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 Walk Across Europe

2008-03-22 - Trip 12 - Leg 81

Spain, Alicante

Poble Espanyol to Vila Joiosa

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28.1 km today.
28.1 km this trip.
1570.4 km from start.
18 metres minimum height.
372 metres maximum height.
492 metres ascent.
554 metres descent.
 Track Log: Logged.
 Travel: Train, Tram.

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Quiet main road. Country lanes.

We got the 7:20am train from Garganes (Altea North) to El Campello. Compared with our usual start times this was a luxurious lie-in. El Campello was one stop further than we wanted to go but the fast tram did not stop at Poble Espanyol. This only lengthened the walk by about 700 metres so it hardly mattered.

We crossed the main roads and the peaje (toll motorway) and headed up a steady 370 metre / 1200ft climb to Aigües on a quiet road. The traffic increased slowly as the local people woke up on this holiday weekend. Soon after Aigües we turned onto a much quieter road. We were a little nervous because there was a sign saying the road was closed at the Amadorio Dam. We were relying on the excellent Spanish health and safety attitudes. You put up the signs and fences to keep people out. Then holes are made in the barriers and everyone uses the route as usual. In the unlikely event of an accident, it is the fault of the trespassers. At the dam, pedestrians and cyclists could get across without any problem.

Before traveling to Spain, we used Google Earth to work out a route from the Dam to the railway station at Vila Joiosa. This was successful and we avoided all the main roads. We arrived with a train due in 2 minutes so we were lucky.

The railway is being upgraded. Between Crueta and Alacant it has been electrified. Between Crueta and Dénia the older trains are still running. There are engineering works all along the line. We changed trains at Crueta with a 5 minute wait. This was a cheerful train. It was full of Spanish youngsters, presumably going for a night out in Benidorm. After Benidorm there were only old codgers on the train.

We get the 7.22 train and are pleased because it is an old one with a ticket collector to sell the tickets rather than a fierce machine. Our train goes as far as Cruet as we had guessed and then we change for Poble Espanyol. Our train does not stop there so we go on to El Campello and rather than wait for a train back, set off from there retracing the very end of the previous walk. It is interesting to see that the plants in the barrancs are little changed from February. They must be retrarsed. The bushes are larger and more luxurious but there is nothing new.

Neil is famous. A Portugawl man researching parasites wanted to know where we had seen cytinus. He also usefully named the orobanche fetidus for us which was good. I have asked Neil if he can ask him about the pine globulism and the red mistletoe. He might be interested in these things. Ian in the car says he prefers this part of Spain to Mojacar where some friends live because it is greener and there are plants and birds. Yes, that is true. He mentions poppies and poinsettias so obviously identification is not his strong point.

On the way home there is a crowd of young people on the train going to Benidorm to celebrate Easter Saturday. We see them again the following morning going home. Some of them are very much the worse for wear. Neil hopes to get a good photo of Puig Campana as this is to be the icon for this holiday.

Where does poble become vila or do they mean something different? Once out of El Campello we turn inland to go uphill to Aigües. The ascent is gradual and long. In the village there is no tart shop. However there is a market stall and we buy fresh ripe dates. Once past Aigües we look for our right turn to the barragem. The road is closed and we wonder if we will be able to get through. We decide we can try and abort to Orcheta if necessary. We do get through, however. The track is only impassable to motor vehicles. The water looks Chinese with grey whisps of grass in it. We get through easily and work our way down on familiar territory now to Yoyosa station. In the evening we go to Mercadona and get supplies including a barbecue chicken. Nice!

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