This was a welcome break from work and the norm, we stayed at the Golden Donaire (pronounced don irie rather than don air) hotel in La Pineda. Previously we only visited for a day trip so it was all new to us, I thought it would be further down near the old town and such but we were completely the other way down past Cap Salou and onto the main strip itself. Hotel is nice, Golden hotels are renowned for their food which is top notch, had pancakes every day for breakfast along with many other nice stuff. Also managed to have a good room too even though it was maze like in its design. Pool is cold but a sensible depth for once and was mainly used for activities such as water basketball and water polo. There were also some smaller pools that my room overlooked, these were largely dominated by kids and a few sun loungers for the adults. Indoor pool was thin and long and hot for once, there was a sauna used only by Russians which kinda looked like a shop window for boiled Slavs. Nice
The beach is a huge sandy one complete with a few rock jetties out into the bay at one end, the other end is dominated by an industrial landscape and harbour complete with random fires and visiting container ships. There is an old sketch with Reeves and Mortimer blacked up as Otis Redding and Marvin Gaye sitting on the dock of the bay in an old TV watching the boats come in and that was us really as its quite busy. The sea wall is the most intriguing place on there being random boulders with a small beacon at the end and a jumble of flat areas for sunbathing. But mainly its good for snorkeling, and by good I mean really good. I've seen things I've never seen before and ticked off one of my bucket list items as well.
What was down there then. A few Peacock Worms on the rocks and hermit crabs including a white one clawed species. They had less urchins for once which is a blessing and as a result had space for much more weirder residents. I saw 3 octopuses and was crawled over by another which was totally unpleasant, nasty suckery tentacles ugh. They also had a few fish around the rocks including stuff that had its boundaries. This included a black fish with round pectoral fins that only lived at the bottom under the rock itself and small Blennies that lived in the rock peering out with their blue dotted faces.
If you want to know my bucket list item then read on as its quite involved. I've always wanted to see a sea slug in the wild. I kinda realised this back when I first started going to Spain in the 90's, as I saw a Sea Hare on my first visit to Mallorca but as its brown and not very photogenic it doesn't count (even though Aplysia is a Nudibranch). It didn't help that all the photos and pictures I saw back in the books made them out to be beautiful. This time though it was going to be different though, my first trip round the sea wall I found and photographed a couple of what I thought would be a sea slug but turned out to be a Flatworm Pseudoceros Velutinus. The next time I was down there I found what I was looking for a tiny Aeolid Sea Slug called Cratena Peregrina. It was pink with a white body and is easily overlooked and that I thought would be that.
|Can you spot it?|
The next time I was down by the wall I thought that I had seen most of what it had to offer and a good look around the rocks had scared up the aforementioned Octopus (really nice moves like a cloud across the rocks with accompanying camouflage to boot.) This time I came across, what I thought was a large yellow fish that turned out not to be. I'd clocked the big gill on the back and knew I had my second sea slug and this time its huge. I mean its about 5 inches long and bright yellow decided to take a few shots and then because it might not come out some film as well just for good luck.
I don't think its got a common name but I'm proposing calling it a Yellow Fellmare from a corruption of its Latin name and its colouring.
|Here endeth this lesson.|