Covid Tour de Espana Part 2 | Edward Anderson
Day 16 – Friday 14th August – Carrer Dels Corredors
After giving the lady a heart attack (I guess she had become so used to not having customers that the sight of one was a shocking experience), we’re sitting in this shaded plaza, all on our tod.
We’ve got some catching up to do. Yesterday was a lazy day at the beach. My friend (much to my bemusement) didn’t swim but I pretty much lived in there, in between chugging water and feeling the alcohol seep out of my system. It’s a gorgeous stretch of sand, shallow enough to reach the buoys without too much effort and as someone used to the shiveringly cold water of Cantabria, it was a pleasant change.
Valencia is the last time I am going to get a taste of the ocean on this trip so I’m making the most of it. After this, it’s the brutal summer of Andulucia and no comfort coming. The day before had been the busy one, with a friend suggesting L’Oceanogràfic (the largest aquarium in Europe as he pointed out to me on several occasions) and I agreed. Then I found out the price… 30 euros. Joder. We went anyway but it’s yet another time in my life I wish someone had the decency at 16 to tell me to study for a real degree.
This is why people don’t have kids, I thought to myself. Two parents with kids, plus food (massively overpriced in the park) and you are looking at 100 euros before you’ve had tea. I hope there is some sort of discount for locals or a family day…
Still, it is worth seeing and the money is definitely put back into the facility. All social distancing pretence is dropped as we see the beluga whale, the man taking the applause after feeding it (sod off mate, you’re not the attraction here).
The enclosure is massive but still doesn’t seem like enough space. Then, some arse with his mask not covering his nose starts sneezing behind a lady with kids. He does it again and I can’t believe she hasn’t rammed that mask up his nose. It’s the first time I’ve felt uncomfortable (covid wise) on this trip and that continues in the shark enclosure. Impressive as they are, the section is rammed, especially with children sitting in the middle of the path. My theory is that now Spain has so few children, the ones they do have are over-indulged.
An hour later though, we pretty much have the place to ourselves. I get to watch the spectacle of two seals gracefully (they are completely different animals under the water) dancing together before they begin to nibble at the nose and fin of a giant turtle, wearing the expression of a tired father who has been left to look after two energetic toddlers.
I know that these places need a lot more than myself to survive (and I do think of the people who worked and studied to get a job at this incredible place, only to see it disappear due to Covid) but it’s a pretty incredible feeling to be able to witness this sight, with barely a soul around.
In terms of tourists, there’s a few Dutch (perhaps Geert has sent them to see if we are looking for work) but Valencia is largely sedate. I’ve seen four people since I sat down and one of them is the all too familiar sight of a homeless man, himself hiding from the heat.
I’ve been wondering around El Carmen and ended up here. Still though, as the waitress brings out my second drink and the shadow of the trees is floating across the page, there’s worse places to get lost…