Helen Russell´s blog update,, back in Spain
On the morning of my departure from Birmingham to Spain the newspaper headlines were warning of an impending cold snap and snow for much of the UK. Sure enough, two days later I saw on the TV that the forecast heavy snow had arrived, which made my arrival in the Costa Blanca all the much sweeter!
I am fortunate to have the opportunity to stay in Benidorm for five weeks, cycling with Ciclo Costa Blanca and staying at their partner hotel-the Terralta Aparthotel. Built in 2002, the Terralta is situated in a quieter area of the resort but is still just 1,000 metres from the Poniente Beach. The modern one or two bedroom apartments are spacious and with two sofa beds in the living area can accommodate either six or four people. The kitchen area is well stocked with cutlery and utensils and has a hob, microwave, kettle and toaster should you wish to eat in. Otherwise there is a very good value restaurant and bar on-site, where during the daily happy hour you can get two glasses of red wine for 1.50 Euros!
The hotel has an outdoor leisure pool and an indoor heated pool of about 14 meters for use during the winter. Benidorm’s 25 metre public swimming pool is within easy reach but having an indoor pool on site is useful if you wish to do a recovery swim or just soak the legs at the end of the day. Should you want to do some cross or strength training there is a well-equipped gym with a mixture of cardio equipment, machine and free weights. The nearby beach promenades are ideal places to do a run and the local athletics track is just five a minute walk from the hotel. After all that exercise you can recover by relaxing in the hotel steam room!
On Poniente Beach there are plenty of cafes and bars and the promenade leads into the vibrant old town with shops and authentic Spanish tapas bars. In the winter months the town has a relaxed feel to it and there is plenty of room on the beach and in the bars and restaurants.
The Costa Blanca is a popular training destination for the pro-teams and on my first ride to nearby Calpe and Moraira I saw the BMC Racing Team, who politely waved to my cycling-groupie screams! Of course I would have tried to jump onto their wheels but they were riding in the opposite direction!! ;-)
Having seen the sitcom ‘Benidorm’ I wasn’t sure what staying in the resort would be like but I am actually very pleasantly surprised, especially by what it has to offer sportspeople and am really looking forward to cycling further into the surrounding Marina mountains and exploring the towns and villages of the Costa Blanca.