SPORT & LEISURE

Sorry to be a little repetitive, but once again this area seems to excel. The limited space here dictates that I shall just give you a few examples of the sports facilities within our area, as follows:

Surprisingly perhaps, is the popularity of walking groups with a wonderful choice of village, rural, coastal, hill & mountain walking routes, many in National Park conservation areas. Likewise, the area lends itself to mountain-biking and many national road cycling teams use our mountain roads to practice for the Olympics as well as the Tour de France. There seem to be an abundant (and growing) sprinkling of equestrian centres about the campo (countryside). We have five excellent golf courses between Altea and Oliva and two bowling (green) clubs between Moraira and Javea. Each costal town has several diving centres and tennis clubs. If you are keen on sailing (as we are), you will find no less than ten marinas & yacht harbours between Altea and Oliva. Remember also that Valencia is to host the 2007 AMERICA’S CUP. Should skiing be your thing (it is ours), the closest resort is Teruel (2hrs. by car), the Sierra Nevada (5hrs.) or, our best-in-the-world favourite – Andorra (Soldeu – 6.5hrs). If motor sport excites you (it does me!), There is an excellent, serious karting circuit between Moraira and Teulada, lesser ones in Moraira and Calpe and my favourite one in Ondara (see the March `07 Journal). More seriously still, just one hour away, just outside Valencia, is their Grand Prix circuit, almost unique in my experience, in that you can see the whole circuit from the grandstand. It remains the most popular circuit for Formula One testing (where the admission charge for spectators is a lowly €5 for a grandstand seat!). It is also planned for Valencia city to host a street based Mediterranean Grand Prix in 2008.

I feel sure you have got my point regarding sporting interests, there is so much more, there are local clubs for cricket, football rugby – just about everything you could wish for. Please contact me for any specific information or any sport which I have failed to mention.

In terms of general leisure and social activities you basically have two choices:

a) Relax and let the climate and general ambience dictate what will evolve, or:
b) Get pro-active – join a club, you will be just as welcome as a beginner or expert.

This bit could become very tedious for me to describe in detail here, so, here are some ideas in abbreviated form: Do ya wanna Dance?’ well, there’s Ballet, Tap, Ballroom, Latin, Tango, Bolero, Folk(Spanish), Jazz, Sequence, Salsa, Merengue, Flamenco, Disco, Hip Hop, Break, Belly, Pole, Rock&Roll, Irish, Scottish, Line dancing classes and clubs. There is every form of Art and Craft from Egg Painting and Mosaics through to Lace Making & Creative Writing. There are more Charities & Religious Groups (Anglican to Zen Buddhism) than you can shake a stick at! Excuses for being Social can include Aviation, Bikers, Books, Bridge, Backgammon, Classic Cars, Computer, Dining, Environment, Fitness, Investment, Languages (various), Local History, Music (all sorts - by genre or instrument), Patchwork, Photography, Pilates, Reiki, Self-Help, Toastmasters, UFOs, Wine Tasting, Yoga, ad infinitum. For culture-vultures, I know of at least seven drama groups in the immediate area, plus many opportunities to enjoy live music from Choral, Opera, Classical & Traditional to Barbershop, Jazz & Rock. There is, of course, the opportunity to ‘Go Native’ and get involved in the great Spanish passions of Fiestas & Fallas. For more general ideas see our ‘Javea U3A’ link.