Benidorm’s Wild Boars and bores

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WILD boar are alive and well and lurking just outside Benidorm. A month ago, driving from Finestrat, a mountain village just ten minutes inland from the resort and in pitch black, I nearly ran one down. It exploded out of the brush on my right and tore across the road to crash into the opposite verge and disappear as fast as it came. If I had blinked I would have missed it. Dogs wander into roads or trot out, wild boar fly.

A friend of mine nearly had his Chrysler Voyager nearly written off a couple of years back in Altea Hills when it hit a boar.

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The vehicle’s front was left crumpled and steaming, whilst the boar simply staggered off. These creatures are massive and move at incredible speed. Kind of Pumba on acid. The size varies according to region but here in Spain they can get up to 200kgs…in Russia they can get to 300kgs. They can stand a metre high at the shoulders and have incredible acceleration attaining speeds over 40 kph. Add to this tusks at eight cms and you see why it is advised to avoid them where possible.

Fast forward to last week and a small mountain-top cafe overlooking the Jalon valley. I stopped with a friend for a coffee. He is 6’6” and renowned for eating “buffet”. The German restaurant owner informed us he has just taken delivery of a wild boar. It wasn’t on the menu but was a “special”. It was my friend’s holiday, he can eat horses whole, so we found ourselves saying “yes please” and subjected to a mountain of cracking wild boar stew with German dumplings.

Boar are dangerous when alive in the wild but equally to be avoided when served in wholesale proportions by persuasive Germans. We were defeated. We sauntered in at 12 o’clock looking for a loo and a pick-me up-coffee. At 1.30 we staggered out, bellies distended and sharing pained groans and puzzled looks that said “what happened there then?” The resistance of the British broken by a hypnotic chef and his wild meat products. I’m not complaining, it was us being greedy, but seven days on, I swear that boar is still in me.

The chef told us he got regular delivery of fresh boar, and that one of his hunters was recently charged by one and his leg snapped backwards like a twig with the impact. The only way you would catch me shooting those beasts would be from the safety of a tank.

Our German chef also said that there were five thousand boar in the Tarbena area. Surely some mistranslation. They’d be everywhere. There would be no room for the rabbits, or the hunters, or my tank.

Those who go on holiday to Benidorm and just stay in the town, have no idea of the savage wild boar that exist just minutes from their skyscraper hotels.  Equally the wild boar that live contentedly just outside the resort and have no idea of the savage wild bore that exist in the Rincon area of the town – genus “stags and hens”.

These sub-species are very similar, but thanks to their territorial habits, they never meet. Boar tend to be solitary, whereas the Benidorm bore stagger around in groups, both are nocturnal and potentially vicious and a Benidorm hen can reach a frightening 100kgs plus, and can be just as aggressive as their male counterparts.

But whereas the wild boar is speedy, its urban cousin thankfully moves in a random sluggish manner and is easily avoided as it normally announces its presence through its ritual mating wails, or “chanting”. Nature’s marvels.

 

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