Some holiday ramblings. Take ’em or leave ’em.
So here we are, Lloret De Mar, Floret De Mard, Grande Plaige De La Plume De Ma Tante. It’s not even French but France isn’t too far away: a sickly sweat fest on the Med with as much to recommend it as to send you sprinting with fear. Until we booked this place I’d never heard of it and even then most people I spoke to didn’t have a clue either. A few said it was great, if you like that kind of thing, though worryingly they were the wrong few (sorry N & L we will trouble neither the water park or KFC). Lloret De Mar, on the Costa Brava is far more than the sum of its parts but then in fairness it has to be because it’s parts are pretty bloody grim at a first impression. It’s a pink skin and heat griddled beach on a slap of sand between a slice of cheap hotels and the deep blue sea and on any other day I’d rather not be here. And yet.
I’ve been to Spain twice. Once to Gibraltar, which isn’t technically Spain and is also another story altogether, and once to some golfing apartment set up, gratis with a couple we knew. They’re now divorced and she kept the place, though we’ve never gone back; she was nice but fragile, he was just a tiny bit weird. Oh well. So Spain proper for the first time, at least for me – ‘the wife’ has been so many times she is often mistaken for a Catalan goat herders daughter. We took a coach from Barcelona airport, which must have seen finer times, and arrived at some point just before midnight. Arriving anywhere on holiday at night is never great, you’re tired and you can’t get your bearings so almost everything looks like the last thing you’d want it to be.
Lloret is one of the ‘great’ Spanish coastal resorts; jam packed and ram jacked with arseholes seeking sun and grub and clubs and cold cerveza and silly cocks and flocks of daft birds who should know better but never do. Not that I know a lot either. It is at least 20 years before us and the little stroll on our first night in search of refreshment was as close to an entertainment hell as I have ever been. My guess is even the devil himself would struggle with a night at Colossus, though maybe the foam party would soften him up. That’s if the devil is male, of course. We were subsequently kept awake by endless rabbles of intoxicated bumwads jeering and singalonging and wolf whistling and puking their way past our hotel. It is a universal law that when drunk and with mates each member of a pack assumes they are the greatest, most entertaining person on earth. Oh, if that were so. Also it should be lawful to take pot shots with an air rifle at any prick on any scooter at night. I would need a lot of ammo here.
A few days later and I, we, have warmed considerably to little sweat sticky, hot prickly Lloret De Mar. Daylight makes it glow with promise and warmth (less warmth, more blazing heat) and while the sun is still out it is a perfectly lovely tourist trap. The beaches heave and pulse and jostle with bodies of all shapes and sizes and tones but each is respectful of the next and, besides the 2 French twats who imagined everyone else wanted to listen to their shamefully poor music, it was a nice place to pass the time and thrust into a novel. Silly me chose the wrong novel, and also shame about the flotsam and jetsum bobbing in the surf; not many bits you’d fancy swallowing.
The sea front has a smartish promenade and a string of near identical restaurants. The food and beer and cocktails from spot to spot are almost indistinguishable from one to the next but there is something to be said for consistent mediocrity. The shops seem to specialise in a few core items: tat, beach tat, kids tat, leather tat, fake tat, rat-a-tat and booze and between them have very successfully managed to corner every need of the average sun tourist. We have had to move rooms because of the noise but now resettled the mood is lighter and sitting by our little pool sipping fizzy and people watching is very pleasant indeed and that bonus of holidays is kicking in – doing almost fuck all and not feeling bad about it.
On the second night we sat in a small square, ordered an ADHD mojito each and just observed as the revelry began to take hold. We were placed opposite a nightclub called Bounders or Rounders or Bonkers or Bangers or something crap like that and we saw the shutters come up and we watched as a group huddled together outside for a few minutes and then dispersed across the square and only then did we realise (because I’d rather be in a coffin than in a nightclub) that this was the hustle team and it was their job to sweet talk as many half cut dipshits into spending the rest of the night and the rest of their money there. It did occur what a strange job that must be: to stay sober all night and watch everyone else get sloshed and fuck around with a bottle of washing up liquid. But then it wouldn’t be as strange as living in Lloret De Mar and seeing it all every single day. A holiday, yes. A lifetime would be far too much to stomach.
G B Hewitt. 26.07.2019