It’s a little over two weeks ago on a Saturday night and I’m having a quiet pint (or two) in Mikeen’s, and the chat turns to holidays and things like the sun and sea, and such stuff, and the question is asked as to whether everything has sky-rocketed, price-wise, in Spain.
The reason of course for such a question, is the continuing and continuous terror threat all over the Middle-East and holiday destinations such as Turkey, Egypt, Tunisia and many more favourite places are now almost no-go areas and the word was out that as a result the price of holidays in Spain had almost gone through the roof.
Today it’s Monday afternoon in the lovely Spanish resort of Cabo Roig, south of Alicante on the Costa Blanca and I am writing this getting ready to head back to the Emerald Isle after two absolutely glorious weeks here in the never-ending sunshine. If you are thinking of heading this way, I can guarantee that once you get here after shopping around to get the best price available on flights, that Spain is still great value and food and drink is still miles cheaper than at home.
Here in Cabo Roig, the famous strip has an abundance of restaurants, from fast food to upmarket Italian, Indian, Moroccan, Thai, and Chinese, along with some top class steakhouses – and every budget is catered for. For example, there’s The Wok – which I told you about a good few years ago – where you could eat as much as you wanted for €8.95 still has the same option, now a euro extra. Some people might not believe me when I say you can eat as much as you want, but that is exactly the situation; you can spend the whole day in there if you like and have as many starters, main courses, and desserts as you can manage, and no one will tell you when to stop!
Our favourite restaurant is the aptly-named Beef or Salmon, where you will get a superb four-course meal, including a ten-ounce flame-grilled sirloin steak, for two people for less than fifty euro. Throw in the lively strip with a number of Irish pubs where the branded drinks, like Hennessy brandy and Guinness itself, are priced marginally less than at home, but where you will buy Spanish ales and lagers for less than half our prices, add on the beautiful beaches and the unbroken sunshine and – if you’re a golfer – several courses round the area, and it’s easy to see why this part of Spain is so appealing to so many Irish folk.
On this trip we met lovely people from all over the country including Michael and Mary Fleming from our own neck of the woods. For me the biggest thrill was to meet a man from Galway, Michael Connolly, who is a hurling legend, and his wife, Orla, along with Michael’s three brothers. Not for the first time, I realised that true sporting heroes are generally modest, down to earth, and really genuine people. Michael Connolly certainly was all of those and it was a pleasure to spend time in the company of himself and Orla and I invited him to Creggs when and if our junior hurling team ever resurrects itself. He kindly accepted the invitation, so who knows? Is there another Ollie King out there to bring hurling back to the parish?
Before I finish with Spain and this trip, once again we hit on our own favourite Elvis, Greg Traynor from Edenderry, and he fairly had us rocking in the Slievenamon pub on Saturday night. The last time he had me rocking was in Mikeen’s on the 10th of December, the day after Tara’s wedding, and Saturday night was great craic – he wants to come back to Creggs some time in the future, so watch this space! We could be all shook up.
An act of cowardly murder in Manchester
Fast-forward to Monday night. We arrive back from Murcia, a godsend of an airport which is very similar to Knock, on a very pleasant flight, courtesy of Michael O’Leary and Ryanair. Even though the successful landing featured something that I thought had long disappeared, their irritating fanfare lauding their percentage record of on-time landings, we were happy enough to be back and looking forward to a speedy exit from Dublin Airport.
And that was where we got an almighty shock. Our flight was in right on midnight but it looked as if every other flight from everywhere must have also come in at the same time because there were hundreds of people queuing to get through customs and security was unusually tight.
Then, as we waited our turn, word began to trickle through of the atrocity in Manchester and suddenly our own impatience at the delay disappeared and our hearts and minds went out to everybody affected by this outrageous act of murder.
The radicals who carry out these atrocities in the name of religion are totally misguided. Anyone who claims the cowardly murder of innocent children as anything other than murder is living in cloud cuckoo land, but, obviously, these terrorists are everywhere and a very real danger to civilised society anywhere in the Western World.
And yes, Ireland is as vulnerable as anywhere else – and what’s even worse is the fact that nothing or no-one can predict when another suicide bomber will carry out some other devastating act of cowardice and kill several more innocent human beings, all in the name of Isis.
Anyway, the world must stick together on this one and somehow the leaders of the strongest and most powerful nations on earth have to put an end to this international cancer.
Fine-tuning for ‘lip sync challenge’
Back to the delays in Dublin: I’m sure they were related to the happenings across the water. We noticed a number of people being escorted into private rooms for interrogation. Thankfully we eventually got past all the queues and headed for the peace and quiet of our native village, Creggs.
Funny enough, the peace and quiet of Creggs is soon to be shattered when a number of local something or others take part in a massive ‘lip sync challenge’ in the school hall on June 17th. It’s all in aid of the school and the Sunshine Class.
Myself and my neighbour Jacinta Hanley, affectionately known as Gibby, are due to become Kenny and Dolly for one night only and I will fill you in on the whole line-up in next week’s column.
Country Rockin’ in Creggs!
Finally, for this week, the good women of Oran’s Mothers and Others Football Club are at it again. On Friday night, June 2nd, they are having a Country Rock night in Cuisle, Donamon. Another well-known member of the Brandon family, DJ Cush, is spinning the records and he has promised to play the best of music on the night.
These get-togethers are rapidly gaining legendary status in the local area. Stetsons, boots, maybe even a horse or two, are all welcome on the night, but if you haven’t any of these things just bring yourself and a tenner along. It’s guaranteed to be a night to remember and if you can’t remember it, someone will fill you in.
I won’t be there, as I am on wedding business way down in Tipperary that day – but you have no excuse! Get out your jeans, boots and anything else that looks okay and get to Cuisle on Friday, June 2nd. It’s all kicking off at 10 pm.
Till next week, Bye for now!