|Charles, Jon, Lucy, Caroline and Jackie on Calpe Rock|
Monday dawned dark and early and we headed off to the Penon, or 'Calpe Rock' to meet the family and go for a walk. Rather than wait in the car park B insisted we went to the agreed meeting point of the visitor centre, in case the others walked and sneaked in a different way. Having walked past the sign that said no feeding the seagulls and no feeding the cats, we met a lovely little cat family, tabby mummy, two little white ones and little runty tortoiseshell one. Charles then ran in saying "you could have waited in the car park" he was clutching the suncream we'd asked to borrow as that would appear to be the only thing, so far, in the wrong place. The suncream, mainly bought for skiing is in France, no, it obviously didn't occur to me it might be sunny in Spain!
|The family of cats playing at the Calpe Rock visitor centre|
|This little one decided to follow us up|
We all walked up to the first view point, where we left Lucy, not good with heights, and with a stiff left shoulder not good at holding on to the rope put up for assistance. The rest of us continued on, looking over the edge to three little wooden boats sailing off, firing cannons, to a mock battle just up the coast, no, we have no idea what was going on. Two more cats at the top, waiting for the two sachets of food brought by a local mad cat lady, many gulls, and many people! Having enjoyed the view we sauntered off to meet mummy, though Caroline did decide to do a small portion of the descent head first, giving her a bruised swollen finger and a nasty scrape on the leg. Invited to lunch we followed them to their very nice villa where we stayed while J&L went to get fresh bread only to find everywhere shut, must be a fiesta, something to do with the 'invasion fleet!' (Moors against the Christians re-enactment apparently). Oh well, Jonathan whipped up some pasta to go with the rest of lunch after which we headed off leaving the kids to their homework/revision! Well we had our own homework to do, bit of sweeping up after the hail storm the other day, before D&E returned at 22.00. Lovely to see them and catch up with a glass of wine.
|Jon, Jackie and Caroline on the upper section of the Calpe Rock Walk|
|On the summit|
Tuesday the family came over to say hi and while the boys got the air rifle out for a bit of tin can shooting the girls all went into Altea for a little potter, and an ice cream for Caroline and I. After lunch, back to the revision before we all met up in Calpe at the favourite fish restaurant for a yummy yummy meal and a lovely evening.
Wednesday Elizabeth and I shopped for dinner the following night, the famous paella, before D&E headed off to bridge. Another lovely evening as Jonathan cooked for us all, meant he could enjoy a drink, as could both Brian and Elizabeth the normal designated drivers as father was still on the very strong antibiotics he'd been given while in the UK for the hideous abscess that had developed after he'd had a tooth removed.
|The view of Calpe from the summit|
|Charles lining up for his shot|
Thursday was climbing day, well the kids had brought their shoes specially, so while Elizabeth and Lucy headed up the coast to Moraira, the rest of us climbed while father spectated. The kids both did very well and both did their first lead, clipping themselves into the rock as they climbed up. It was an easy climb they had both done on a top rope first so was well within their capabilities, however they both appreciated the 'head game' of leading and being above the gear so having the potential for a fall.
|At the crag. Richard, Jon, Charles, Jackie and Caroline|
I scrambled up beside them, not really giving advice, but there just in case. A successful first for them both, but Charles wanted more, he wanted to go up the big wall of the next crag, where instead of little climbs of 18m ish there are multipitch climbs of 65 ish metres. No time today, but if Caroline wants to go to the beach tomorrow, we are more than happy to bring you out again ....
|Caroline climbing high|
|Pre-paella drinks in the garden. LtoR: Jane (Elizabeths sister), Lucy, Elizabeth, Richard, Caroline, Jon, Jackie and Charles|
|Caroline helping grandad cook the paella|
|While the sun set over the mountain|
|Lucy, Jackie and Caroline apres-paella|
|Charles at a tricky point, Jackie on the belay stance|
They had their last evening to themselves but we did all get chance for a quick farewell this morning as they dropped off various things they'd borrow or didn't need anymore on their way to the airport. It's been lovely to have them nearby and we shall miss them, but it will finally give us chance to relax. Or so we thought.... the pool is drained the acid has been applied to the stains, and some serious sweeping of pine needles has taken place.
|Jackie and Charles waving from the belay|
|On the belay after I had joined them and about to set off on my pitch|
|Charles halfway up the second pitch having just popped into my view. He had moved out of Jackies view and hearing soon after leaving the belay so was climbing completely on his own up until this point|
|Jackie at the same point after following Charles up. He was a little disappointed she had reached this point so soon, as it had taken him much longer|
|Charles abseiling himself down the bottom pitch|
|This was the view we had from the crag. Just to the right of the sloping rock on the left in the distance is Benidorm, moving right in the distance is Puig Campana mountain and the big rock nearer to us towards the right is Mascarat Gorge|
|Job for Saturday: The pool has been drained and Richard and Brian wire brush the grout between the tiles after spraying with acid, ready for re-grouting on Monday|