The town and beach at Santiago de la Ribera was a real surprise. I’ve visited The resort areas between Cartagena and Murcia San Javier airport, and finding the weekend had an air show based at MJV I was expecting that Alcázares would be my base.
The Spanish King had passed his military flight training at MSJ (which is a mixed military/civilian airfield). Felipe VI would be watching from Santiago de la Ribera, which meant being there was best to see the show play out in front of him.
I packed two picnic hampers and found a bit of beach , then set Prisci on plane watch
Parachute displays were followed by brilliant helicopter acrobatics, Deryk – RAF old boy – had told me a story of the kings weekend password that was used to rally the boys on his course for a night on the town.
After a full on training week he passed the guys a “Saturday we party” call with a code word (Sábado – Saturday, party). A word that a wine producer heard of locally, and after the king left, honoured the ‘call to arms/party’
The afternoon continued with Harrier Jump Jet displays, Tanker and AWAC fly-byes and an aircraft that rotated its wing/propellers to be fast plane or helicopter like
The beach is huge, thousands watched, the three girls in front of us could only take their eyes off the show to raise in perfect unison to study their mobiles every 10 mins
The jets arrived, Italy’s version of the Red Arrows performed and filled the skies with drawings (man standing, hearts) and tricolour smoke
The town is definitely a place I’ll visit again