Monday, 26 April 2010

April 26th 2010

Playa Tropicana – Alcossebre (Castellon) – ACSI2010-1559, continued

The day begins with clear blue sky and bright sunshine, great, we can "do" the cycle ride to Alcala de Xivert, from the booklet we got from Tourist Information.

We pack our sandwiches, and a drink, and off we go.

Before continuing, I should explain that the booklet gives the following information (and I quote):

Difficulty: Leisurely
Type of Route: Flat, Road
Length: 16km (10 miles)
Duration: 1hr 45Min

The following is how the route is decribed (and again I quote).

"Leaving from Alcosserre towards Alacal de Xivert along the national highway go around the roundabout and leave the Tossalet Hostel on your left, and then continue on under the bridge at the turn off to Capicorb. About 300m further on, turn right onto a dirt road that initially runs parallel to the Valencia-Barcelona railway line, only pass under the railway line various times along the way. Then the route continues for various kilometres along flatish land, and then borders the Estopet Ravine, and ventures on to the outskirts of the mountains of the Sierra De Irta Nature Park. Leaving behind the Espopet Ravine, you first come to Frenchmans Cross and then the Calvary Chapel, then enter Alcal De Xivert."

A point to note, the time given to complete the route is 1hr 45min, this automatically means that Kathleen expects to do it in 1hr maximum.

We set off, and all goes according to plan.

We come to the bridge, find the dirt road, and set off along it.

It is a little bit rough, but soon the surface improves and becomes tarmac. It is more or less flat.

We pass under the railway line a couple of times, no problem, we are cycling between fields planted with Orange trees and Olive trees.

We see hardly anyone, just a few people working in the fields. It is very hot (25C).

Then we come to the bit where it says "borders the Estopet Ravine". Wrong. It does not "border" the ravine (which by the way is a mini Grand Canyon), the route goes down into the ravine, (very nice free wheeling for a half a mile) and then up the other side, (not so nice).

This our view from almost the top of the otherside of the ravine.

But credit where credit is due, there is not a word of complaint, well, that is not quite right, but only a couple of words.

Then we come to the bit where it says "ventures on to the outskirts of the mountains of the Sierra De Irta Nature Park", ventures on to the outskirts!, it goes right over the bl***y top of the mountain!

By now we have done about 9 miles, and we are not going to turn back, so eventually we make it to Alcala de Xivert, it has taken us 2hrs 15minutes to do the 11 miles.

I can only conclude that the person who translated the route from Spanish into English, did not know the words "up", "big" or "hill", so just used the words they did know, ie flat.

It gets worse.

Kathleen's reason for coming here was to see the inside of what we are told is an impressive church. We find the church is closed on Mondays, and the doors are locked. The tourist information office is also closed

We sit and have our sandwiches in the square infront of the church, which you can see here. Not sure what the banner is about.

Deciding that having pedalled this far, we may as well have a look around, we wander around the town. That is it, apart from the church, there appears to be nothing else to see.

We eventually find a bar and retire to it. Here mutiny breaks out. Some of the other routes in the Tourist Information booklet are actually decribed as "Difficult", god knows what they must be like. Kathleen says she is not doing anymore cycle rides from the Tourist Information book and she is not going back the way we have come. So we opt to go back along the N340, risking death by juggernaut as opposed to death by heart attack, altitude sickness, dehydration, exhaustion or a combination of all of these.

Fortunately, it now being about 14:30, the road is fairly quiet, all sensible people are having a siesta, and there is a fairly wide hard shoulder to the road for most of the way.

The return journey, is "only" 9 miles, so in total, the round trip is 20 miles.

We return to find we have some new English neighbours, they have bicycles on the back of the camper van. We ponder should we warn them about the Tourist Information book?, no, more fun to keep quiet.

We retire to the beach, which is just at the entrance to the campsite.

As you can see, we have it just about all to ourselves, there are only three of four other people dotted about the beach.

We chill, and I read my book.

As you can see below, Kathleen is same pose, different surroundings.

No comments:

Post a Comment