we decided not to leave as originally planned. Instead we arranged one further night on site which meant we could catch up with some other menial jobs we needed doing and organise our next moves while we still had WiFi. We put laundry on to wash and played a competitive game of table tennis in the sun as we waited for the spin cycle to end. We reorganised clothes, made lists and readied ourselves to get back on the move. It is sometimes difficult to break out of the calm, easy campsite mindset, retake the reins and ride into the complicated, sometimes difficult, unknown. But to make progress we must; the celebrated Costa Brava coastline was stretched out in front of us, ready to be discovered.