Benicassim 4: We Gotta Get Out Of This Place.

Last day in Benicassim and more importantly the last night of camping. Yay! At 7.00 a.m. I was already planning tomorrow. It’s gonna be sleep, peace, wine, a decent dinner and more sleep. The day went like the previous three. A cold, public shower, a walk into town, breakfast, beach, air conditioned bar, cold beer, mediocre food. Then back to the music. Four bands tonight for me. In fact had Sunday’s line up been on Saturday and vice versa, I would have left for Valencia a day early. On the main stage tonight, Madness, Bastille, Liam Gallagher and the Pet Shop Boys.

Madness benicassim
Not great quality pix. Sorry
bastille benicassim
Noel Benicassim
Angry Liam. Only Fucker With A Coat On

I had three attempts at obtaining a good view for a comfortable evening. First, I gave my name to the security guy on the VIP section. For credence I added an arbitrary “Lord” to my name, and said it should be on the list. It didn’t fly. Turns out there was no guest list. Turned out the “VIP” area was no such thing, and was in fact available to anyone with a ticket, priced about 4 times the normal price. I suggested a change of name, from VIP to SRP area. Smug Rich Persons. I told him, even if I could, I wouldn’t go in now anyway, as there were no important people there. He said that was fine with him.

Next I got talking to the cameraman. His name was Paco and he had come down from his gantry for a cigarette while the roadies were changing the set for Bastille. I jealously eyed his perch.
‘Need any help? Maybe I could give you a hand.’ I asked him.
‘No gracias,’ said Paco, then added ‘what kind of a hand?’
‘Anything,’ I said, ‘Anything you need. Anything at all’
‘Are you a cameraman?’ asked Paco.
‘Not really,’ I had to admit.
‘Then how could you help me?’
‘Maybe I could pass you stuff,  I said, ‘I’m pretty good at passing things.’
‘What things?’ asked Paco. Boy this wasn’t easy.
‘Anything, whatever you need’ I said. ‘You name it, I’ll pass it.’
Paco had now finished his cigarette, and, having decided that I was a lunatic, he clambered back up to the best seat in the house. Adios Paco.

Paco Works Alone.

Having failed my interview for assistant cameraman I wandered over to the disabled access. Another raised platform with a great view. There was one security guard and one wheelchair. The wheelchair owner had five helpers. Five. What the hell could be wrong with him. Five. Now that’s a liberty. I wandered up the ramp and was asked if I needed help by the security guy. I told him I had been separated from my friend who was in his wheelchair, and that he would probably be along in a minute. Didn’t work. He told me to wait at the bottom of the ramp. I asked if there was a maximum number of assistants per wheelchair but he wasn’t sure.

Disabled Benicassim
One Wheelchair, Five Helpers

Anyway I enjoyed the show(s) had a few beers and a couple of burritos, and for the last time, headed up the hill for a restless night. If you’ve read the last few blog posts here you will understand why I was not expecting sleep. I passed a few people leaving though, so maybe it would be a little quieter. Nah. It was, if anything, even noisier. Final night parties I suppose. By 5.00 the music had largely stopped, but by then I was just waiting for the dawn. The four people in the two man tent next to mine were trying their best to whisper. Seemed to me they had learned to whisper in a helicopter – full of chainsaws.

The sun came up about 7.00. I grabbed my stuff, handed my lamp and lock in to reception so that my security deposit would be electronically returned. Two cups of coffee later I headed for the town, killing time until my 11.00 train.

The Little Nurse met me in a bar near Valencia Nord Station. She was sat outside, sipping vino blanco.
‘Hi,’ she said. ‘You look like shit’
‘Yeah, I know.’ I said
‘Do you wanna drink?’ she asked.
‘Is there a moustache in Mexico?’

Valencia sunny bar
Back in Ruzafa

We had some drinks and a catch up. She had rented an apartment in the trendy Ruzafa district. This area is on the up. Full of hipster bars and trendy restaurants, it’s just beginning to appear on savvy travellers’ radar. Most of the accommodation is apartments through Airbnb and Homeaway. There’s not many hotels there. We were scheduled to fly out in 3 days, but when Ryanair cancelled our flight we had to stay four further days. Unfortunately our cool Ruzafa apartment was unavailable and so we were moving to a hotel bang in the centre. We checked the photos we had taken, mine from Benicassim and hers of Valencia. She had got some great shots of the main sites, simply by getting out there while the tourists were still at breakfast.

Valencia Cathedral
The Cathedral, Tourist Free
Serranos Towers

We had a superb lunch and after some wine we went back to the digs. Due to my absence it had become very tidy. The sofa was massive. A real hangover sofa. I crashed for three hours. After a shower, hot and private, a real treat, we went for dinner. Steak at Asado San Telmo, the best steakhouse in Valencia. Recommended.

Early(ish) night for me. Midnight I climbed into the freshly made bed, a contrast to the tent of the last four nights. It was like lying on a pile of velvet owls.

  • More about Valencia next. Story starts HERE
  • Picking up my SE Asia trips soon. Starts HERE
  • Camino de Santiago starts HERE
  • All the other links HERE
  • Any questions use the comments section below
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