This campsite is beautiful. Beautifully maintained, beautifully situated, with the mountains behind and the Balearic sea beyond. Many of the people here are regulars who return every year, and many of them stay for several months at a time. It’s in the Sierra del Irta natural park which has a vast range of rare and unusual plants; you can follow the paths beside the sea for miles and miles. The dogs love it.
The campsite is dog-friendly, and about 50% of the people staying here have dogs with them. Go through a gate at the rear of the site, and you’re directly in the park, and 100 metres ahead is the sea. There are many small rocky coves, and one fairly level tiny beach where Tally likes to paddle, and Tommy has overcome his initial astonishment at the sight of the sea and is beginning to enjoy getting his feet wet.
So far this has been a steep learning curve for Tommy. He is now immensely fit and powerful, with a broad chest and muscly haunches that propel him forward like a tank. While Tally can safely be left to wander off the lead, we don’t take any chances of Tommy getting into a fight or vanishing into the wilds, so he stays on his harness.
We’ve temporarily given up taking them in to restaurants. So we have our mid-day meal at the campsite, and go into town after dark, when it’s cooler and they can safely be left in the car where they are relaxed and comfortable.
We tried a couple of times taking them with us while we ate, but although Tally lies quietly Tommy lurches at everybody who moves, dragging tables and chairs with him. The final straw came a couple of days ago. His antics were bad enough, but it was Tally who totally disgraced himself. We had lunched at one of our regular restaurants, owned and run by a man of extraordinary energy, who runs from table to table, talking in a variety of languages, always cheerful, and serving excellent food at modest prices.
After struggling through a meal outside on the patio while clinging on to Tommy, TOH went into the bar to pay the bill. I followed with Tally, who without warning urinated copiously all over the marble floor, turning it into a skating rink. Apologising to the lady behind the bar who ran for a bucket and mop, assuring us it was no problem, we also barricaded the exit from the dining room to prevent diners from sliding into the lake while it was being drained.
But we had not considered that the owner would come running in his normal hasty way, full tray of used crockery and glasses held aloft. He jumped down the two stairs straight onto the wet floor and hurtled across the skating rink, only saving himself and the tray by grabbing hold of me.
With our tails tucked firmly between our legs, and fulsome apologies, we beat a retreat, and decided to take the dogs down to the beach. We kept them on their leads to ensure they wouldn’t bother anybody, and walked at the edge of the surf. I noticed we were attracting hostile stares from people as we passed, and were taken back when an elderly Spanish couple walked past and the man let out a tirade of anger, almost spitting in our faces and ending up with a furious “Muchas gracias.”
We had no idea what we were doing to cause such a furore, until a very pleasant woman came up and tapped me on the shoulder.
“Please, lady, go quickly! Dogs are not allowed on the beach. If the Guardia Civil come, you will have to pay a lot of money, really a lot. They are lovely dogs, I love them, but I am afraid for you if you are caught.”
For the second time in 10 minutes, we beat a retreat and came back to walk through the park and cool down.
Since then we’ve only gone into town in the early evening to avoid any further problems. After our meal we take the dogs to walk on the beautifully paved promenade, where people stroll in the night air, and Tally snuffles to see if anybody has dropped a crumb and Tommy struts along proudly.
The weather has been on and off, we’ve had some rain, not unwelcome because it cools us down, and plenty of sun too.
Yesterday afternoon we had a drama. Tally is the most gentle, placid dog you could find, but for some reason yesterday he snapped at Tommy. Luckily for Tommy he missed. That was due to TOH having his hand between them. So TOH took the brunt of Tally’s teeth, leaving him with several nasty wounds on his right hand, deep teeth marks that gaped open rather horribly.
He wouldn’t go to a doctor, so I cleaned them as best I could with Betadine. One of the wounds kept opening up if he bent his finger, so he wanted it strapped to a ball-pen with tape in a primitive splint. That seems to be doing the trick so far, and the other wounds have dried up without any sign of infection.
Holidaying with Tommy isn’t easy, but he’s loving it, and we are loving seeing how he is enjoying himself.