Diary of last week VI

Today is Tuesday. What a perfect night in an hotel room. We follow the suggestion from the lady of this Morella lodging to get a local bread made with olive oil for our picnic. The day starts with a good climb of 400 meters where we divert from the national road to a local mountain road. Great pleasure to be alone on this narrow road, the landscape reminds of Serra da Estrela, above the treeline. We are now in Aragon. The inexistent road on openstreetmaps that we saw in a poster eventually exists and takes us next to a river with little water. A bridge and the transparent water crossing under it creates a pool impossible to resist. We stop the bicycles and slide into the water. Perfect. This road also saves us some kilometres and it’s 16 o’clock when we arrive to the La Fresnesda campsite. It’s a Dutch campsite we were told about ten days ago. Upon check-in, we are offered a beer and we can choose among three pitch places. There is a small pool where we dip before the shower. For dinner, the owners of the campsite prepared some tapas which we eat with white wine on the terrace of the bar. Life is wonderful.

Diary of last week V

Today is Monday. The road has more traffic than expected. Trucks from the same company cross in both directions every couple of minutes. We keep to the shoulder. The second breakfast is taken next to a small sanctuary.  Soon later we turn right and start climbing. We should turn left after four kilometres to a small road up to a pass. Four and half kilometres later we check the GPS and we passed the turn. Return. The small road is not a road put a path with very loose gravel and rocks. Impossible for us to climb 600 meters on that. The solution is to return to the road with the trucks. We are back to the shoulder of the road, one behind the other. After some time, the road starts to wave as it gets steeper, trucks keep passing while we see Ares del Maestrat with houses build on the stone at the top. We leave the trucks road and start sliding down. There are fences both sides of the road and it is not easy to find a place to wild camp. The sweat drips from our skin, our legs are sore of more than 1’000 meters climb today. Morella village presents in front of us at the top of the next hill. We know there are few hotels there. After more than seven hours cycling, the noise we hear is the sewing machine the lady is using in the breakfast room. No problem keeping the bicycles. Still a race to get to the supermarket before it closes and we end up with some tapas and ox tail for dinner. Life is hard.

Diary of last week IV

Today is Sunday. The day starts with a swim at the sea, before 8 o’clock. The Canadian family leaves before us and go in the opposite direction. The road the monotonous. We follow a good cycle path next to the highway for 40 kilometres. Unscenic to say the least. The end of it has two 17% climbs where we have to push the bicycles. At Pobla Tornesa we ask for a shade. “No shade in town” and they sent us to the other side of the highway, next to a sanctuary there is a very nice picnic stop. There are some benches 10 meters from the cars and trucks passing by. We do picnic anyway with the noise before leaving for smaller roads. Not much to see apart from fields. The next village is els Ibarsos, where we stop at the café. There is fiesta, with some contest of cows and bulls starting later. We would like to see it but there is no place to sleep in the village. Few kilometres later we find a place between some pine trees to put the tent. The pine needles make and excellent mattress. We cook some pasta before going to sleep. Life is boring.

Diary of last week III

Today is Saturday. Despite being close to the highway, the night was ok. For breakfast for a change we eat a pre-made tortilla de patata. It is fulfilling. We need to buy contact lenses liquid. In Valencia cars drive fast and do not respect much the red lights. Fortunately, there are good bicycle lanes. I’m not in the mood of looking for shops which Eva does not agree. We argue but eventually we find the liquid and stop for a coffee to calm things down. The cross of Valencia continues. It seems a nice town to study, with good young vibe going on. The cycling path is now a large lane. There are a lot of other cyclists. For lunch, we stop at a stony beach and go for a swim. The Mediterranean is warm but still refreshes the body. We continue our way as close as possible of the beach but there are always some buildings in the middle. In Nulles we arrive to a small camping just by the sea. There is a Canadian couple with three daughters cycling one year around Europe. After a small chat with them we go for another swim. We get two San Miguel from a machine to go with the salmon in a curry sauce we bought just before. Life is a world of possibilities.

Diary of last week II

Today is Friday. It was a completely silent night. No cars, no birds. The tent is completely humid. Sometime I will have to understand when does the tent gets condensation inside or outside and when it doesn’t. The mountain road slowly gets us lower. The forest transforms into orange trees. We are in the middle of the known valencian orange fields. The path is quiet and nice until we approach the suburbs of Valencia and the traffic gets very dense. We get bread in Torrent and decide that we are not yet prepared for crossing a big city. So we change our plan and choose a camp site west of Valencia. Before we go to a huge Carrefour to buy some dinner and land at this camping just next to the highway. It is quite big but still off-season and we get 30% discount. We buy one litre of beer to go with our falafel dinner. Life is to question.