Kayak Round Trip From Las Rotas to Xabia, Costa Blanca, Spain.

At the end of these jottings there is a 4 minute video of this trip. It might be a perfect antidote to a grey winters day. Please watch it and enjoy this journey with us.

Here was one of those days. You know the sort of thing; mid twenties Celsius, still, blue, breathless.

The air stroked us warmly as we moved through it, easing our minds and muscles. What winter bliss; so rare. In such balmy conditions, us Northern Europeans actually let our goose bumps relax and smoothen, and dare to hope for the perfect, even, tan.

Our launch site, rocky and warm.

For us Wallys, this was a day to get away from all that beach side flesh. At least two people had taken up positions on their deck chairs, heads back, mouths lolling open, feet in the cooling water. That was our queue to go.

Meanwhile, back at our base, our poor kayaks had the look of abandoned dogs, lounging about the place, positioned so we were made to feel guilty every time we left our pitch. No matter how many times we told them that they would not enjoy cycling to the shops, or walking up to the Gerro Tower, they still hounded us with those doggy looks. Today was to be their day. Lucky boats and lucky us.

Xabiaa/Javea, our destination .

We had decided to head into the neighbouring town of Xavia, or Javea, pronounced Have-ee-a, a town in two parts. One area is set up hill from the sea and the other is a coastal strand of eateries, bars and apartments set along a Palm dotted, sweeping cove. Our plan was to get there; we would be happy with that, eat our snack, grab a cafe cuppa and come back. This would be a three hour, sweaty slog, on foot. Today it would be a gentle two hour glide, sitting down all the way.

As ever, once on the water, we spent the day scanning for wildlife. One of us sported shiny new binoculars. The old ones having fogged in one eyepiece, on the stroke of midnight, on new years eve. The moment was reminiscent of the tales of grandfather’s clock. You know, the one that stops ticking the moment it’s master dies. Never to tock again. We are pleased to say, that so far, both of us still have pulses, although none of us knows what little bomb is ticking away inside us, waiting to make the mist roll down. On that cheery note, we paddled on.

Tallada Caves, the biggest and best known in the area, but one of many caves along our route today.

The sea was oily smooth as we paddled. The shattered coast was strewn with gigantic boulders, and pockmarked with small coves and deep caves. Everywhere we looked, reefs lurked just on and under the surface. Very few places offered an easy landing. This is definitely no place to be shipwrecked.

After two hours and twenty minutes of bimbling about, cave mooching, bird watching, and very slow, lazy paddling, we arrived in Xavia. An hour later, we left, having eaten our sarnies and enjoyed cold drinks in the nearest bar.

Homeward bound. A part of Las Rotas from the sea.

You may wonder what we got up to on the return journey, you know, to liven it up and ring the changes. And our answer is, absolutely nothing. It was a hot day and what we did heading home, was exactly the same as we did coming out. It took us the same length of time to get back, which was a surprise, as we did not try for this result. For us the day was perfection. Why gild the lilly?

NB. In weather and sea conditions similar to the video, this is a very easy trip, which is perfectly suitable for beginners. Like any new activity, it can feel exposed and intimidating at times. If you fancy doing a trip of this kind, it is wise to go with at least two friends, one of whom should be an experienced kayaker. If planning a solo, or two person trip; those concerned need to be proficient paddlers. As a minimum, should you fall into the water, you should be able to hang onto your paddle, return your boats/sit-ons, to upright them and get yourselves going again. Apart from that little warning, jump on or into your craft and go. You will not be disappointed.

If you have enjoyed our day trip and have something you would like to say to us, please leave a comment in the ‘Reply’ box below. We enjoy hearing from our readers and always respond to communications from you. All the best The Wallys. 

The Day That The Rains Came Down


For your delight and entertainment we have added a two minute video about Storm Gloria. It is at the end of this article.

Storm damaged seafront promenade.

What we said to our friends was, “You’ll love it here. The weather’s like a mild summer’s day in the UK. Above us, the heavens are usually crystal clear and brilliantly blue, with just enough clouds to make an artists sky. The sea is every shade of green and blue and so gin clear that, when standing on the rocky shore, fish can be seen swimming in it’s depths. Add to this the tropical palms and banana trees and the oranges dripping from their branches and you have a place that you must visit. Especially as we’re here and we miss you. We will welcome you with open arms. Take care.

The day before the storm hit and the clouds were gathering over a turbulent sea.

Thus it was that our friends organised themselves to visit. We booked them into a local hotel for a couple of days, followed by a week in a nearby apartment. It was going to be perfect. We could not wait for them to arrive and to welcome them with open arms.

The very lovely Les Rotes Hotel.

With our guests due on Thursday, we began to plan our itinerary for the week. The weather was about to break, which meant the Monday reconnoitre became a mega ride out on our KTM’s. We were on a mission, checking access, views, restaurants and anything else we could think of that would keep an 87 year old and his 60 year young buddy amused. We got back after dark, packed away anything that was not nailed down, and hunkered down in readiness for the storm that was about to hit us. Apparently, it was going to be a corker. They were flying high and it had been what felt like a long long time since we had seen them.

Font Salida, near Denia, Spain.

As we were skimming about the mountain tracks on our motorbikes, the campsite staff were asking some clients to move onto pitches that were clear of trees that might fall during the coming high winds. With everyone on the campsite safe and sound in their caravans and motorhomes, the wind strengthened, the clouds gathered and the night became coal black. We snuggled up under our duvet as the storm tried to pound it’s way into our coziness. We went to sleep; in fact we slept like logs.

No damage, simply a good soaking.

What a difference a night makes. We awoke to Armageddon. Trees uprooted, an awning blown down and one campervan brushed by a large branch as it fell. We had to take care as we struggled to walk side by side to the seafront. We were still in a howling gale. Then we were assailed by a vicious downpour. The water poured down our jeans and into our shoes. We sheltered behind a sturdy wall. The sea was angry, in filthy shades of grey and raging against the shore. Stones, rocks and boulders had been hurled across the promenade, during the night, with the ferocity of Finn McColl in full battle cry. The angry sea had slammed into concrete benches and litter bins, picking them up and strewing them along the promenade. A slight lull in the rain allowed us to squelch our way further along the blasted seafront. Demolished walls, banks of pebbles and access decking were all strewn asunder. Only the brave or foolhardy ventured out, I think we fell into the second category!

A very narrow escape for these folks. (Image: P Doust. copyright)

A member of the campsite decided to hold a movie afternoon, to calm the nerves and help keep up moral. Four of us headed out to find a restaurant that would offer us a lunch. Most places were shut; lack of utilities, storm damage, closed roads: all good reasons to not open up. We trawled the streets in the rain and eventually we found an eatery. They fed us in high style as we watched their TV with it’s wall to wall coverage of the torrential rain, strong winds, high seas and driving snow. The campsite had been lucky, it had come away with little damage, apart from jangling the nerves of some campers.

The morning after.

By the next day, Wednesday, the rain had stopped, the wind and sea had dropped to a mere ‘Strong Force 9‘. It is hard to gauge what it had been 30 hours before.

The statistics of this particular storm event makes for salutary reading:

  • Winds gusting up to 70MPH
  • 20000 homes without electricity
  • Waves up to 27ft
  • Air pressure at 1049.6 millibars, highest reading recorded in 300 years.
  • 13 fatalities.
Rocks and stones thrown through a gate by the sea.

Our visiting friends made contact with us, having seen a travel warning issued by the Foreign Office. We told them it was fine, assuring them that a little storm like that was no barrier to a nice holiday. And so it was that they arrived the following day, Thursday.

In one week our friends had experienced the aftermath of a freak storm; leaden skies, rough seas, challenging temperatures, followed by glorious sunshine and the heat of Spanish winter sun.

A week later, despite feeling, as our friend put it, that, “I may never pass this way again,” he was also insisting he might visit for a month next year.

From the first hello to the last goodbye, we had a ball; but that is a different story.

Beach debris

Please feel free to let us know what you think of Storm Gloria by popping your comment in the reply box below. You may have also noticed a few musical references; no reason, simply a bit of fun. The Wallys xx


Watch our fascinating video for a glimpse into an ancient skill that is still used daily in Spain.

Strange Fruit

Rising stolidly out of the beach, with the waves often lapping at it’s walls, is the Restaurante Sendra. It is a Mecca for seafood lovers the world over, because it takes great care of it’s basic ingredient; seafood.

Restaurante Sendra rising out of the sea

You know this place is special before you walk in. In fact you would be amazed if it were anything but the best. The translucent Octopuses hanging to dry on the beach and swaying in the fresh, salty sea air, is all the clue needed.

Octopuses drying in the Mediterranean Sun

We wanted to know a little more about the place and asked a member of staff if he would demonstrate how he prepares octopuses for drying. The result is the very short video below:-

How to butcher an octopus, an age old Mediterranean tradition.

So there you have it; Restaraunte Sendra may look a bit dull from the Rotes beach path, but it is well worth lingering over.

It may be a dull brown colour, but this restaurant is truly vibrant.

For more about the lives of Octopuses click this link.

If you have enjoyed this blog, please let us know by dropping us a line using the reply box at the bottom of this page. Thank you from The Wallys.

Kayaks, a Maiden Voyage.

Having decided we needed to get on the water whilst wintering in Spain and after exhaustive research we purchased a couple of Dagger Axis 10.5 kayaks.

We took off their cellophane jackets…………

A few adjustments were made and…………..

We were ready for our first voyage.

To our relief the kayaks performed well and nobody died and we had a great time.

If you would like to comment on this article, or ask any questions, please use the reply box below. We always enjoy hearing from our readers. The Wallys x