Saturday 6th May 2017
At 3am there was loud thunder, lightning flashes and hailstones. Danny completely oblivious. At 0600 heavy rain – again, Danny missed it. At 0700 glorious sunshine and a slight mist in the valley bottom. On our way at 8.45 hoping to make Valencia for overnight. We had adjusted the satnav to have Cadiz as the final destination and taken off our prohibition on tolls figuring we’d just do a dash for it. Kate drove for the first half of the day doing nearly 200 miles before lunch gaining in confidence all the time (Danny calls it something else – he is very good at monitoring the speedo).
Started as a nice Saturday morning drive, very little traffic. The Alberes mountains are lovely with lots of mountain tunnels and passes – some very impressive road-building,
and we did climb again so that at one point we were in pine forests instead of deciduous woodland, but then we headed out to the coast and towards Barcelona and, hopefully, the sun.
We bypassed that metropolis intending to see it in July on the way to Italy, and hooked a right along the coast towards Valencia. Everything so obviously completely different to where we left this morning. Plains, a mediterranean feel to the vegetation, fruit orchards – oranges, lemons, peach – as well as olive groves, and we had to pull the window shades down to protect our poor white flesh from the sun through the side window.
Spain is certainly very different to the rural areas of Germany and France we have seen so far. And we see more industry here, even in then rural areas. In the mountains we went through a village called Amer which had 4 huge factories dedicated to farm pharma – medicines for farm animals. All apparently new and completely out of context in the setting but obviously important for local jobs.
Lunch was a 30 minute leg stretch at what passes for a service station in Spain, which was nice. Vast improvement on Moto and Roadchef. Great selection of freshly cooked food, and they would cook your meat for you fresh on the grill!
After lunch, Danny took over the driving so progress was slower at a ‘respectable’ 60mph – age is a terrible thing. Class 1 advanced driver, you know. Despite this we still made Valencia in good time so turned inland following the satnav, after paying our €36 toll – not that bad for over 150 miles when compared to the M6 toll. Identified the only feasible ACSI site on our route and aimed for it . We passed vineyard after vineyard on our way to the middle of nowhere and still, somehow, the satnav managed to misdirect us in the tiny village of Villagordo del Cabriel. We ended up in an interesting manoeuvre involving a tight left hand turn, a narrow lane, a parked car, and a necessity to communicate really well to avoid a scratch. Made it by a whisker.
Came out of the village ad descended towards the reservoir in the distance and Kikopark campsite, just outside Villagordo del Cabriel. Pretty site.
Parked up opposite a nice couple from Hertfordshire (St Albans) who gave us some tips on places to go in Spain and told us that seeing the Dutch on a site was always a good sign, which was new to us. Soaked up some of the lovely sun we had chased down and had a nice cold Magnum (ice cream) each.