12 May, 2019 @ 12:21
3 mins read

Cruising along the Costa Blanca can be more terrifying than you think, writes Loraine Gostling

IDYLL: Behind the breathtaking scenery of the Costa Blanca can lie danger for some

MY ponderings this week have been meandering around in all sorts of directions.

Eventually, my thoughts settled with a story about phobias and fears of things or situations that just scare the pants off of you, without any actual reason behind them, although I am told that some fears may be deep-rooted from childhood and it also seems that they can be genetic.

Maybe it is due to those damned winds around the Costa Blanca of late, that seem to emerge at sundown and cool us off to the point where my electric blanket has been mimicking a Jack-in-the-Box for the past two months, going in and out the winter store like a fart in a colander!

Personally, I have only one but I just can’t get over it, despite my many visits to a friend on the Cumbre del Sol.

Throughout most of my life BCB (Before Costa Blanca) my only real fear was heights.

Now you will probably think that I am really quite a thicko, hating mountains and scary winding roads and then moving to Spain…and you would be dead right!.

In fact, if I had done my homework properly before moving here, I would still be sitting in my semi-detached house in the East End of London, where the highest viewpoint is from the cemetery on Chingford Mount and my life now would be so very different.

I would still have to save up to buy a decent bottle of wine, I would never have known the joys of pan y alioli, maybe I would even be in charge of a group called ‘Chingford Connect’.

I would be completely oblivious to the opening and holiday dates of Ondara Shopping Centre, which continues to be one of the most discussed topics of the Javea residents in the last eight years, second only to that of ‘why don’t people pick up their dog’s poo?’ and followed closely by ‘why don’t cyclists pay road tax?’

HIGH UP: Some fears are just genetic

But I will leave those questions for debate another time.   

Sorry, I have digressed.

I do that a lot.

So back to my original musings.

My arrival here in Spain was, I think, meant to be.

I had never been a risk-taker, I was pretty comfortable financially, I liked my job and everything in life was settled and safe, but just a little boring.

The decision to give up all that security and head for El Sol was really a very quick one.

The house was sold in August and we moved in October, just missing the infamous 2007 Gota Fria by a few days.

There are a multitude of tales following that move, not least of all, the one involving my driving, totally unprepared, over the Pyrenees with my two kids and a dog with John Cleese, the voice of my Tom Tom, guiding me vocally to, what I felt at the time would be certain death.

My knees turned to jelly, my palms were sweating buckets, my partner was constantly hooting at me from the van behind telling me to get back on the right side of the road as I continually veered to the left, not because that was where I was used to driving, but purely because it kept me further away from a two million foot sheer drop.

THINK AGAIN: Birds are scared too

At that point, realistically speaking, the chances were that I would more likely to be hit head-on by an Eddie Stobart lorry poodling over the mountain to France, than entering a Shogun slalom down the Pyrenees to meet my maker.

So now you know just how much affection I have for my mate who lives in the clouds on Cumbre del Sol as I take my life in my hands just to go and see her.

I have travelled that road probably more than a hundred times now but every time I start that journey from Benitachell, the clammy palms return, although my knees are fatter than in 2007 so they don’t knock so much as wobble a bit now.

I feel very sorry for my poor dad as my fear of heights started when I was really young and the family outings from north to south London must have given him many sleepless nights worrying which route to take, as I was a five-year-old with acrophobia and mum was claustrophobic.

The tunnel or bridge dilemma!

Which was going to cause less screaming?

No wonder he ended up disowning all of his aunts and uncles, it was far less stressful for him.

Oh how he must have longed for that M25 to be finished, but don’t get me started on that, I would need a page, not a column.

So finally, facing your fears?

Yes you can do it.

I drive the AP7, I have travelled down to Granadella (once), I have braved the perils of a five-rung ladder to trap a cute six inch spider.

I have even been driven without pre-warning, across the Javea to Denia Montgo road without a blindfold or any tranquilising drugs, but never again, no señor, I would rather give birth to breached twins.

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