On Saturday morning we took the train in the direction of Murcia to visit the town of Orihuela, popping into the town's football ground, the Estadio Municipal de Los Arcos on our walkabout. Early afternoon, back on the train towards Alicante alighting at Elche for our first game of the weekend. Elche CF's second team, Ilicitana were hosting Villareal's third side at the 3,000 capacity Estadio Jose Diez Iborra in a massive sports complex to the east of the city centre, which we reached by bus. The away team ran out comfortable 3-1 winners, a long range cracker putting them 2-0 up.
Sunday was a double header, with a trip on the tram up the coast to Sant Joan D'Alacante for Intercity CF's fixture against Hercules (Alicante) second team at the 2,000 capacity Poliesportiu Municipal, reached by taxi from our tram stop on the beach. We enjoyed a beer in the restaurant next to the stadium, and were joined by dozens of bird fanciers with their show birds in lunch-box sized carriers. A fairly low standard game followed and was, thankfully, brightened up by a strong finish by the visitors who ran out victors by a single goal. Back to Alicante and climb to the park beyond the Castell de Sant Ferran for a beer stop, then down to Hercules 29,500 Estadio Jose Rico Perez, for the visit of CF Andorra. We rattled around in the vast stadium in a crowd of about 5,000 as the home side missed several chances, including a poor penalty kick. They did, however, manage a goal-less draw against the higher ranked away side, tarnished slightly as the visitors had a man sent off early in the second half. This was a fitting end, as the quality of the football served up wasn't great; five goals in three games a modest return.
Monday's planned trek up to the imposing Santa Barbara Castle was scuppered due to access to the castle being closed as a result of high winds. Plans for our next trip are now dependent on the impact of the Coronavirus!