Monday, March 8, 2010

Don't step in the dog sh*t!!

Once in a while travelling around Alicante province to watch football throws up a really pleasant surprise, it may be an unheard of win for Aspe or another visit somewhere you've been to loads of times before that you see a new side to. The way they are playing presently a win for Aspe is about as rare as rocking horse shit, so, the really pleasant surprise a week or so ago took the form of seeing a new side to an old favourite.

Altea is the favourite and Sunday February 28th was the day Santa Pola's next adventure in Preferente land took place. With a four thirty kick off scheduled, the plan was for the boss lady and I to spend half a day there, grab some scoffs on the seafront, have a bit of a mooch around and then make our way to the Las Garganes ground to try and enjoy fourth versus seventh. In the end most of those things happened, the odd man out was grabbing something to eat along the seafront, which, for sure would have happened had I been travelling alone. Thankfully I wasn't.

What followed was quite a delightful couple of hours in a part of town I never even knew existed. Most visitors head for the promenade area or amble around the picturesque marina, both very agreeable. Us two? well, we began walking uphill, and, despite my moans and groans about what seemed like vast quantities of dog shit we had to manoeuvre round, didn't stop until we reached the exquisite old town. If you're not a fan of cobbled streets, white-washed cottages and centuries old architecture then stick to the prom. Altea old town is wonderful, and has as it's centre-piece, the church of "Nuestra SeƱora del Consuelo" (Our lady of solace), unmissable with it's blue and white domed roof.  Twenty euros, a mediocre baguette each and an hour later, we picked our way expertly past the turds back to the car and headed off to footy, the whole reason for being there.

Santa Pola midfielder German opened and closed the scoring, unfortunately Altea also scored twice in between his two goals as the match finished a couple each. The four goals though weren't the only talking points from a highly entertaining game. Gandia referee Sanchez Bonaches, who, if memory serves was rather good the last time he took charge of Santa Pola, somehow managed to seriously piss both sets of supporters off with a couple of odd decisions. A suspiciously offside second Altea goal was followed by his failure to award the home side what looked like a clear penalty, good and bad fortune then for the visitors. 'Pola eventually finished with ten men as, with moments left, Chema was shown a second yellow card for playing on after being called offside. 2-2 the final score and not a bad result against a decent team.

Finally, just time for a bit of a comedy moment. Just yards away from the ground, the babbling Rio Algar, (river Algar), passes beneath the busy N332 Almeria to Valencia road, which itself is raised on a stunning twenty arch bridge spanning the waters below. Mid-way through the second half an intrepid driver, spotting the game taking place, ignored the horns of other passing motorists and stopped his car on the southbound carriageway to get a better look. This is a bit like parking up on the nearside lane of the A1 at Stamford to try and get a glimpse of the Burghley Horse Trials. Only in Spain!!!!

Top - Altea, a mix of inconsiderate dog owners and a fabulous old town.
Middle - Pedro (24) tries his luck.
Bottom - Frustrated here, German had the laugh.

No comments:

Post a Comment