I stood on the rocky shore of Tabarca Island pondering on my plan to get back to reality. I couldn’t help but wonder how I got to this point in the first place. With no boats back to Alicante till later in the evening, I was stuck and bound to miss my flight back to London. So, I said to myself, keep calm Lola. One step at a time, where there is a will, there is a way!
I was staying at the AC Hotel during my time in Alicante, which was pretty decent. The rooms were clean and had the basic amenities. It was Sunday so I decided to have a more relaxing day! My options were…
Option 1 – go to the beach or
Option 2 – Take a short boat ride to Tabarca island and relax there?
I opted to take a boat cruise to Tabarca Island. You can find some details here. It cost 18 Euros for one person or 25 Euros for 2 people with more discounted prices for groups.
Prices looked ok! Now, I didn’t do much research but from the little I had heard it seemed like it was a lovely island with some history, a nice coral reef and beach. It was basically a beautiful secluded island to relax.
I read the sign at the port and I saw that the boat left the Alicante port at 11:00 or 13:30 and supposedly returned at 5:30pm. My flight was at 7:30pm so I thought it was in good time to catch your flight back. After all my hotel was only a few minutes’ walk from the Port and only a few minutes drive to the Airport… so what could go wrong!?!
Clearly confident with my line of thinking, I went to the port, and confirmed with the tour coordinator (or so I thought!) about what time we would be back and he mentioned 5:30pm and then I happily got on the boat.
The cruise to the island was awesome, the weather was great and the smell of the fresh air was sensational. The view of the deep blue sea was breath-taking. All that being said, 30 minutes into the trip to the island and we weren’t there yet? I started to wonder… how long is the trip (the apparent short trip?).
There was no one to ask, the driver at the top of the boat was only speaking Spanish! So I patiently sat there waiting for the trip to end! Then I noticed an English speaking man with this small son so that distracted me for a while. Should I approach them and say hello, there is always some excitement when you meet your fellow foreigner in another country and you speak the same language. After pondering on that for a while I decided to relax, look out at the deep blue sea and reminisce instead.
Finally, after about an hour, we arrived at Tabarca island! In my excitement, I thought I should probably confirm with the boat driver now on if there was an itinerary and what time we needed to be back at the boat. Good plan I think because to my astonishment, with the little English he spoke in a lovely Spanish accent, he said “Be back at the boat at 5:30pm. I thought surely that cannot be! I had confirmed already that we were going to be arriving the Alicante Port at 5:30pm in good time to catch my flight!!
My blood temperature piped up in pure panic, I can’t miss my flight, I have never missed a flight in my life, missing flights was for unorganised people… it looks like I may just have to swallow those words back now… oh the shame! what do I do now?? Nearby listening to our conversation was the English speaking man with this small son. He immediately walked towards me and the captain and said. I thought this was a Short trip and we were only on the island for a couple of minutes and were heading back straight after!!! I thought haha, “here is someone who is even more confused than me!”. Well I guess it must have been the language barrier then.
I had to think fast, missing my flight was not an option… I had the will but was there a way? I had a quick skim through the island, and it looked beautiful but I think people would have mixed feelings about it… It is an old town, so great for history lovers and photographers, the reefs looked great so divers would love it too, there were a few restaurants but not exactly a fine dining experience, the beach was lovely too. Interestingly though, there were cats everywhere! Yes Cats!! They must have been stranded on the island like me! Thinking about it, if no one takes them off the island they would just keep procreating! Cat lovers would love the island too I guess.
Back to my immediate problem, there was no transfer boat back to Alicante, one of the drivers suggested taking a taxi boat… wait for it….. it was not going to Alicante but to nearby Santa Pola. Santa Pola? Where is that, I had never heard of this town! I need a map somebody? Much courage was needed here, and looking at the taxi boat which only sits 8 people with no outer covering and cost 30 Euros, I felt like I needed more than courage!
Thankfully, I managed to get to Santa Pola and take a 50 Euro cab to Alicante. I got to my hotel safe and sound and then went straight to the Airport! Here is a picture of the beautiful Santa Pola. I didn’t miss my flight this time and hopefully not anytime soon! So maybe, just maybe where there is a will there is indeed a way!
# WeekenderHQTip – Always have emergency cash!
What an amazing and exciting time in Alicante! Bye Alicante…
Feel free to comment on your experiences in this lovely town! More pictures are below…