Travel Writing – Benidorm
I peered down at the lush shrubbery surrounding the hotel and the bright blue pool.The look of pleasure plastered over people’s faces was a joy to see, the tall elegant building towered over me…
Then I lowered the brochure.I had been promised one of the top notch hotels in the whole of Benidorm yet here I was, greeted by a musky smell.
It made the air misty and filled my nostrils with I smell that I can only describe as making me want to retch. A dingy looking council flat towered over me, literally. It seemed as though it was swaying to one side and about to fall flat on my face. So much for ‘The perfect place to stay’.
My eyes stung and my gaze swayed down towards my feet as I tried to heal my eyes of pain. I was welcomed by the smell again when I realised it was appearing from the floor. Black liquid oozed from under the sole of my sandals.
After dumping my luggage in a tacky room just containing a bed, a bedside cabinet and a bathroom; don’t get me wrong this is all I asked for but it could at least be clean, I made my way out towards the town to check out the locals and see where the main attractions were. No-one was in sight. Where was everyone? I paced down through a cut in the trees and followed a greyish looking cat; they were all over the place. I found everyone. There was a market on today.
I strolled down the first aisle and took in my surroundings; it smelt of dusty rugs and plastic. I looked on the hand made walls and saw copy’s of all the latest fashion labels; they looked very fake but I couldn’t go away from Benidorm without something like that. I chuckled to myself. I was being shouted at by a local, “Please Miss, come buy – amazing bag – very cheap…” I waved my arm and dismissed the idea. Was it really that obvious that I was British?
I scrunched my eyes tight and fought against the sun, squinting at the brightness of it; I made out the outline my hotel. I had walked around in a colossal circle. I came here for one main reason, the sun. I could mainly get that at the beach. Off I wandered.
I arrived at my destination. I walked along the paved edge of the sand. Taking in the smell of the salty water being rose by the hot sun. I looked around and people on scooters were appearing to have a death wish as they swerved in and out of the busy traffic taking silly little risks to get only about two cars in front. I looked back down towards the beach, here it was winter yet it was still warm, local people were walking alongside me tutting at the thought of the British being in their swimwear at such a ‘cold’ time of year.
As I got nearer reaching the edge of the beach I was gazing upon a huge crowd gathered around a certain part of the sand. I edged closer and saw umbrellas towering over me; I squeezed through the mass of people to be taken away by the art in front of my eyes. A sculpture, made of only sand, of two mermaids sitting on stones was draped across the Spanish beach. The man who had obviously made the amazing model was standing proudly next to it with a proud smile on his face. I made eye contact with him.
He looked as though he was about to have a heart attack. “Please Miss,” He looked desperate, “I have no money, please,” He pointed to the mounds of buckets piled in front of the sculpture with a look on his face that only the most devilish of people would resist. I looked at the measly amount of coins in the buckets and pulled out my purse. I was shocked at the decent looking people who all instantly sat on the ground beneath them and turned into beggars. I was gob smacked.
I turned and ran I was followed by some but then they gave up. I ran and ran. I headed for the hotel. It was dingy and council-flat looking but I didn’t care. It would keep me safe… from this… this… mayhem.
I got to my room and locked the door behind me, leaning on it for support. I panted and grew very hot with all the running in the hot climate. I shrunk to the floor and sat for a few minutes getting my breathing back to normal. I ran the shower hot and jumped in it. It was nice and refreshing on my skin after the day’s events. I laughed at the thought of the people all sinking to the floor and instantly becoming beggars as they saw a British Traveller with money.
I settled to bed looking forward to a peaceful sleep. I was just drifting off went there was an almighty crash and bang on the door to my room. I could here mumbled voices and saw a yellowy liquid with bits in it oozing through the crack between the bottom of the door and the floor. I tiptoed backwards and opened the door at arms length. There was something heavy against it. I dared open it more. A man who looked like he had passed out was laying half in my room and half out. Was he from this hotel? I called the office downstairs and someone said they would be up as soon as possible. The man started to move. I asked him his name and age. He was only 18 and called Pete on a lad’s holiday and got lost. I was on the 4th floor; how did he get here? A man shouting in Spanish ran up towards me and took the man away. The cleaner cleaned what turned out to be vomit from under the door.
I lay back down on the bed and looked at the ceiling. Another 9 days of this? I cried myself to sleep that night.