Day maybe 7:
Their drive took them off the major roads and through the olive tree lined back roads of Tarragona province. Satnav lady seemed happy enough directing them as they passed by tiny Spanish settlements where the only evidence of human habitation were the old cars parked by houses. They veered left into a place called Renau and Satnav lady cheerfully told them they had reached their destination.
This seemed unlikely as there was no evidence of a hotel, just workmen pruning back begonias. G decided the only option was to engage the Google Satnav and, according to car satnav’s competitor, they were still a couple of kms away. G sped past the request to left turn, claiming that it wasn’t a road. But Google nav demanded they make a U turn and so they followed the track barely a car wide until it lead them to an abandoned church and a finca bearing the hotel name.
From the moment that they entered, G and Grimble were smitten. Words hardly do justice to the serenity and beauty of hotel Peralta. The entire place was so calm and well planned. They had reserved the room, Kampur. It was not just a room. It was accessed through a private doorway into a private garden complete with a cabana. Grimble had reserved this room because it contained a floating bed. Not that Grimble had ever tried a floating bed but it did sound enticing.
And there it was, suspended from the ceiling, sides covered evocatively with gauze drapes. The room was a hybrid between Indian and Arabic with a large Buddha on a table. Usually, the cynical G might have referred to this as hippy shit but he too was somewhat taken by the whole experience. He launched on the bed and it didn’t exactly float, it more rocked vigorously from back to front. G looked up not entirely convinced as to the benefit of this, especially when El Grimble, a G now referred to his Spain crazy partner joined him. Grimble decided that they needed to focus on gently climbing into bed to attain a more peaceful rocking motion rather than the current effect of a channel ferry crossing in a force nine gale. They realised they couldn’t stop this motion as each time they moved heavily, the suspended bed captured their motion and transformed it into a wave riding sensation. So it was, that G and El Grimble lay quite still and quiet for some minutes as the bed slowed pace and rocked them gently. As the swung from side to side, G advised Grimble that getting pissed and getting on this bed would never end well.
Later, feeling a little sea sick, they wandered through the hotel grounds to the almost deserted pool. There were just two other couples and enough space to give privacy. G and Grimble set up their encampment in a cabana where the breeze gently blew the cotton drapes over them. As romantic as this sounded, it was bloody frustrating to be tickled by the hems of curtains at irregular intervals, so with skill and dexterity, they positioned the towel bag, drinks bottles and anything they could lay hands on to prevent this. Thus Grimble lay on the static bed of the cabana, listening largely to nothing, and drifted off into a slumber. What seemed like a nano second later, the slumbering Grimble felt her arm being prodded and woke to G’s finger in her arm and him whispering that she couldn’t snore here. This was not exactly true as Grimble could snore happily anywhere. However, now she was awake and wanted to swim.
Her swim consisted of some splattering around in the big pool followed by just sitting for ages in the cold dip pool, drinking shandy, declaring that this was the life. Grimble and G both agreed that the few people that inhabited this wonderful place were the kind of people that they liked: clean, well attired, urbane. Not one complained about the weather being too hot or the place being too foreign.
Dinner was another delight. Sat on a patio eating top class food, drinking lovely cava and listening to an unusual Spotify playlist of hits done in an easy listening style, served by unnaturally beautiful but also really charming staff. G and Grimble had intended to retire to the chill out zone with more drinks but they were enveloped in fatigue. So, they returned to their own cabana and gazed at the multitude of stars and wondered at the silence. Finally, they clambered onto the floaty bed and found it did work. For even when they tumbled around grabbing each other’s space, as they always did, the bed rocked them calmly, negating the usual threats of get out of my side or give me back that sheet, now. Grimble wondered to herself if it was possible to string up their silent night double divan from the ceiling at home as she drifted contentedly into sleep.
Having spent 24 hours in various forms of repose and eaten heartily from an organic breakfast, they took their leave of Peralta. Grimble wasn’t totally sure how organicness could actually be proven other than items were served in delightful little pots and the cold meats were presented on wooden platters. They were now on their way to Peniscola and we’re delighted that Satnav lady used a aggressive pen is cola pronunciation and even more delighted to see signs abbreviated to Penis.