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Day 13...... Valencia to Orpesa del Mar .....105 km .....(total 1,010)

When constructing an ideal ride my criteria would be as follows with corresponding analysis of today’s ride meeting those criteria . 

Flat - tick

Ride with friend - tick 

Ride designated cycle lanes - tick 

If any wind then a tail wind - tick 

Clear blue skies - tick 

20-25 degrees C - tick 

Ride within sight of sea if not aside - tick

Enjoy picnic lunch under palm tree - tick

Pluck some fresh fruit to eat - tick 

Polite drivers - tick 

Left butt embraces B17 saddle - tick 

Stay beachside hotel at days end - tick

Take recovery swim in Mediterranean- tick

Enjoy sunset beer overlooking bay - tick 

If I liked Valencia yesterday after my boutique tour with “E&H Tours” then I LOVED Valencia today. A series of designated cycle lanes took us from the heart of the city to approximately 25 km into the countryside. I say “us” as 1/3rd of my hosts - Eddie- decided to accompany me to my customary 25 km coffee stop. 

The road out was a beautifully paved cycle way blinded by market gardens .

Cyclists dream.

Onions anyone ? 

At the 24.9 km mark we stopped at a set of res lights . Eddie suggested that we go to the beach for a coffee. “It’s only 200 metres to the right “ he said confidently and with authority . 200 metres my arse. Try 3 km . Then 3 km back to my route. 

However it was DEFINITELY worth it. Great coffee, great views , and Eddie paid. Sir a pleasure to ride with you and don’t forget the ASSOS when we meet in Germany . 

Getting back to my route proved challenging and at one stage I found myself on that “Autovia” below. With trucks thundering past at warp speed I decided to exit it ASAP. That meant lifting my panniers and  then bike over a small fence bordering the motorway and making hasty retreat to a small lane that led to the bridge from where this photo was taken . 

When I wasn’t on cycle paths today I was enjoying back roads with scenic views such as Sagunt Hill Top fortifications. Would you be impressed if I told you I took a detour and rode up that hill to have a look at them? No, I didn’t think so, and so I didn’t. 

Not sure why but this old fashioned sign appealed . 

Popped into a supermercato in Nules and spent 7 EUR on cheese, ham , tomato, salami, still warm baguette ,  and a can of coke and then rode 3 km out of town and sat on lush green grass beneath some palm trees and had myself a picnic for 1 . Fell asleep for 20 mins then pushed on. 

Dear Spanish drivers. This is how it works. You take your refuse with you. Yes those empty plastic bottles, cans, cigarette boxes wrapping paper, old CD’ etc etc etc etc and at the nearest rubbish bin, whether it be at home or in a town you deposit the rubbish inside the bin. If I can cycle 17 km carrying my picnic refuse  you most DEFINITELY can carry yours in car.

Dear Spanish driver . Here’s what a rubbish bin looks like and the act of placing rubbish into it. Not that hard is it ? 

Dear Spainish driver. Whatever you do STOP DOING THIS . You are desecrating your otherwise beautiful country and it’s land we are merely renting from Mother Nature . 

Right got the above off my chest and now onto more pleasant stuff. Campervans . Have to say looks like a better way to tour than on a bike ! 

I’d like to see someone dribble to the hoop on that playing surface ! 

At the end of Castello airstrip. I stood there for 10 mins waiting for a student pilot to take off in a Cessna 150. Halfway down his run out it dawned on me that I probably wasn’t standing in the best position. 

Beachside colours 

Let down of the day. At one stage today I was closing in on 1,000 km ridden for the trip. As we clicked onto 999.99 km I slowed down waiting expectantly for it to roll over to 1,000 km when I would crack open the champagne , fireworks would explode and a celebrative set of cheerleaders would appear and dance a routine. It went from 999.99 to 0.00. No fireworks , no champagne and no cheerleaders. 

View from my room in Orpesa del Mar. 105 km after leaving chateau EH&TJ. That sea didn’t stay too unswum for too long. Especially as I have hauled my board shorts and flip flops 1, 010 km with no use thus far.  

My sunset beer at one of those tables was also a delight . 

All in all a most satisfactory day in the saddle . May many more of its kind appear around the corner. 

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