Last night it was so hot that it was nice to be able to walk down to the beach, where it was a bit cooler (and clearly a lot of other people had had the same idea as it was very busy with everyone pretending to be exercising but actually strolling about and taking in the beautiful scenery). We are still not allowed on the beach itself or in the sea, unless it is to do some form of watersport, but there are a few clever people that seem to spend an awful lot of time paddle-boarding as, irrespective of what time we go down there, they are always out on the water – I guess if the rules don’t change soon, we will be considering taking lessons….! (And, note to self: we should think about including a couple of paddle boards amongst the ’emergency lockdown supplies’ that we are putting together just in case – spare iPhone, spare watch (can you believe that after lots of stress with my phone over the last few weeks, my Apple watch appears to have packed up…. I am not a good advert for Apple…!), packs of pills, etc).
So, by the time we had walked a couple of kilometres along the track and back, and Jan had hugged a tree or two (he misses hugging more than I do – as I said before, he is a very ‘huggy, person – and, incidentally, sorry about his white socks… I did say that they are not really appropriate, but he felt that he could get away with them as he was wearing sports clothes..), we were very late going to bed (but with less alcohol drunk, which is a good thing). Despite that, we were still up early – Jan to run again, and me to prepare for my second tennis session of the week – hoorah! If I thought Monday was tough though, today was a whole different level as I think Juan has barely been off the court since I saw him, and was in a brutal mood. But, somehow, the tougher it is, the more I enjoy it, even if it means that at the end I collapse in a pool of sweat (as per today). Mind you, by the time I got back, I would not be joking today by saying that the two hours we then spent by the big pool really were ‘recovery time’.
We came back to the house around 2.00 as this time of day, now, is a bit too hot for me (Jan, though, likes to top up his suntan whenever he gets a chance….!) so I got on the computer to do some news and social media watching, as well as a bit of work and, what has now become a regular activity, yet more chasing of airlines. The big news on that is that we finally managed to get hold of Lufthansa and change one of our original tickets to a real flight, which we think really will go (I am keeping it a secret for now, but a clue is that it is (and this was in no way planned!) exactly 100 days from the day that we arrived here. Which seems kind of apt.
I must just have a bit more of a rant about the airlines here (except for Ryanair (love you!). I do get it that many airlines right now are short of money or, in some cases, near collapse, but what they are doing is, at the very least, annoying and time-consuming, and at the worst potentially fraudulent. Whenever I mention the long list of flights that we had booked for the spring/summer and that are now being cancelled, whoever I say it to always responds ‘but they have to give you a refund, by law’. And that is true. But what they do is make it absolutely impossible to get hold of anyone in order to try to get a refund or rebook the ticket in the first place. Don’t be fooled by the statements on all of their home pages that, in view of the Covid-19 crisis, they will allow travellers to change flights, get refunds, etc, nor think that because flights are showing on their systems it means that they must go. It doesn’t. So what happens is you book your flight (based on the schedule) and then fourteen days or so before you are due to travel, you get an email (that you can’t respond to) saying that the flight is cancelled, and you should go on the website to rebook or claim a refund. Then you go on the website, and in the appropriate section, it says ‘to re-book your flight or claim a refund, please call x, y, z – due to the high level of traffic, do not try to contact us by email’ (and that, in itself, is hilarious, since I would happily place another bet against anyone finding a direct email address for someone that is in any way useful on any airline website!). So then you try to call the number, and ‘because of the high level of traffic’ it either cuts off, or leaves you waiting for so long that you go stark raving bonkers (in my case).
In a very sneaky and unbelievably clever method of stealth and deception, I did, finally, get hold of someone at Lufthansa, as mentioned, and got our tickets for our original flight back home (cancelled) changed, but Iberia has proved, so far, beyond me (another ticket back home from earlier!). Jan, in the meantime, is in daily contact with the CEO at EasyJet (I think I mentioned in another blog that he has a range of precedent complaint letters available for anyone that needs one, and many of them have been used for EasyJet in the past, which means that he is now known as such a tricky customer that he is fast-tracked straight to the top! – not that it is getting him anywhere!). Back to Iberia, though – I found a FB page called ‘complaints against Iberia’ or something, so had a rant on that, and judging by the number of outraged responses I got, I am not alone… but still no solution. When I eventually find a way, I will pass the information on, in case it is useful.
That took up most of the afternoon, and since it was so hot, I offered to whiz down to the supermarket in my van for a few supplies rather than Jan having to go (no chance of me walking today (not sure I even can) after all that tennis, although I hope to have recovered in time for our late-night walk after dinner)… I am thinking a gentle Bollywood jig to loosen up might be an idea – and that will be it for today…
I must just add that whilst I was doing a bit of social media watching late this afternoon, I found this video that I swear must have been written about Jan. I made me LOL… and I suspect it will resonate with several others… !