Costa Blanca #2, Spain, 11/13

December 10, 2013

With our grey water tank nearly full and our freshwater tank almost empty, we headed north to Aguilas to resupply. Leaving Cabo de Gata and the Costa Almería, we drove north on good highways towards the super resort city of Benidorm on Spain’s famous Costa Blanca.

We stopped for the night at a beach recommended by fellow travelers, Playa del Pinet, which turned out to be a parking area along a side street. Looking like an RV dealership, it was a winter haven for Dutch, Swedish, French and German snowbirds. We grabbed an available spot and spent a quiet night, but it was no place to linger. Others would spend a couple of months there.

It was interesting to see the difference between the European RVers and those we know in the States. There were virtually no tag-alongs, but everyone had either a small 2-passenger motor scooter or cycle or at least bicycles on the back, sometimes electric ones. No trailers or 5th wheels. No slide-outs. These were relatively small coaches built on Fiat, Ford, Renault or Peugeots with 4-cylinder diesel engines. Almost everyone had a satellite dish for television and an array of solar panels. Most of the lighting inside was LED. Virtually everyone uses cassette toilets since in Europe there are very few if any places where you could use a hose to dump 25 gallons of black water.

Benidorm announced itself from far away. Negotiating the main drag of Benidorm, we were glad it was not the height of the summer season. Monika remembered her first visit to Benidorm in 1966 when there was only one high-rise building. Now there was a forest of condos. Still, the beach is beautiful and we could see the reason for the town’s popularity.

Once a sleepy beach town, Benidorm is now a super resort city with a forest of high-rise condos and the largest discothèque in Europe.

Once a sleepy beach town, Benidorm is now a super resort city with a forest of high-rise condos and the largest discothèque in Europe.

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We could not imagine what the traffic would be like during the height of the summer season.

We could not imagine what the traffic would be like during the height of the summer season.

The Benidorm main beach was world class.

The Benidorm main beach was world class.

Playa del Pinet turned out to be a parking area along a side

Playa del Pinet turned out to be a parking area along a side street for European Snowbirds. It looked like an RV dealership.

Many Snowbirds had either a small 2-passenger motor scooter or a motorcycle to get around. There were no “tag-alongs”.

Many Snowbirds had either a small 2-passenger motor scooter or a motorcycle to get around. There were no “tag-alongs”.

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Bicycles were also popular. Many were electric.

Bicycles were also popular. Many were electric.

This three-axle coach was about the maximum size we saw, and they were rare. No one had “slide-outs”.

This three-axle coach was about the maximum size we saw, and they were rare. No one had “slide-outs”.

Solar panels were a must. This foldout set was claimed to produce 120 watts for 350 Euros ($473.00).

Solar panels were a must. This foldout set was claimed to produce 120 watts for 350 Euros ($473.00).

Despite strict rules differentiating “camping” with “parking”, (no chairs, awning, tables, BBQs, etc.), some people pushed the law.

Despite strict rules differentiating “camping” with “parking”, (no chairs, awning, tables, BBQs, etc.), some people pushed the law.

 

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