Coach Tour - Sardinia
Alghero Carlos V  Hotel Around the Carlos V Hotel pool, palm trees, dusky Sardinian beauties, male and  female, sun and reflections of blue waters.  “Thyroid trouble” came the loud words  from a group of worldly and plump northern ladies, standing large bosom deep in the  pool. “….she wasn’t quite right, so she had tablets which gave her a low reading”. “It  is a problem” said another women “The doctor recommended an operation” said the  first “but it was no good, she still had to take the tablets – they always do – it  changed her reading to high.”  Another woman said “Shame to go through all that  and you’re no better off.”  Then a dusky swimmer splashed past and the ladies  watched, momentarily silenced.        Alghero   Table 50 was our restaurant placement.  We were lucky to beat the ‘hoi poloi’ to the  table in the bay window with the panoramic views over the Alghero coastline.  We  sat with Mr & Mrs Sheffield, Mr & Mrs Billericay and Mr & Mrs Southampton. Mr  Sheffield was in adult training and Mrs Sheffield was in something equally important.   This of course couldn’t compare with the Billericays, who considered themselves the  most important on Table 50.  Mrs Billericay spoke through pursed lips and ate with a  similar expression.  Her husband took immediate charge of checking that the order  was correct each evening by a quick head count and comparison to the waiter’s  summary. How could the order be wrong on one evening, especially when he went  to the trouble of cross-referencing the dish with the person choosing it.   Needless to  say, this event started a discussion in local plummy tones between husband and  wife.    On the table to our right were Mr and Mrs Southampton, down to earth people who  ran their own business in the New Forest area until Maggie’s government caused  their financial arrangements to collapse.  They lost everything.  He was a portly, but  fit looking. Gentleman – a cross between Les Dawson and Jack Duckworth from  Coronation Street, with a tooth missing at the front – the gap through which he lisped  conversation enthusiastically.  His wife was the brains behind the couple, supporting  with a sprinkling of motivation over their relationship, as is usual in a marriage.   Nothing was ever ‘quite right’ for her and she constantly was striving for something  better.  She was proud of her experiences as an au pair to an Italian family in Sicily  and could converse in the language to a level that impressed the others on the tour,  even if she did make up some words along the way.   Italian life   Sun drenched town square, colourful umbrellas, the ambience of Italian life.  The  four big bosomed ladies, sporting flowery sun hats bought from the QS store back  home, were tasting the drinks delivered to their table by the smart Italian waiter.  Two  iced teas and two Merta liqueurs, not exactly what they’d ordered.  What they  actually wanted was four cups of tea – 2 with milk.  With trepidation they tasted their  purchases.  The iced tea with lemon wasn’t bad, but the milky looking Merta was  another story.  “Tastes like Gaviscon,” said one.  “Don’t like the taste of their milk  much,” said another, “tastes off”.  Keeping one eye looking out for the café’s toilet,  the drink finally disappeared without mishap.  The courier later explained that Merta  is a local speciality.  I expect that made the ladies feel much better.          Poolside Competition  “How did you get yours?”  “It was recommended”.  “Sorry, I thought it was due to an  accident.”  The group of middle-aged Geordie men were pulling their skin and  pointing to their tums.  The best operation scar was the heart by pass I think they all  agreed, with the kidney stone getting a deserved second prize.   Sea Anemones   Sardinian Sun, clear azure seas lapping against rocks concealing an abundance of  colourful aquatic life.  Two holidaymakers from England wearing baseball caps and  loaded with an assortment of vividly coloured bags and holdalls arrive to pitch their  claim to a piece of picturesque coastline.  The couple mark their territory with  similarly vivid towels interspersed with discarded T-shirts, sandals and plastic bottles  of ‘aqua-minerale’.  The hot breeze started to pick up, causing the size of the waves  to increase, but this did not deter the intrepid explorers.  She decided to cool off by  snorkelling in the deeper of the rock pools.  Discovering colourful fish, sea  anemones, it was like a new subterranean world.  He, meanwhile, sipped some  refreshingly cool water and promptly fell asleep.          She finished her snorkelling, decided to dry off and do some painting of the beautiful  scenery.    Real Heaven   The rocky beach was quite popular with the local Sardinians and it got a little busier  as the afternoon wore on.  Locals were spreading their towels on the rocky shore  ready for the afternoon siesta.   He still snored a few feet away.  It was hot and in his dreams was aware of the  sounds of the sea and pebbles.               Sometime later he awoke with a snuffle. A dusky, dark eyed, long haired, shapely  maiden, wearing only the briefest of bikini bottoms came into focus.  He thought he  had died and gone to heaven!  Rubbing his eyes he looked around.  It was real –  and so was his wife’s look of displeasure!   Hotel Staff Collection   Dined with Mr & Mrs Witney, Mr & Mrs Yorkshire and Mr & Mrs Billericay after taking  the ferry back to the mainland Italy.  When we arrived at the hotel Mrs Witney took  great delight in telling us we had made our way to the wrong room, 804 instead of  805.  This started the conversation at dinner.  “Was your room comfortable?” she  asked.  She spoke in a similar ‘plummy’ fashion to Mrs Billericay, but pulled down the  corners of her mouth as she did so, causing the ligaments in the side of her neck to  protrude.  We replied that our room was OK and apologised for the confusion.  Mr  Witney, already in our bad books for referring to a collection tin to tip the hotel waiting  staff as a paupers box, proceeded to tell a little of his life story in Witney.  At first I  thought he said he was in ‘banking’, he looked the type, wearing his gold rimmed  glasses, but it turned out he was in ‘blankets’.          Miniature Tigers  Mr & Mrs Yorkshire, being Northerners, were the most genuine down to earth couple  and we warmed to their conversation.  They also liked cats, much to the disgust of  the Witneys. Mrs Whitney asked “Is it true cats don’t do it in their own back  garden?”, as we took a mouthful of our main course.  Mr Yorkshire replied an  emphatic ‘no’.  She then said that the cats scoop the fish out of her pond.  He, trying  to steer the conversation towards the more endearing quality of cats said “Yes they  are just like miniature tigers…we have 2 cats, one is friendly and docile, the other  one can be a bit vicious.”  Whilst we took another mouthful of food he described to  us how his cat clings to his arm with all fours and he can literally lift it off the ground,  its claws drawing blood in the process and leaving lacerations all up his arm.  We all  in unison took another sip of wine to refresh our palate.  
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