After spending a few very nice days with my sister and brother-in-law, my nerves were cooled down and I got some extra fat of all the good food. I left Tuesday morning. Although the coast from Alicante and up is called the Green Coast and is therefore quite beautiful, I chose to take the inland route up to Gandia and than to Valencia and so on. Just for the variety.
When I was one pedalstroke off the drive I was directly back in my element. Like I never did something else in my life, so quickly you’ve got the same routine back again. The difficulty of getting out of a city (Alcoi this time, Valencia was really easy!), the rythm of the pedalling, the adaption to the ways of the Spanish traffic, finding a nice spot for a break, checking the map while riding, enjoying the view, a chat with a local, filling the watersack to have water for dinner and washing and all the other little routines who come along with this easy way of living.
The first day the sun was out, the wind had died down a bit, although it was still there, but fortunately I had mostly tailwind. It was a fabulous ride (apart from navigating through Alcoi). The Spanish drivers give you so much space, that I sometimes fear they’ll go off the road on the other side.
And how I love to climb. Slow and steady you go up in that neverending rhythm of the pedals. You sweat like a pig, you pant like a sixty old whore and you feel like a million bucks when you’re up the mountain to enjoy the view. And than the sweet treat of going downhill. Can’t we get any mountains in Fryslân?
The scenery is magnificent and places I go through are not so touristy (yet), because it is still only Februari. And therefore it is not so hot, but just very nice to roll up the sleeves of my jacket.
But that was only the first day. The cycling itself along the coast isn’t quite what I expected (so I was even more pleased with the choice of going inland first). I needed to go on some highways or along a cycle path beside it. I must say, the roads or good and in cities the cycle paths as well. Apart from that is the scenery still beautiful. Mountains on my right and the Mediterranean on my left. So why the ‘but’ at the beginning of this paragraph? One of the routines, a big routine I can say, is wildcamping. And that is not so easy along the Spanish coast. Or have I lost my touch? The first day I did find a spot. The second day I didn’t and ended up on a camping. The third day I found a really nice spot just behind a railway track, but it was with some difficulty. And while I am writing this blog entry I’m sitting in a hotelroom for crying out loud! I rode for miles and miles without succes. Contacted two Warmshower-hosts, as well with no succes. But a hotelroom is most definitely not part of the adventure. It’s nice to have a shower, to sleep indoors, but it is the selfsufficiency, a bit of hardship, the total freedom of sleeping whereever you want that make a cycle trip so great.
If have the feeling I don’t have much options along the coast. It goes only one way north, so to speak. There are a lot of orchards, but I’m afraid if they spot me they throw me out. I can’t camp near the see for the same reason. There isn’t much space alongside the road and there I’m as well too easy to spot. Am I making excuses? Do I just have lost my touch? I’m I too chicken to try? I know one thing for sure, I need to go looking for a spot a bit earlier. It’s already getting dark at around seven o’clock. I’m used to cycling in summer time, so I have to remind myself that I have now shorter days. This hotel feels like a failure, to be frank. I really have to change either my route, my mindset or whatever it is that led me here…