This summer Costa Blanca Scooterists decided on a long weekend in Spain’s best-known holiday resort. The original plan was to re-visit Ibiza, scene of a couple of great holidays in recent years, but due to Covid 19 and other scary stuff made this trip unadvisable: so ‘Benners’ it was!
In mid-July nine stalwart CBS members set off from the Torrevieja area: evergreens Pete and John were joined by some with previous, like Phil, Barry, Dave S and Andy. Newbies this year were Mike, Dougie and Steve. Scoots ranged from Dave Solan’s iconic 50s Vespa right up to Piaggio’s finest today, four lovely GTS’s, with the odd Scomadi, Lambretta and a Besbi thrown in.
The three/four hour journey along Spain’s coastal path, the N332 was negotiated safely via Alicante, Campello and San Juan with a couple of belly/fuel top-ups en route – a lovely coastal run with great views along one of the best Costas in Spain.
At first sight Benidorm is amazing, with skyscrapers everywhere. Our hotel was nearly right on the front, and the nifty nine were booked into three apartments with three beds in each. Twin bedrooms plus another bed in a lounge, each also with a small kitchen – and 11 jaw-dropping floors up…. Not so good points were hard beds and no aircon – and it was hot.
The hotel pool was adequate but if you wanted the sea the new Pandemic rules dictated you went along the Prom to a designated area, waited, paid €10 and received a ticket. That entitled you to three hours on the beach with designated sunbeds and a brolly. CBS? Yes to the pool for some – no to the beach for all…
We had in our midst some experienced regular ‘Benner-dwellers’ who know the place well. So after a shower and change CBS headed along the police-manned front (checking for those sinners without masks) for a great meal and brilliant entertainment. This was in a lively restaurant called Romans, right on the front: here the class act was a solo singer called Pablo Orlando Bloom who packed a punch in both English and Spanish.
This one-man show kept us all entertained while enjoying a hearty meal, fantastic fun. His personal rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody about visitors to Spain will long stay in the memory…
The next day was the Biggie with much travel and activity planned, and CBS were happily joined by our Dave Niker from nearby Agost for the day. Next door to the hotel the biggest-Beni-belly-busting breakfast a hungry man could ask for was consumed by all (€4.90!) and off we all went, north up into the stunning hillsides that surround Benidorm.
The GTS’s in our midst easily leapt up the sometimes steep slopes with the 125s struggling to keep up, but we all stayed together as a good group should do. Where were we headed? Well, to a little fortress tucked up in them thar’ hills called Guadalest. If you’ve been before you’ll know all about this place, a real gem with loads of Spanish history to back up its stunning location.
CBS spent several hours taking it all in, the newbies were fascinated, and even if you’ve been before there’s always something new to learn and see in Guadalest.
Coming back down from the dizzy delights CBS were treated to what proved the highlight of the trip for some: The Guadalest Motor Cycle Museum. For €3 per person, you can enter a world of the world’s motorized two-wheel past. If you happily happened to be an old Sixties Mod like this writer, you saw scooters you had once ridden years ago and some, including Bubble Cars anyone could only ever dream of riding.
Along with scooters and motorbikes there were a few cars, military exhibits, gramophones, typewriters, and model cars and scooters and other intruiging memorabilia. There is also a large well stocked model and souvenir shop with appropriate tee shirts and also a local crafts shop selling all sorts of lovely foods and gifts – wine by the container and honey, plus a restaurant although we didn’t try this. If you like a day out and very well-cared for two-wheeled historical heaven, this place is an essential visit for you.
That evening our serial Benidormers took us for a Benners walk. This very unusual entertainment citadel normally hosts all sorts of events like carnivals and parades all year and is full of fascinating characters: like Frank Gallagher from ‘Shameless’ who owns a bar and ‘V’ signs everyone who passes to encourage folk in (we were…). On our evening stroll taking in this strange night life our guides pointed out huge monstrosities looming out in the dark that we passed.
Normally these large hotels are heaving with holidaymakers at this time of year, but… well, we are living in Covid 19 weird times, aren’t we?
On the third day CBS rose again, and once more suitably stuffed took a ride up, up and away high up above the city with some unbelievable views and pictures of Benners, captured with the scoots in the foreground. Then sallying forth further along the coast CBS hit Calpe and its huge rock, a lovely town for lunch, followed by the delights of Altea in the afternoon.
This is a beauty of a Spanish town right by the sea, again with great views: the town seemed a little busier and perhaps somewhat happier than Benidorm? Another great day in the saddle was completed by a bar/restaurant meal visit to watch Real Madrid get beaten by Man City in the semi-finals of the Champions League – you could taste the wounded silence of the watching Madrileans and hear the cheering noise of the Barca fans from a distance away.
Sadly the final day dawned and CBS started for home – the trip had been great with some brilliant scootering and stunning scenery, more than enough to keep anyone happy. Sadly we lost big Steve on the way home on his spluttering Besbi, but good ol’ Linea Directa sorted out the necessary get-you-home and scoot-to-garage details well for a Sunday. That’s what insurance is for…
Summary: it wasn’t Ibiza, but CBS had a load of fun and laughs as usual, proving that where there’s a will there will always be a way – and these guys are good at it. Hopefully we’ll do another one next year, the lads are already looking forward to it!