Before our Summer Holiday in August, Helen and her husband Jono, together with a couple of their friends stayed at the Apartment. They teased us with phone picture of them enjoying a drink on the balcony of the new Golf Clubhouse, which was now open. As we found this time last year, Ayamonte is very crowded at this time of year, and parking in the town centre can be a problem. Hopefully, before too long, the new bus service introduced this year in Ayamonte will stretch to Esuri, so we can leave the hire car at the Apartment, when we venture into town. However, Helen & Jono had found the next best thing, a reliable taxi service willing to collect them from CE, and take them to either Portugal or Ayamonte/Isla Canella, then come back for them when they wanted to return. Jono warned Vicente, (the taxi driver), that we would be out the following week, and to expect a call from ‘Roberto’. Since then, we have used Vicente many times, he is always willing to collect us from our Apartment, or the Golf Club to take us to our destination, and a phone call to him when we are ready to return means he is there to take us back in about 10 minutes. Vicente’s English is basic, but not as basic as my Spanish. I try to speak to him in Spanish, and he tries to reply in English, so we have some wonderful, if stilted conversations. As soon as I call him and introduce myself as ‘Roberto’ we go back into the Spenglish routine, but so far, we have always managed to meet at the allotted time and place.
During our trip in August, we had again met some friendly people through the golf club, and had extolled the quality of meals at the Yacht Club in Portugal to them. We arranged with David and Kathy to take them over there one night, but were amazed to find that when we did, the place was closed. Fortunately, our taxi took us to another restaurant for the evening. During our October trip, we again arranged to take David & Kathy to the same restaurant in Portugal, and this time, we drove past during the day to ensure that it was open. However, when we arrived that night, again it was closed, so now David & Kathy think this restaurant is a figment of our imagination (or else they get wind that we are planning a visit!). However, David did text me a few weeks ago to say that he and Kathy had eventually managed to enjoy a meal there.
On another day, Carole and I had arranged to play a round of golf at Castro Marim. As Carole is still new to the game, she always wants just the two of us to play together. However, when we booked in for our game, they had paired us up with another couple. Well, the dummy came out of the pram, and Carole threatened to walk home. When she calmed down, and agreed to play, we ended up having a great afternoon, with a lovely Dutch couple, Philip and Anja. Their sense of humour turned out to be identical to ours, and we thoroughly enjoyed their company.
I think it was about the time of the new clubhouse opening that the bar staff at the Esuri Golf Club changed. Whilst the bar had been in the Portacabin, there was one fierce young lady, dressed all in black, who made every visit to the clubhouse a trial in itself. We always got the impression that we were disturbing her day, and making unreasonable request for food and drink, and her scowl was enough to freeze the water! Thankfully, not long after the new clubhouse opened, three new bar staff appeared in the shape of one guy, and two delightful young ladies, who are always bright and cheerful in their white polo shirts. The difference in ambiance and service is remarkable, the new bar staff could not be more pleasant and accommodating, and a visit to the clubhouse is now the joy it should be.