I am not referring to the criminal fraternity by that statement, but those that keep coming back to Benidorm again and again. Normally it’s the glorious weather that brings them here, but that was rather hard to believe last weekend. Although we have desperately needed rain here – the reservoir at Guadalest was virtually a quarter full back in the summer, it was gentle continual rain we needed to allow the water to gently absorb.
Instead what we got was a torrential unrelenting downpour lasting over 3 days, which washed away everything in its path. Video clips on social media highlight the destruction that Mother Nature unleashed – dustbins floating along the Avd Mediterraneo, manhole covers blown off, cars being swept along residential streets and sadly a death in La Cala. Yet on Tuesday morning the sun was back out and shining again – it is almost surreal how it can change so quickly from one day to the next.
Those that had booked to come over for Christmas were positively panicking, asking questions on Trip Advisor about the weather, with the question “Is the New Town flooded’. One comment in particular made me laugh – obviously made by a man “so long as I can get to and from the bars”…. which just about sums it all up!
Although it’s nice to be away from home – avoiding the stress and family arguments that are bound to unfold, Christmas is not the same here as it is in the UK. Last weekend the Marina shopping centre was pretty empty in comparison to the hysteria that is taking place in the likes of Bluewater, Westfield and the Trafford Centre, with people literally fighting over items.
The Spanish celebrate on Christmas Eve here, with a big family meal and the 25th - what is Christmas Day to us, they treat as our Boxing Day… which sadly for them means they do not get an extra day off this year. In the UK because Christmas falls on Sunday, both Monday and Tuesday are Bank Holidays so many that have come over will extend their stay and incorporate New Years Eve here too, needing to just take three days annual leave.
I have watched holidaymakers arriving on the shuttle buses and cannot help but laugh at the size of some of the cases that they bring. You would think that they were staying for a month at least – and where on earth they find such big suitcases is beyond me. The planned luggage handlers strike was thankfully called off, which would have caused havoc for those departing today.
I heard that Ryanair was thinking of only allowing hand luggage on to ensure flights still left, but the issue with this is capacity. There is only room in the overhead lockers for 90 pieces yet a plane can take 189 passengers. What would the other half do with their bags? It is bad enough normally when passengers are told that their hand luggage has to be placed in the hold as there is not enough space inside.
Most do not have a lock on their hand luggage and will have all their ‘expensive’ valuable items with them - not expecting to be parted with it. I always keep a few plastic cable ties in my passport holder so if that happens I can quickly take out anything I need for the flight, such as my ipad and secure it before handing it over. Obviously if someone really wants to get in then they will regardless of any padlocks but it will deter the light-fingered baggage handlers from unzipping it and having a root around.
But going back to the size of the luggage some bring over it amazes me as when you see the girls out and about, especially at night, they are virtually half naked… so my question is, what do they bring? With the cost of checking luggage in it is almost cheaper to just go and buy a few items here then leave it behind! Certainly in the summer all you require is swimwear and flip-flops for the daytime and a couple of night outfits. But even today, the temperatures are fairly mild - I actually saw someone in the sea today! Considering it's virtually the end of December, not bad!