"La Esperanza" in Calpe, Spain
by Dany Aendenboom © 1999    

Dany Aendenboom shares his holiday with his wife Sonja and son Arjun at "La Esperanza Oasis" in sunny Calpe, Spain.

During one of my (regular) visits to the Global Access website, I found a link leading me to the website from "La Esperanza Oasis." The pictures I discovered on their homepage seemed to me like an heaven on earth for wheelchair users. After talking it over with my wife Sonja, we decided to give it a try and go and celebrate our 20th marriage anniversary in the city of Calpe, in the south of Spain.

Calpe is a nice town on the Costa Blanca, located at the border of the Mediterranean Sea. If you go by plane, you have two possibilities, the city of Valencia, (regular flights only) or the city of Alicante (chartered flights only). Both these cities are at a distance of 80~90 km from Calpe.

We flew from Brussels, Belgium to Alicante, Spain with a charter flight (Constellation Air). Brussels airport caused no problems, and we did not need assistance getting trough the passport controls and getting on the plane. Once inside the plane, we got help from a special crew (the musclemen !!!) to get me to our plane seats by using a very narrow drive-through chair. Once we arrived in Alicante, another musclemen crew arrived in a special lorry with a leveling platform allowing me to be driven out of the plane, onto the lift-up platform using the same type of narrow drive-through chair, and make the transfer to my Küschall chair. The musclemen crew stayed with us until we reached the luggage pick-up area.

At the Alicante Airport, we were picked up by a special wheelie taxi, courtesy of Peter Weiss. To get to Calpe. The taxi was a drive-in Peugeot 806 type. The taxi driver was very friendly, and he even helped us picking up the luggage, and carrying it to the car. The price for this wheelie taxi is the same as a normal taxi (10.000 ptas from Alicante to Calpe).

Peter Weiss and his wife, Paula, are the proud owners of "la Esperanza Oasis". (Peter is German, 54 years young. He has been a wheelie for 16 years or so, after a car accident) They own two wheelchair friendly houses in Calpe.

His own house disposes of three apartments (condominium- like) adapted for wheelies.

There is a studio, a one-bedroom apartment, and a two- bedroom apartment. All of these apartments have a wheelchair friendly bathroom, equipped with all the necessary items for wheelies, WC with horizontal grips, roll-in shower, etc. A shower wheelchair is available at an additional cost, and the guests can use the accessible pool (with a hydraulic lift). An electrically operated bed can be rented on demand. The bedrooms are accessible for wheelies, and so are the kitchen areas (drive under). It is possible to prepare food while sitting straight before the fire (not at a 90° angle). The people who designed these apartments really knew what they were doing. The garden disposes of lots of shade.

There also is a house for people who want to be on their own called "Casa Oasis". This villa with two bedrooms and two bathrooms also has a swimming pool with access for wheelies (lift). The owner calls the house wheelchair friendly because one needs some help from time to time.

The bedroom is OK, but an electrically manipulated bed is not available. The shower in one bathroom is from the roll-in type, and the WC has everything it needs. The kitchen is not adapted for wheelies, no roll-under possibility, and you need a little ramp to get in. One of the two bedrooms is blocked by a little step.

The apartments and the house are located at about 1,5 km from the beach (playa levante), but since the area is up and down we always called for a taxi. Taking a taxi cost us 800 ptas to go and 1000 ptas to come back. Near the beach there is a marvelous "paseo maritime," which is completely flat and OK for wheelies. This walking area near the beach is very busy, with lots of bars, restaurants (cheap!) starting with prices from 1000 ptas for three courses ( dishes) meal, wine included....salud.....)

Some beach entries are OK for 4WD-wheelies, but be aware of your bearings (sand).

The neighbourhood from Calpe counts a lot of little villages, with nice markets (Moraira, Altea, Etc.) And, of course, there is the city of Benidorm at a distance of 40km.

Though I had some health prolems (those damned sitting bones!), we had a marvellous time in the "Casa Oasis", Arjun adored playing on the steps from the pool, and Sonja took full benefit from the sunny climate. To relieve my bottom, I spent a lot of time in the pool, my favorite place to be.

One afternoon we were invited by the Weiss family, Peter is a very good cook, and he knows everything about Spanish wines. Paula ("frau Tschüüs", as Arjun (5y) called her) and her husband Peter are assisted by their "Major Domus" Rolf. All three of them are very friendly, and willing to help you whenever necessary.

We were at the Casa Oasis from 5 June 1999 until 19 June 1999. I had my first swim in 11 years, and we had such a good time that we decided to return next year in July. 

"La Esperanza Oasis" not only was a heaven but also a  haven for wheelies.

See you in Calpe.....

Adios.....

Sonja, Arjun and Dany

"La Esperanza Oasis" website  is: http://www.laesperanza.com

Their e-mail address is: laesperanza@ctv.es

My e-mail address is: dany_aendenboom@village.uunet.be

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