Torrevieja, on the Costa Blanca, in sunny Spain Torrevieja, on the Costa Blanca, in sunny Spain

Torrevieja Information

Giving information for Torrevieja

Freewheelers - Torrevieja Classic Cars


Freewheelers - Torrevieja Classic Cars

A new way to enjoy motoring for pleasure.

Freewheelers - Torrevieja Classic Cars
 

Freewheelers Christmas Outing
Meeting at the Champions Freewheelers - Torreviejas Classic Carsbar in Benimar for the start of their Christmas lunch the Freewheelers were greeted with the option of a hot mince pie and a glass of gluh wine (or tea or coffee) for just 1 euro plus a free slice of Marzipan Stollent, a German specialty at Christmas to get the celebrations started. After meeting and greeting friends old a new and being introduced to some first-timers the group motored sedately down to La Marina and el Castello for a three course lunch with drinks included and as usual the wine flowed freely. Freewheelers - Torrevieja Classic CarsUnfortunately some left before the entertainment started which was provided by the vocals Juan who sang and played songs from classic artists and musicals of yesteryear. Some danced, some sang along with him and who can forget the duet with a well known pie man of "New York! New York!" Including the dance steps. Priceless. All too soon, with the sun disappearing below the treetops it was time to head home and reminisce on another Freewheelers day out. 
 

COMARTH CARS
Ever heard of Comarth Cars? Me neither, but now, thanks to Richard, over 40 Freewheelers are a lot wiser.
Friday saw over 20 cars assembled in Los Montesinos for the trip to the car factory in Beniajan.
Most had never heard of the place never mind the car factory within our region.
Eventually almost everybody arrived at the intended destination, be it by various routes as Bigastro had confused some to the extent that they met others travelling in the opposite direction!

Freewheelers - Torreviejas Classic Cars

Once at the factory we were met by the company designer who gave a brief history of the company before taking us into the first of the two buildings where the finish products were stored. Comarth started building 2 seater sports/race cars six years ago.
Looking a bit like a Lotus Elise these rear engined, Ford powered cars were hand built, had a coupe style fibre-glass body were very Light and cost about 36,000 Euro.

Freewheelers - Torreviejas Classic Cars

They were only built to order. The first, called the S1 was later superseded by the Xtamy r.
Eventually Comarth turned to producing electric utility vehicles which look a bit like a VW beach-buggy from the front and of similar size.
Most of the vehicles in the storage shed were of pick-up style with fiber glass cab and aluminium cargo carrying body.
These are the type of vehicle you might see in parks & gardens or on the golf course used by the maintenance staff.

Freewheelers - Torrevieja Classic Cars

Other bodies can be fitted according to customers requirements. In the production shed we saw a van style body under construction, cab and body being one molded unit. The French Post Office have ordered 500 and there is another order pending from Finland. With a range of 100 kilometres or 4 hours running at full power combined with a top speed of 50 kph these are very useful vehicles. Although this top speed is restricted in Spain to comply with certain taxation regulations. There are plans afoot to design and build a vehicle that can be accessed and driven by a person in a wheel chair without that person actually having to get out of the chair.
The company has a work force of 30 and produces a mere 5 units per week at the moment but has plans to increase this to 100 units per month to meet demand. Prices start at around 7,000‚‚¨ but there is a subsidy available in Spain of 2,000‚‚¨ for certain uses.

Freewheelers - Torrevieja Classic Cars

As usual, a stop off for lunch was made on the way home and again as is the norm with the Freewheelers the price was right!
9‚‚¨ for a 3-course lunch with wine a-plenty. And all went home happy.
Another first for the Freewheelers and our thanks go to Richard for finding this and putting it all together.
 

Where does it all go?
When organising a day out a sewage works is not the first place that springs to mind.
But that is where the Freewheelers took 36 of their followers last week.
Torrevieja's water treatment plant was built over thirty years ago and has since twice been modernised and expanded to take care of the ever increasing population of the town. After introductions and a slide show depicting the facts and theory of the plant it was time to see the practical operation.
Because of its elongated position sandwiched between the sea and the salt flats there are 28 pumping stations strategically placed throughout the town that pump the waste through 321 kilometres of pipeline to the plant to the southern end of the town.

Freewheelers - Torrevieja Classic Cars

First port of call was the separation shed where the solids are extracted through a coarse mesh-type filter. This part of the operation was the only smelly part of the whole plant. Next onto the next stage where the fat and grease are skimmed off the top and the sand and grit fall to the bottom before the water now enters the biological tanks where bacteria feeding on oxygen pumped into the tanks by British built compressors destroy the remaining dirt. The correct balance is maintained by computers. In fact the plant is so modern that it only employs 26 personnel, mostly biologists and technicians. Separating the good bacteria from the bad is done by first starving the bacteria of oxygen which kills the weaker, bad bacteria, then re-introducing oxygen to the good bacteria so that it can continue doing it's job. The water is now "clean" and can be used in agriculture but, here in Torrevieja there is one more process not normally used in most purification plants. This final process includes adding chlorine not unlike that in our swimming pools, but stronger doses. The reason for this being that this water is used to irrigate the towns parks and gardens and the town hall wish to be double sure that children playing in the parks could not pick up any possible illness.
It is claimed that this water is safe enough to drink and in some cases safer than normal tap water.
The only thing that seems to stop water of this nature being introduced to drinking water anywhere in the world is the thought of where it originally comes from.
Our thanks go to the management of the plant for their tome a patience in conducting the tour and to Graham Knight from the town hall without who's help this visit would not have been possible.
Finally it was time for lunch just down the road to La Estasion for a very Spanish Menu del dia.
3 coarse's plus the customary salad & bread with freshly sliced ham thrown in, the wine flowed freely and the day was rounded off with a complementary glass of Cave of surpising good quality


Freewheelers Christmas Lunch
The response to the Freewheelers Christmas Lunch was absolutely amazing! 60 had booked to come and 58 turned up!
Not everybody came to the start, some from the other side of Catral met at the location. There was still quite a convoy that departed La Marina although we did loose a spitfire on the way, I think a Messerschmitt must have got him.
On arrival at the San Remo there was a champagne reception (well, Cava really) before we were led to our half of the large dining room which was partitioned off from an equally large Spanish party. Once seated we were quickly and efficiently served with our selection of the three choices of the three courses available which was occasionally interrupted with loud renderings of Jingle Bells to combat the crowd next door who were having an equally good time, well nearly.

Freewheelers - Torrevieja Classic Cars

A very joyous occasion and you would have been hard pressed to recognise the newcomers from the old hands as Freewheeling is such a relaxed way of life. Although the team work very hard to provide the numerous outings we have had over the past year a few new ideas and help in organising a trip out to your area would not go amiss.


Queen Elizabeth & the Freewheelers
If you thought the last trip was something then this was something else. Visits to, and tours of, are usually reserved exclusively for tourist office employee's and the Press, so we were very privileged to be invited aboard. Launched on October 12th by her majesty the queen the new Queen Elizabeth has a gross tonnage of 90,400 GRT, a length of 294 meters, 32.25 meters wide and a speed of almost 22 knots.

Freewheelers - Torrevieja Classic Cars

At a cost of £300,000,000, yes, three hundred million, you would expect quality and that is what this ship has, quality in abundance! With a crew of over 1,000 the liner is capable of carrying over 2000 guests.

Freewheelers - Torrevieja Classic Cars

There is also a segregation system where those paying the most and occupying the various suites on the top deck have privileged areas not available to others paying less and occupying lesser cabins. These include the exclusive French cuisine in the Queens dining room, very opulent, also an exclusive sunning area on the very top deck with panoramic views from the stern of the ship.

Freewheelers - Torrevieja Classic Cars

Next came the Princess Grill (where we dined) for the next grade of passengers and a third tier for those paying the least. This also included a English Pub with bar snacks and bar meals available 24 hour a day.
Whilst those on the uppermost decks could come down those on the lower could not intrude on the more exclusive areas reserved for those accommodated on the top deck.
There is even an outdoor games area for carpet bowls, croquet & paddle tennis.
The ship interior is very much art decor with wood effect almost everywhere, thick carpets and artefacts
From previous ships bearing the Queen name, and also an art gallery. With a duty free shopping area (not open in port) which offers high brand named fashion, perfume and accessories and also included a hire shop in case you had not brought your ball gown or evening dress suit.

Freewheelers - Torrevieja Classic Cars

The meal was also of the very highest quality served by very professional waiters who did not need to ask who ordered what when serving the various choices requested, quite impressive.
The ship oozes quality and opulence at every turn and does not feel like being aboard a ship.
The tour took one & a half hours and was extremely informative, how the other half live was an oft heard comment. Our thanks to Richard for another amazing and exclusive day out, and it was free!
 


21st October 2010 - Freewheelers' Cruise
Last Thursday saw the result of a major coup by Richard for the Freewheelers when the group visited Fred Olsens' cruise ship the Balmoral when it paid a brief visit to Alicante. The visit had taken weeks, nay months to arrange including visits to the port and negotiations with the port authorities which eventually allowed the cars, mostly classics, to park alongside the ship arousing much curiosity amongst the ships passengers as they boarded the coaches for their visit to Alicante.

Freewheelers - Torrevieja Classic Cars

We were met by Katherine who had driven up over-night from Gibraltar to oversee the smooth running of the operation and with whom Richard had arrange the visit. Security was tight, not unlike that experienced at the airport when we all had to pass through the scanner and have our passports checked against a list previously provided by Richard.
Once aboard we were ushered into one of the two theatre rooms where one of the two lady members of the crew who would escort us throughout our visit introduced themselves and proceeded to explain what lay ahead whilst we sipped our complementary wine or soft drink.
After a short film about the company and its four cruise liners we were off on our guided tour of the ship.
The Balmoral has a tonnage of 43,537, a length of 218.18m and a speed of 20 knots.
With cabins for 1350 passengers and a crew of 510 this is the largest liner in the Fred Olsen fleet.
We were shown the three dining rooms, the gym, sorry, the fitness room, 2 swimming pools, a library/quite room and a brief glance into top deck accommodation which had a larger lounge than some Spanish houses I have seen.
Curiosity satisfied and questions answered it was off to dinner for a 3-course meal with wine and served by the very attentive waiters, followed by coffee/tea & cheese, all of the highest quality, high living indeed.
For many of us it was the first time we had been on a cruise liner, therefore very interesting, informative & enlightening .
A brilliant day out and another first for the Freewheelers.

 

Freewheelers celebrated their second anniversary by driving to the caves at Canelobre.
Starting in La Marina village over a dozen cars headed north along the N332 and the A70 past the airport
Before taking the turning off just before the toll booths and following the CV775 to Aigues,
Onto the CV773 to Busot which became the CV774 as the signs pointed to the caves.

Freewheelers - Torrevieja Classic Cars

There is a slightly more direct route but nowhere near as picturesque as the one chosen by Brian & Annette.
The road surface is near perfect, so new in fact that when we did the recce last week it was not quite finished.

Freewheelers - Torrevieja Classic Cars

The caves themselves are thousands of years old and go down quite a way with stalactites and stalagmites and with an informative explanation of the history of the caves all those that went down agreed how interesting it had been.
The view from here is truly spectacular, from the bay and round to the right and Santa Barbara Castle to the mountains you can almost get 360 degrees from the view point, worth the trip on it's own when you couple that with the views on the way up.

Freewheelers - Torrevieja Classic Cars

There was a small surprise awaiting as participants gathered on the terrace below the car park,
Drinks in the form of wine & liqueur had been provided to commemorate the occasion of the second anniversary of the freewheelers. Two years on and still as popular as ever.
Down the road for a 3-course lunch to round off another successful outing for the freewheelers before everybody made their own way home via various routes.

 

FREEWHEELING on TV
When the Freewheelers gathered in La Marina Playa for their visit to the chocolate factory little did they realise that they were going to be the centre of a local news item on Spanish television that evening.
After the easy drive up the N332, along the A70 and back onto the N332 before the toll they arrived spot on time at the Vila Joiosa Recinto Ferial where they were met by the tour coordinator Melana Lloret from the Municipal Guided Service office of the Tourist Information office along with a local policeman who Marshalled the cars into position and where he would remain until we returned from the factory. Also there to meet us was a Spanish television crew.
Introductions and explanations over we headed across the road to the world famous Valor chocolate factory.

Freewheelers - Torrevieja Classic Cars

Founded in 1881 as a cottage industry the factory is still owned by the family now run by the fifth generation.
The museum and short film show the process from when the first beans were crushed by hand to todays ultra modern process which produces chocolate exported throughout the world. Running a two shift system until August when a third shift is introduced to cater for the extra demand for Christmas. This was followed by what everybody had been waiting for, the shop with ample samples to try before you buy. This is also where the first interview with the Spanish Television team took place. All clutching our valued purchases we returned to the car park and our watchful policeman for more filming simulating the group leaving Torrevieja (artists licence!) before moving off under escort with the film crew in the lead car, Daffyd's open top mini filming the group as they toured the town and along the paved sea front under the guidance of our guide and wonderful policeman. Eventually parking in the Generalitat Square where the cars would remain under the watchful eye of the policia local until our departure after lunch.

Freewheelers - Torrevieja Classic Cars

Now for the tour of the old town and the history of Vila Joiosa, Malena explained the the town dated back to the bronze age. The hilltop where the old town of Vila Joiosa stands was a settlement founded at the beginning of the Iberian age around the 6th century BC. It is believed that this was 'Alonis' mentioned in classical texts and bourne out by excavations that discovered household and military items used in 5 centuries of Iberian culture.
It later became the Roman town of 'Alone'. During the middle ages the town became deserted due to the constant raids by pirated. 8th to 13th century the Laventa area was Islam until admiral Bernat de Sarri√° founded La Vila Joiosa which means 'Joyful City'. According to legend the settlers were attacked by Barbary Pirates on the 29 July and prayed for the saints intervention in repelling this attack and ever since this has been St Marta the patron saint of the town. St Marta is also credited with ridding the town of Dragons as depicted in the baroque style Chapel inside the fortress church. The church is surrounded by the coloured houses for which the town is also famous and comparatively speaking are quite modern being a mere 200 years old. There is much more to see in this wonderful old town which we must save for another day but if this has wetted your apatite then why not visit the Christian & Moore fiesta and see "The disembarkation" re-enactment on the 28th of July.

Freewheelers - Torrevieja Classic Cars

And so it was that we headed down the hill to the sea front and the restaurant La Font for a well earned drink and an excellent lunch served by Brad and his mum all for a very reasonable price.
It was generally agreed that it had been an excellent day out everyone had enjoyed even if they were a little weary nobody was complaining. My thanks go to Malena for the amount of work she had put in to make our day such a great success, o k, tourism is her job but I think coordinating the factory visit along with the tour of the town, reserved parking with a police guard goes above and beyond the call of duty. Thank you very much.

Freewheelers - Torrevieja Classic Cars

Next outing. Display of Classic & Interesting cars at the Entre Naranjos fiesta on 21 July. Call me.

 

The past month has seen the Freewheelers visit a variety of places starting with a trip into the mountains courtesy our own Al of MR2 fame.

Meeting at Hotel la Torre in Los Montesinos which coincided with the Phoenix Classic Car clubs' monthly "Ace Cafe" meeting with plenty of classic's to admire before we headed off towards Catral, Crevillente and into the hills towards Hondon de la Frailes, stopping off for refreshment at a cafe frequented by the 'biking fraternity. This is a very good run with well surfaced, twisty road which is why it is a favourite of the 'biking fraternity. The group eventually arrived at Bar Pepin in Hondon for a 3 course English Sunday lunch. This is a very popular restaurant and rightly so, we have often visited this establishment and never been disappointed. There was some discussion as to wether a Yorkshire Pudding made in Spain could actually be called Yorkshire Pudding in light of the recent ruling from Brussels on Rhubarb from the Yorkshire triangle. Well, it makes a change from talking horse power.

Freewheelers - Torrevieja Classic Cars

A group of Freewheelers also visited the Lifestyle Expo at the IFA (institution Ferial Alicantina) there were a variety of stalls not normally seen in local open-air markets although a selling cast pans and cooking chicken did seem to make the birds on the adjacent pet stall rather nervous! There was wine tasting, Fashion Shows a Acrobatic Show and also a Kylie Minogue & Michael Jackson Tribute, but by the time they came on the Freewheelers were long gone on their way to lunch at the Imperial Hotel.
Vibe FM radio were there doing a live broadcast from the show all weekend.
Two thirds of the two halls was taken up by major car dealers selling modern cars,
There were only a couple of classics which did seem to be in need of a bit of TLC.
The management at the restaurant must have remembered the last visit by the Freewheelers because this time the group were ushered into the concert hall which had been exclusively reserved for them.

Freewheelers - Torrevieja Classic Cars

The final visit of the month saw the Freewheelers once again join forces with the Phoenix Classic Car Club to display a number of cars in support of the San Fulgencio Cricket Club. With many stalls taking up the perimeter the cars had centre stage in the middle of the square before eventually making way for the annual match which celebrates the clubs foundation. Some then went for lunch in the Urbanisation.

Freewheelers - Torrevieja Classic Cars

It all goes to show that Freewheeling is fun and full of variety. Three very different outings, three different types of cuisine, Traditional English Sunday lunch, a very definitely Spanish one and ending in a German restaurant for what was quite traditionally German. Variety is the spice of life, rock on Tommy!
 

29th April 2010 - FREEWHEELS AT ANTIC AUTO
On Friday the 9th April, a group of Freewheelers visited the Classic Car & Bike show at the IFA exhibition hall in Alicante. Held in the other hall to previous years there seemed to be lass cars but more 'bikes and mopeds than in recent years. There was certainly no display in the foyer this time round. What there was an abundance of was Auto Jumble and memorabilia, also books, magazines and a stall of good quality tools, more for the professional or well experienced amateur. There was even a couple of candy stores as well as the usual tapas bar and coffee stall.

Freewheelers - Torrevieja Classic Cars

Although there was fewer cars there was still a good variety from the 2CV to a vintage Bugatti racer, was it genuine or a replica? Only a expert could tell. As usual the split was between sellers and clubs with just a couple of private collections. Whilst we have seen some of the cars before there was quite a few that we had not, namely a beautiful Jaguar V drop head coupe at 90,000‚‚¨ and in the bargain basement was a Mexican built VW Beetle for 4,700‚‚¨. We did not see much wheeler dealing going on but it was the first day. A couple of TV crews were there interviewing various exhibitors, we declined the publicity as the interview was in Spanish. After we had had our fill we returned to La Marina for a Fish & Chip lunch at "My Plaice" for their menu del dia. The portions of Fish, Chips & peas, mushy or garden?, were generous and at 4.95‚‚¨ nobody was complaining. Unfortunately for me I am not allowed fries and settled for the lamb shank which turned out to be a mistake as it was over cooked and quite hard in parts.

And remember, protect your windscreen, wear a seat belt! Happy motoring

 
28th February 2010 - L'ALCuDIA
The last day of February saw a large number of Freewheelers gathering at Hotel Torre in Los Montesinos for their trip to L'Alcudia on the outskirts of Elche.

Freewheelers - Torrevieja Classic Cars

La Alcidia is an archaeological site where human presence has been documented from the Neolithic period (4000BC) to the beginning of Muslim occupation in the 8th century and a very important Iberian and then Roman settlement when the Romans gave it the status of a Roman colony.
Although a very important archaeological site it is most famous for the discovery of a sculpture known as the Dama de Elche, hidden in the wall. A replica portrays the place where it was found, the original being kept in the National Archaeological Museum of Madrid.

Most of the remains are from the Iberian and Roman times and include both a Christian Church and Iberian Temple as well as the houses from both periods, thermal baths, a perfectly preserved sewer system and much more. Should you wish to visit this site it might be advisable to go during the week between 10.00 & 14.00 when the main museum within the site is also open.
The information pamphlet available at the reception is very informative and also has a map to guide you round the recommended route.

Freewheelers - Torrevieja Classic Cars


The day ended with a very Spanish Sunday lunch in a local hostelry which was much enjoyed.

For more information on Freewheelers e-mail us on freewheelers08@yahoo.co.uk and ask to be put on our mailing list, we will then be able to inform you of future trips.
 

Freewheeling in January
January was a busy month for the Freewheelers. After the festive season was over the first outing was to the ancient Ibero-Roman city of Lucentum situated just north of Alicante.
Leaving La Marina on a crisp, sunny Sunday morning at a very civilised 11.00 a good number of cars headed north to Santa Pola and along the coast road to lower Gran Alacant, through Los Araneles and Urbanova and onto the site. The group were met by the official guide David who took us round the ruins explaining each part as we went.
Having a guide is essential as much of the site is just ruins and the only part that was self explanatory was the Roman baths. The tour took an hour and David's explanations were very clear as he pointed out the various uses, Town Hall, Church, houses and shops, the only major part missing was the ampi-theatre which is believed to be under the huge block of flats that were built in the '70s. This was a very interesting tour and right on our doorstep.
The day ended with an excellent lunch at Rojo's in Urbanisation La Marina.
Our thanks go to Brian & Annette for putting this trip together.

Three in One
Wednesday the 20th saw the freewheelers out again this time with three destinations in mind. This required an earlier start and a surprising eighteen cars turned up for this mid-week event.
First destination was the Olive Oil producing plant in San Isidro where Richard gave a detailed account of the process as we went around the plant. As is also the case when visiting similar places there was a shop which not only sold oil but also walnuts, wine cheese etc.
Next stop was the largest solar farm in Europe which is in El Realengo. Again, a very detailed explanation of the process of obtaining electricity from the sun was given by the guy on duty.
Did you know it starts at the solar panels as 24 volts DC and is then converted into the 240 AC we use in our homes?
All this information was translated by our two in-house interpreters. Very enlightening.
After a stop for refreshments in Catral we headed off to our third place of interest, the nature park of El Hondo at San Felipe Neri which turned out to be dry, allegedly because work was being carried out by the water company. Lunch was at the Hotel Imperial, 3 coarse's, Spanish style,
Where the wine flowed freely, no 1 bottle between 2 at this friendly inn. And all for 7.50‚‚¨ per person and this included the tip!. Although the service was a bit slow nobody seemed to mind as there was much frivolity as they all enjoyed their time together.
Another success story for the Freewheelers with special thanks to Richard who put this one together single handedly.
ÔĽŅÔĽŅ
 

A Freewheeling Christmas
Sunday saw quite a large gathering in La Marina Playa for the Freewheelers annual Christmas drive & Dinner. Leaving at a very civilised 11.30 the cavalcade of classic & modern cars were led along a mystery tour route through the village of Benijófar and towards Orihuela before turning off by Barrio Nuevo to Redovan where Emy & Roger were waiting for everybody with hot mince pies and a glass of sherry. Crackers for everybody to pull and a free raffle which was won by Harold, who was on his first run with the freewheelers. No doubt he will be back again! Eventually, with everyone full of good cheer the party continued there merry way back to La Marina via a different route passing through Palmeral, Rafal and onto Dolores and taking the new road to La Marina and so avoiding the speed bumps in Los Martinez and ending at the Los Pinchos restaurant in the urbanisation for their Christmas lunch with a Dutch twist.
What an excellent meal it was too, with a choice of thee starters, four main courses and three desserts with wine & water included nobody was complaining. Although not very traditional the spare ribs were to die for. Although exclusive use of the concert room had been granted nobody managed to dance to the Christmas tunes that played throughout the afternoon, probably all too full of Christmas pud!
For more about the Freewheelers write to them on freewheelers08@yahoo.co.uk

You may be amazed at some of the places they have visited over the past year.

 

"A CASUAL DRIVE, AND SUNDAY LUNCH"
SUNDAY NOVEMBER 15th..
The only ingredient missing around the Hotel La Torre, this very warm Sunday morning in November, was perhaps the smell of Castrol X ! Here was the scent of wax polish, beeswax and leather. Fresh applications of Tyre Wall Black, mixed with the freshly ground coffee, being sipped on the balcony.

The talk was of distributors, transmission wear, big-ends and magnetos, and that was just the lady drivers!

It was soon time for the 14 cars to move away towards Bigastro, La Marquesa and the complex of dams. The captive water on this sunny morning was a sparkling blue.
Direction Los Torresguera was taken, with a turn towards Cabezo, and Torremendo,
Soon to follow.

It was along this narrow winding lane to Torremendo, with the railway to our right,
That an example of split second timing, that Freewheelers Car Group are known for,
On their tours, was evident to all. Around a gentle curve in the track, came the
Semi-fast express, bound for Murcia City. Hands shot from car windows, with an
Assortment of vehicle horns being met with a blast from the locomotive horn, along
With a cheery wave from the second-man, in the cab. How do they do it!!

It was soon time to take the turn into La Rancho Restaurant, where a splendid Sunday lunch was taken. I noticed few took up the offer of a dip in the pool!
 


BENIDORM CLASSICS COME TO TORREVIEJA
Freewheelers recently hosted a visit by the very prestigious International Classic car club of Benidorm, the Los Antiguos. As their president said to me prior to coming "we wont be bringing the very old cars, just the ones from the '50s & 60's Arriving Saturday they were met in Santa Pola and after some tapas and refreshment were guided down the N332 to the sea front at Lo pag√°n, the venue for the concentration of classic cars organized by the classic car club of Mar Menor. I don't think they fancied a second week-end in our neck of the woods so quickly after the first.
The group eventually returned to Punta Prima and the Asturias for a very good value lunch.
Much interest was shown in the war time BMW motor cycles with side cars on display there, genuine or not? You choose, one might be an original, another might say 'made in China', look closely for the differences.
Having danced the night away at their Hotel and having taken advantage of the extra hour the group reconvened at 1100 for a drive along the sea front of Torrevieja before heading off for a trip round the great lake that is Embassament de la Pedrera, something that Benidorm does not have to offer. After a pause to take in the wonderful scene overlooking the lake it was off again, this time to Guardamar and a chance to compare another sea front promenade before heading for lunch at the Casablanca. This was a true |Spanish banquette which went down extremely well with our visitors, final comment from our Spanish friends being "we must come again" which was complement enough for the effort put in by the Freewheelers to ensure our visitors enjoyed their week-end with us.
 

VI CONCENTRACI√“N AUTOM√“VILES CL√ĀSSICOS
A fortnight later saw the annual concentration of classic cars in Lo Pag√°n, San Pedro del Pinatar, an important event on the classic car calendar and an honour for the freewheelers to receive an official invitation! Numbers were slightly down this year compared with last, never the less there were plenty of interesting cars, bikes & Scooters to behold not only for fellow entrants but also for the many visitors to the event. I never fails to amaze me the variety of cars at this type of event and where are they the rest of the year? Food and drink is also included in the entrance price of 10‚‚¨ per person and this included the obligatory goody-bag with t-shirt, pens, key purse etc., hot chocolate & whatever you call those sticks you dip into the chocolate, a large bocadillo, two drinks and a very generous helping of a very good paella, with seconds available at no extra charge. For reasons unknown at the time the drive had to be cancelled which eventually brought the event to a premature close but not before the exchange of commemorative plaques with the attending clubs.
 

Christmas Drive & Lunch
The Freewheelers Christmas drive and lunch has been set for the 13th December starting in Los Montesinos and stopping off in Catral for sherry & mince pies and ending in Urb. La Marina
Traditional but with a Dutch twist! Please book now on freewheelers08@yahoo.co.uk as we have to notify the restaurant of numbers beforehand.
 

Farewell to a friend
On Sunday the 4th of October we said adios to our dear old friend Basil Joseph, his wife Ann and their daughter Lisa. Basil was one of the founders of the Freewheelers just a years ago.
He and Ann organised the very first run via Santa Pola which is why we visited the place again as our anniversary & farewell drive and lunch.
The day started in Montisenos at the newly inaugurated Ace Cafe courtesy of the Phoenix Classic Car Club of which he was also a member.
At about 11.30 twenty or more cars departed whilst all those who were left came out onto the balcony to waive him goodbye.
Passing by Quesada, Benijofar and San Fulgencio the convoy went cross country via a little known road to Santa Pola where a stop for coffee was made. After all were suitably refreshed the journey continued along the extremely picturesque coast road to east Gran Alacant and Los Arenales before turning left just before El Altet, through Barsaras and onto San Fulgencio, Guardamar and down the Lemon Tree Road for our celebratory lunch.

Freewheelers - Torrevieja Classic Cars


After a very Spanish lunch the co-founder of the Freewheelers thanked Basil for all the time and effort he had dedicated into making the Freewheelers such a success. He was then presented with a Plaque and a farewell card, not only signed by all present but also by those left behind at the Ace Cafe where Richard had done an excellent job discreetly obtaining everybody's signature.
The plaque pictured his much loved (and noisy) pink Mk1 VW Golf "Alone in the hills"
Basil then emotionally thanked everybody for their kindness and good wishes before driving off into the sunset. (Metaphorically)
Farewell dear friend and don't forget to visit
Derek

 

Garden Party for Freewheelers
Sunday the 5th of July saw the Freewheelers gather in Almoradi for their Monthly outing which was to be a relative shortish tour through the local villages culminating in a garden party picnic courtesy of Elke and Richard who had kindly opened up their home to the group.

Almoradi is not just a place to go for the Saturday market although you could mistake it for a sleepy town as the roads were still closed off after the market the day before but a quick visit to the Police station by Richard and a bit of self-help in opening the barriers soon had the cars parked in the square under the watchful eye of a local policeman who seemed to just appear, shortly followed by a colleague, both very friendly which always seems to be the case when classic cars assemble anywhere here in Spain.

Almoradi is quite an old settlement dating back many centuries, decades even, when there were Greeks here before the better known Moors & Christian times.

Unfortunately most of the ancient town was lost in the great earthquake which occurred on the 21st of March 1829. Of interest in the town is the church La Iglesia de San Andrés which was rebuilt immediately after the earthquake, there is also a monument dedicated to those who work the land which produces Artichokes as well as the Oranges & Lemons in the many groves surrounding the town. There are designated walks to help you take in the local scenery. Adjacent to the town square where the church is situated is the Casino bar where we received a complimentary Tappas with our drinks. Very hospitable. Eventually it was time to depart on our tour of neighbouring villages eventually arriving at Richards place where there was ample parking for all the cars, mostly under cover.

There was much frivolity and banter as everybody tucked into their self provided picnic, Richard even lit his B-B-Q so that anyone who chose to could cook their own, there is always one isn't there? Appetite satisfied it was time to jump in the pool, at least for some whilst others put the world to rights, but not before we all had sampled Elke's magnificent Apple Cake. (Not a misprint, Apple Cake, wonderbar!). All too soon it was time to go and another fantastic day out with the freewheelers came to a close. Our very grateful thanks go to Richard and Elke for their hospitality and inviting us all into their home, also making the day the outstanding success that it undoubtedly was. Thank you both very much.

 

Classic Car Fiesta

Freewheelers - Torrevieja Classic Cars

Nigh on one hundred cars turn up at RHS coches con clase on Sunday the 14th June for their Fiesta which was co-promoted with the Freewheelers. Outside the showroom there were three Rolls Royce and three mini's, with a variety of other classic cars inside the showroom, but the cars that attracted the most attention outside were the pre war Mercedes open tourer and the blue Bugatti, both replicas of course. VIVA television who were also there took quite a bit of footage of these two beauties. If you like motor's you should pay them a visit, Rob is always willing to talk cars.

Freewheelers - Torrevieja Classic Cars

Freewheelers had also brought some very interesting classic cars of their own, filling the opposite side of the road with their immaculately turned out vehicles. It is quite possible that some of these cars were in better nick than when they first hit the road three decades ago.

Freewheelers - Torrevieja Classic Cars

Apart from the crowd that had come to attend the event there was quite a lot of passing interest as the Sunday motorists slowed down to gaze upon the gleaming automobiles.
Once the salutations were over the crowd slowly drifted into one of the showrooms to taste the canapes and sample the wine which was of excellent quality. It was soon time to head across the road to the restaurant to partake of the Hog Roast. The restaurant seemed to be taken aback by the number of guests and hurriedly had to bring out more tables and chairs. This was also the time to auction the bicycle which had been donated by Courte de Englase Department store, this reached the magnificent sum of 100‚‚¨ for the appointed charity of the day, APANNE, a registered charity who run a day care centre for children with special needs in Torrevieja. Whilst everybody were enjoying their roast the entertainment started with The Medicine Man Blue's Band for their first spot. The cabaret continued throughout the afternoon with the Iceni Dancers who might have stolen the show in their third spot with the can-can although recording artist Shani who sang in both Spanish and English was also very well received.

Freewheelers - Torrevieja Classic Cars

There was also the well known TAABS Singing Show Group with their rendering of songs from musical films and shows we all remember. Some of the guests were even seen dancing.
Whilst all this was going on raffle tickets were also being sold and this raised a further 213.59‚‚¨ for APANEE. Well done everybody who bought tickets and thank you.

Entertainment continued until 6.00pm although some had started to drift away a little before the end. This had been an outstanding day for everybody, not only car enthusiasts at whom the initial event had been aimed at but also those who just wanted a day out with a difference.

Freewheelers - Torrevieja Classic Cars

We at Freewheelers owe a big thank you to all the artists who willingly gave up their free time to come and perform throughout the afternoon at their own expense to entertain everybody so superbly.
 

Freewheelers is a group of people interested in classic cars.
A group of enthusiasts who fancy a day out in their cars with like-minded people, for pleasure. Anyone interested in cars is very welcome.

Freewheelers - Torrevieja Classic Cars

The whole aim of Freewheelers is to get out and about in our cars for a drive together and end up with a meal or a picnic somewhere every month.

Freewheelers - Torrevieja Classic Cars

We have no committee, no rules and no fees. Just total freedom to please yourself. Everybody has a say in where we go and what we do.

Freewheelers - Torrevieja Classic Cars

All that is required is for someone in the group to plan a day out, tell us your plans, we will then mutually agree a date and advise others in the group of the date, time and departure point. The only criteria is car parking at, or very close to the place where we are going to eat.

Freewheelers - Torrevieja Classic Cars

We are totally laid back and relaxed - it's the Spanish way.


Display of Classic Cars and RHS Open Day
Sunday the 10th May saw at least 28 Freewheelers' cars assemble in La Marina for the visit to the open day at RHS coches con clase where they met up with a similar number of classics from various parts of the Costa Blanca to take advantage of the opportunity to see how a prestige garage operates. Hospitality was generous with coffee and cakes for all prior to a tour of the workshop and a chance to see some of the classics being cared for by the garage.

There were some outstanding models on display outside belonging to the many visitors from a Cadillac Convertible three times longer than the adjacent Morris Minor Convertible, a Bentley mk5, a couple of Morgan's and, unusual for the Spanish, only one 600. One car that caught everybody's eye was the late arrival of an immaculate Bugatti replica, in blue of course. Inside the workshop 5 mini's were first in line, 2 waiting for conversion to LHD, another that had already been converted and a white one that had undergone a complete restoration, total strip down and rebuild, awaiting the final touches. There was also Rob's own E type coupe, the story of which has been serialised, which is also nearing completion.

After the sharing of opinions and views with fellow enthusiasts it was time to head off to La Marina and La Bodega where TKO's Dave Royal and his staff had ingeniously arranged parking adjacent to the restaurant. The meal was a traditional English Sunday roast, Beef, Lamb, Chicken or Pork, all agreed that whatever choice was made the meal was excellent! It was a shame that some could not wait to be seated and left early leaving one empty table. They missed a treat and all for 10.00‚‚¨ and that included the wine!

A grand raffle rounded off the day, with at least 20 prizes, the proceeds from which will be donated to APANEE, a charity that supports both Spanish and English disabled children and adults. They have been going for 10 years and help 90 children three times a week of which I am advised the town hall sponsor 35.
And so ended another outstanding day out for the freewheelers.

Special thanks go to Dave Royal of T.K.O. Radio and the La Bodega Restaurant in La Marina, Rob Saltail and his staff of RHS coches con clase who all contributed greatly to making the day the great success that it undoubtedly was. Thank you all very much.


Freewheelers, Horses and Cricket! - Freewheelers have already had a busy month and there is still another trip to come!

Freewheelers - Torrevieja Classic Cars

On Saturday the 2nd of May Freewheeling Team Member Alan Herbert booked a coach and took quite a number of the freewheeling group to Caravaca de la Cruz, one of only five cities in the world given the title Holy City by the Vatican, to see the racing of the wine horses which is a part of the Blessing of the Wine ceremony and unique. This has a medieval origin and powerful horses make a 10 second dash up to the sanctuary of the cross. This is a spectacular event, the intricate embroideries that clothe the horses take a whole year to make.

Freewheelers - Torrevieja Classic Cars

Also on Saturday Freewheelers group member Brian Hopper organised a display of a dozen cars to support the inaugural "Lad's v Dad's" cricket match held on the Market Square in La Marina. The sun shone brightly and with the side stalls and entertainment the event was hailed as a success. The Freewheelers then retired to the Restaurant Los Pinacheros for an excellent lunch to round off another excellent day out for the Freewheelers.

Freewheelers - Torrevieja Classic Cars

This second event was organised by a group member for which we are very grateful.

Freewheelers - Torrevieja Classic Cars

Anyone who would like to organise an event will have the full support of The Team and I am sure you will find it very rewarding and not as daunting as you may first think.

Freewheelers - Torrevieja Classic Cars

To contact us e-mail freewheelers08@yahoo.co.uk
 

Freewheelers - Torrevieja Classic Cars

Laughing in the rain

Freewheelers - Torrevieja Classic Cars

On a wet Sunday morning almost 50 Freewheelers gathered at the Biker Bar in Catral which owner Ron had opened specially for them despite not closing until 5.00am that morning.
One or two had left their classic cars at home for fear of getting them wet, one of those missing was the so called Pink Panther for which many were grateful as this meant no musical air horns! Everybody was in good spirits with much laughter and joking. Once introductions were over and the coffee drunk, the group were on their way to Crevillente. It seems that there are new enthusiasts joining the group every trip and this was apparent again this time.

Freewheelers - Torrevieja Classic Cars

Once in Crevillente, the tour of the town was abandoned due to the weather and everyone made their way to the bar where they could watch a video of the town's Moor's & Christian's parade on the big screen whilst they drank their coffee. Once suitable refreshed the convoy continued on its way via Albatera to Hondon de Los Frailes where a policeman was waiting to let the cars onto the paved area that had been reserved for the parking of the cars. A short walk to the Bar Pepin for a traditional 3-course Sunday lunch, with wine, for the princely sum of 10.00‚‚¨ each. It has to be said, the meal was of outstanding quality. A true bargain and if you should find yourself in this area this is definitely the place to eat and you will be made most welcome by Lynda and her staff, as we were.

Freewheelers - Torrevieja Classic Cars

A collection was made to sponsor Mick who is going to UK to take part in a sponsored walk from the west coast of Lancashire to Robin Hood Bay on Yorkshire's east coast, a journey of some 200 miles, all in aid of the Heart Foundation. Also during this marathon walk he will be celebrating his 70th birthday! And not only that, Mike is also taking part in the London to Brighton Cycle race. Good luck Mike from all the freewheelers.

Our special thanks go to Richard Nicholson for planning and organising this trip. Yet another outstanding day out enjoyed by all despite the weather.
 

Weekend Double Header
The weekend of the 14/15 February saw a double header for the Freewheelers with an invitation to take part in a Spanish club's concentration in Benidorm on Saturday and their own Freewheelers drive to Jacarilla on Sunday.
On Saturday the freewheelers met the Los Antiguos club at Benidorm Palace and drove with Police escort to the Park L' Aiguera where the cars were on display for over an hour to the pleasure of quite a crowd before driving off again in bright sunshine and with their police escort through the town and along the Levante seafront which is indeed a privilege as this is not usually permitted! There were large crowds to see the magnificent cars both in town and along the sea front where the bars were quite busy and the crowds lined the streets to gaze at the variety of historic cars as they passed by.
The day ended with a very Spanish Sunday dinner in one of Benidorms upmarket hotels.

Freewheelers - Torrevieja Classic Cars

Sunday saw the Freewheelers meet at the Asturias Restaurant for breakfast before driving off to Jacarilla via San Miguel and arriving at the Palace to visit the gardens and the Church.
Then it was round the corner to Cafe/Bar Mary for a quick cuppa before going on a scenic tour of the great lake and the mountains eventually heading back past the castle at San Miguel and returning to the Asturias for our 3-course lunch. A raffle was held in aid of the Cruz Roja Ambulance appeal, and with so many prizes you were unlucky if you did not win something.
Tickets were also on sale for a weeks free car hire in the UK kindly donated by 1-car-1 who have also agreed to donate weeks car hire in UK to the Freewheelers, again with a donation to the Cruz Roja Ambulance appeal. The draw for this will take place next month so plenty of time to buy a ticket, the voucher for a weeks hire will be valid for a year. On sale at the Bargain Books in Torrevieja. Names are also being collated for the free 10% discount cards that have been negotiated for the Freewheelers and include Brico Centro Torregrossa, Manalo's Restaurant, amiguitos pet shop, Manolo Ruiz & sons Tyre bay and Paco's body repair & Paint shop. New offers are being received all the time so come on down and benefit from these offers in these hard up times. You know it makes sense!

A big thank you to our organisers, Alan & Basil who have done an outstanding job again.
Now it's your turn to put a run together, so please help us to keep the ball rolling.
The next Freewheelers outing will be to Villa Joyosa/Vila Joiosa (Valencian spelling) on the 15th March where a guided tour of the old town has been arranged and a 3-course lunch will again only cost 8.50‚‚¨ each and that will include your bottle of wine between two.
Look forward to hearing from you soon.
Regards from Derek and Basil

Fantastic news for all Freewheelers!
Basil Joseph has secured a great discount deal with a leading business family in Torrevieja.
Discounts on Brico, Pet Food, a Tyre and service garage and a well known restaurant.
Come along on Sunday to find out more and how you can qualify for a discount card!
 

Classics at the Palace
Classic cars that is and The Palace is Benidorm Palace

A sunny Sunday morning saw nearly sixty freewheelers with almost thirty cars assemble in La Marina for the drive to Benidorm or Bust. In fact there were so many that the group met in two different cafe's.
Taking the old N332 north as it is more scenic, the group departed a little later than planned due to everybody trying to pay for their coffee at the same time, but at 09.45 the convoy set off to Alicante driving along the sea front and up over the flyover thus avoiding the new bypass past the airport. Eventually arriving at Benidorm Palace just after 11.00 where we were greeted by members of the Los Antiguos European Car Club.

What a variety of classics they had on display there, magnificent! All immaculately turned out, the oldest must have been the white RR from the twenties, most of the cars were large cars like the three Excalibur open tourers, a Jensen and a variety of Mercedes, a rare Panhard and many more too numerous to mention. All too soon it was time to move on, but not before the President gave me a club calendar depicting 41 of club members cars'. We waved fair well to Los Antiguos as they departed on their drive and their lunch, it was also time for us to do likewise.
Unfortunately we were unable to show our new banner provided by our sponsors, Brico Centro Torregrosa who have 25 Brico outlets beside other shops.

We had been warned that Benidorm was not very benevolent towards motor cavalcades and the sea front was definitely out of bounds.
However, Mick & Maddy took us on a tour of the town with the usual waiving and pointing, something we have become accustomed to on our outings. We eventually arrived at Monroes Carvery for lunch, some of us taking longer than others to find adjacent parking but we eventually made it.
Options of one, two or three courses, three choices of meat, vegetables a-plenty & salad, nobody could have possibly left hungry,
Ann and Colin won the anagram quiz and all too soon it was time to head for home. Another very enjoyable day out for the freewheelers was over.
Special thanks to Basil and Alan for making it all possible.
Another job extremely well done. Thank you guys.
 

Chocolate and culture
On Sunday the 15th March, 50 Freewheelers visited the colourful and historic seaside town of Villa Joyosa or La Vila Joiosa as the Valenciennes call it and known locally as just "La Vila".

Freewheelers - Torrevieja Classic Cars

Leaving La Marina at about 10.00am the first destination was the Perez Chocolate factory and Museum, one of three in the town. Starting with a cup of hot or cold chocolate the group were then given a tour of the factory with an explanation of the process from the arrival of the bean (the scientific name being theobroma cocoa) to the finished product. The beans are first roasted and when cold, separated from the husks. They are then ground into a paste which will be the base of the chocolate. Next different ingredients are added to the mix to determine the different types of chocolate, after which it is mixed to the desired texture. A second machine further refines the mix, it is then cooled to 35 degrees ready to cast and pack. This is done on a vibrating machine which allows the mix to settle in the mould as a tablet ready for packaging.
Then came the best part for many, the tasting!

Freewheelers - Torrevieja Classic Cars

Our hosts from the office of culture had a surprise for us next, A Police motorcyclist to escort the convoy on a site seeing tour of the town even the Guardia Civil were seen controlling traffic at junctions.
The harbour around which the village developed goes back many centuries, and is still a very important fishing port, in 1860 it recorded the second highest number of boats registered in Spain. Many of the artifacts in the museum arrived by sea. Our hosts, Ros√° and Jaques from the offices of tourism and culture took us on a walking tour of the old town much of which was built from stone taken from the nearby Roman settlement of Allon. At the church which was also designed as a fortress, Ros√° told us the story of St. Martha and how she rid the area of dragons with her fan and bucket. (No mention of St George). Because of the fear of dragons people were previously reluctant to settle in the town. We then meandered through the narrow streets of which there are three in each direction eventually coming out onto the sea front and the coloured houses which Jaq explained were so painted so the seamen, who had been away for a year or more, could recognise their home and if a white flag was flying good news awaited the seafarer, but if the flag was black then a death had occurred in his absence.
Villa Joyosa received it's royal charter in 1443 and was eventually declared a town in 1911.
There is also the historic house "La Barbera Dels Aragonés which we did not have time to visit, maybe next time as the place is well worth a second visit.
We are deeply indebted to Malena and her colleagues Ros√° & Jaques from the Servi Municipal Visites Guiades of La Vila for their time and assistance.

To find out more about Freewheelers email to freewheelers08@yahoo.co.uk 

If you would like to help organise a trip please email to freewheelers08@yahoo.co.uk - we need your help.

Join the freewheelers and enjoy a day out, we are only a phone call away.

Should you wish to join this happy band, just contact :
Derek on freewheelers08@yahoo.co.uk
or phone 686 765 297
or 965 971 433

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