Posted by: Team McSlade | May 10, 2010

Cardiff Calling

Sorry, sports fans, that the well has run dry over the last week. When you travel to study, unfortunately study does get in the way of travelling at some stages through it all.
I have just smashed out 14000 (14 thousand) words for a project on Spanish people doing business in [insert country here]. Australia was my choice, and in four days I used 63 references and covered 34 pages with this information.

 Enough of that and on to the week that was.
Mr Ryan Freeman came across from Cardiff for the weekend after Paella Day and he successfully got lost between Alicante and our place at least 3 times, he rolled in Friday evening at around 11.30pm.

A chat, a feed and a cook´s tour of the premise, then saw a kip and we arose to face the weekend. We had promised Ryan good weather with sun and pool swimming; however it seems the clouds didn´t hear this promise and reneged on their end of the bargain. Strike 1. 
Whatever, it´s Spain and a trip to the supermarket was required. We had pumped Ryan up with talk of the awesomeness (not a real word, but it´ll suffice) of Carrefour, alas someone forgot to tell Carrefour that we were coming and the car park was a ghost town, Strike 2.
No matter, onwards to the Vidal at the beach, it´s rubbish compared to C´four, but they sell food. They were shut and I can see a pattern forming here, Strike 3 and out.

Clearly this was not going well, but the beach was looking lovely and we got Matt´s tribe and the kids fed with Burger King (urgh) and Ryan and I snacked on jamon y queso bocadillos. He spent about 8 months in South America and learnt to survive with travel Spanish, I´d say his ability to get the job done rains on my parade, but I win in vocab and grammar. So we were able to converse in our broken Spanish with each other.

Beach, clouds and random banter were the order of the day; we did find an open heladería (ice cream shop) and Ryan sampled horchata for the first time. He wasn´t a fan. I was bemused, as I love the gear, blended chufas – tiger nuts (add canned laughter here) that are mixed with water and sugar and served very cold. Gold.

Calpe was the next day’s destination, the ordinary weather persisted but we managed to get on to the beach for a few kicks of the soccer ball. Zach originally brought the field soccer ball and not wanting to break toes or ankles kicking that brick around, Ryan and I scarpered to the car for the beach version.
On this venture we detoured to another heladería and Ryan saw a South American favourite, granizado – a slush puppie. Not wanting to disappoint or torment the kids, we decided to crack through the slush pups (and an ice cream too) and make it back to the beach somewhat inconspicuously.
No prize for what then occurred. No, the kids didn’t see and no, the cold treats did not end up on the street. My brain however became an outpost for the Arctic, two words – brain freeze.
Ryan laughed while watching me try and thaw this frosty temporal lobe and as karma would have it; his forehead also became a Mecca for penguins. So there we are two grown men standing on the beach front eating flavoured ice and ice cream, hands plastered to our foreheads to ward off the demonic brain (cold) snap. We fought through and won the day, but damn it hurt.

Back on the beach, wonderful soccer skills were on display. With a beach soccer ball with swing than a taped-up tennis ball, we pelted the make-shift goals. Luca (4) took a turn as goalie and nearly wore a couple, but it’s good to toughen them up early. We played a ‘two on two’ game with Zach and Matt taking on Ryan2. Best to five over the line and keep it clean boys.

Eventually, after a hard match, a couple of cheap shots, and some dodgy divots causing chaos, Ryan2 prevailed 5 – 3. Pack it up, pack it in; kids washed clean of sand and home we go.

Ryan kept us company for a few more days and found the drive back to Alicante a tad easier with better directions and daylight; alas a delayed flight meant bed in Cardiff wasn’t occupied until 2.30am.
Cheers Ryan for coming this way and enjoying a few days in our neck of the woods.

Team McSlade.



  1. Fab photo guys!

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