Summer Solstice Madness in E’startit

24-06-18

We left Sant Feliu de Guixols and continued our drive north along the coast to our next campsite at E’startit. Positioned right on the coast, and in the shadow of the mighty Montgri castle above, E’startit made for a wonderfully scenic drive.

We pitched up at our campsite, based a mile out of town, for a couple of nights. On arrival we were told that we’d been lucky with our timing given that it was Sant Joans day, a celebration of the beginning of summer. We were told to expect festivities long into the night. The late evening light was so beautiful that we went for a stroll after dinner. We walked through fields of corn made golden by the sun.

It was so peaceful and still. As we approached the seafront we were amazed at the amount of people still enjoying the beach even at 9.30pm. There was a hive of activity with locals hosting parties in their apartments, families having picnics on the beach and holidaymakers drinking at the restaurants and bars along the promenade. There was a huge stage set up for a concert that would begin at 11.30pm – in England most concert’s curfews kick in at 11pm!

Invigorated by the atmosphere we walked along the sea front into town and stayed until dark for the incredible fireworks display and bonfire.

At about 10.30pm the town lights were turned off and the whole sky was illuminated with the most spectacular display. We felt incredibly lucky to have stumbled across this place on the right day to enjoy the party. Then in a frankly terrifying tradition, all the locals started setting off their own fireworks wherever they were. With complete disregard for any vague health and safety rules (or even common sense), people started randomly setting off huge bangers and rockets independently in the midst of the crowds. In a scene that would horrify the strict rule followers of Blighty, we saw all the major violations of firework guidelines. Kids were in charge of lighting massive pyrotechnics, dads were running back to unexploded fireworks to give them a prod and babies were handed sparklers. We couldn’t believe how relaxed the Spanish were and how no one batted an eyelid about the low firing rockets and huge explosions going off left, right and center to a deafening cacophony of bangs, whizzes and cracks. Needless to say we made a swift exit from the pure chaos, dodging swathes of colour that trailed into the night. We arrived back around midnight and could hear the fireworks and revelling well into the early hours. The Spanish do know how to fiesta.

The next day we had a lazy morning at the campsite and then wandered back into town. Of all places, we found a Dutch bar to watch the England vs Panama World Cup match which turned out to be a 6 goal thriller!

If all football matches were this exciting, I could get on-board a bit more.

We then explored the rest of E’startit town and walked around the harbour.

We discovered beautiful villas adorned with colourful Bougainvillea and stunning coastal scenes of dramatic cliff edges giving way to aqua seas.

We lay on the beach and had a dip in the sea before returning to the campsite for dinner.

We’ve got a good system in place now, where Gary is the BBQ grill king and I’m in charge of salads and sides. The local tomatoes and fruit are so ripe and incredibly tasty here and we try to cook most nights.

The next day we sorted a few admin bits out in the morning and then relaxed by the pool at the campsite. Having never been on camping or caravan holidays as a kid, I have to say that my preconceptions of dated, European campsites with long drop toilets and sad facilities are way off. These campsites are premium, with amazingly clean shower blocks, lovely pools and modern on-site bars and restaurants. So far they’ve all been great with landscaped gardens, bike rentals, saunas and plenty of activity. As we travel further along the coast here in Spain, the average age of clientele lowers as well so we aren’t the youngest by a mile anymore. Happy days!

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