Monday, August 20, 2007

And I’m Pins And I’m Needles

When is Alcúdia not Alcúdia?

When it is Playa de Muro.

Does this matter? I believe it does. That Playa de Muro is a form of extension of Puerto Alcúdia is undeniable, but it still isn’t Alcúdia, especially if you are billeted at the likes of the Alcúdia Pins hotel.

I live quite close to Alcúdia Pins. There used to be a telephone box outside the house. Mercifully it has been removed, though it was quite instructive to hear people calling home and bemoaning the fact that they were miles away from anything, that there was nothing to do and that they wouldn’t be coming back.

Let me tell you also about the two blokes I once gave a lift to who had got off the bus near the Esperanza by mistake and had heavy cases with them. I took them to their hotel - the Playa Garden. “Is it far to Alcúdia from here?” I had to break it gently.

I have fielded many an enquiry about Alcúdia Pins (and other hotels by the Eden Center). They all tend to be along the lines of “We’re going to Alcúdia and will be staying at the Alcúdia Pins. But we’ve heard that it is a bit far from the centre”

You bet your life it’s a bit far. About 8 kilometres a bit far.

Now, this is not a go at Alcúdia Pins or any other of the hotels. They are all pretty damn good, and the area itself is quite pleasant. But it is remote. The problem is that these hotels are often said to be in Alcúdia or indeed promoted as such. There was an ad in “The Sun” not that long ago. “Two weeks at Alcúdia Pins, Alcúdia.” You get a similar thing on some tour operator sites and on holiday sites.

I will concede that it is convenient to refer to Alcúdia. I do this myself sometimes. Simple reason - Alcúdia is better known. But this convenience can mean a sizeable inconvenience for those who do indeed find themselves a “bit far from the centre”.

You might say well they can always go to Can Picafort. Indeed they could, but that isn’t really the point. They have been sold Alcúdia and they haven’t got it. That’s the point. The other thing is this “centre” notion. The overwhelming majority of tourists believe that the so-called Bellevue area IS the centre of Alcúdia. It’s understandable as that is where the majority stay. It’s understandable for other reasons, but maybe I can deal with those some other time. Whether “centre” is the correct description or not, there are plenty of folk who want to be able to enjoy the attractions of the Greasy Mile; plenty of them at Alcúdia Pins.

Let me stress I am not claiming any misrepresentation. As I say, the use of “Alcúdia” is convenient, but I would rather this convenience was put to one side and a bucket-and-spade was called a bucket-and-spade, or a Playa de Muro a Playa de Muro.

There wasn’t one yesterday because of the Laberinto special. Going back two days therefore - it was C.W.McCall and “Convoy”, which will always - regrettably - bring “The Hairy Cornflake” Dave Lee Travis to mind. Today - the lyric goes “I got my head checked by a jumbo jet ... When I feel heavy metal and I’m pins and I’m needles”. Who?


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