27.1 km today.
179 km this trip.
1721.3 km from start.
0 metres minimum height.
16 metres maximum height.
32 metres ascent.
40 metres descent.
Track Log: Logged.
Travel: Train, Bus.
Initially busy road without a verge. Much quieter lanes after km 7.
Today we crossed the Grenwich Meridian again in the wrong direction.
We got the 07:30 train from Altea to Dénia. From the station in Dénia, we walked to the port area and failed to find any more information about buses or boat trips.
The walk itself was pleasant, the only bad aspect being the traffic. For about 7 km at the start of the walk near Dénia, the traffic was heavier than we expected. After that we were on small roads with only the occasional car or moped.
We strolled through orange groves and housing estates. Our altitude varied from 0 to 15 metres so the walking was easy. We had to wade across one stream shin deep.
We returned on the Valencia to Alacant bus, getting in at Oliva and out at Altea (Garganes).
As we are up early, we still go into Altea rather than wait at Garganes for the train. As we set off this morning towards Altea station, a market was being set up in the street. It was only just getting light but the sight of all those peppers, different coloured aubergines, strawberries, alcachofas and oranges was very tempting. We hope Mini goes out and spots it.
This trip is only 2.10 euros even though it is quite a long way. The clocks in the train have been altered but in the wrong direction 5.55 instead of 7.55. In addition the announcements are being made as if the train started at Cruet rather than at Calp. This means that all the announcements are out of phase - very confusing if you have not travelled the line before. The ticket machine on the train is booting up Windows but fails to become operational. Neil says people who understand these things will enjoy this reference.
For the time being there is a man selling tickets. Last night Neil was able to get onto the internet for the first tie. He must try every night but normally he is blocked. He says there are two big rivers today. We might get wet felties. The man at Altea station was not affable like the previous one. He too is suffering from clock-change jetlag. I should have got my ticket from the machine. He doesn't come out and check all the train people are safely on the bus.
We set off out of Denia going past the port first because that is always interesting. There are some biggish boats moored which do the Balear route. Once out of town on a road which is busier than we like we see a faded notice of a bicycle, and a man wearing a rucksack pointing to a side turning to Els Poblets. We feel Els Poblets is not on our route and carry on along the fierce. After a few kilometres, we see a signpost to Els Poblets along our road. It is in our direction after all. Did the cycle route go along a disused railway track? At a break we check on a map and our route in fact goes east of Els Poblets so if we had taken the side turn we should have had to back track or else use a different route for the next stage. At one point we see a railway -type bridge to our left and turn off to investigate but the disused track below shows little evidence of through traffic and we head back to the fierce again. A man on a bike passes us. He is half towing his wife on a second bicycle. I have never seen this mode of transport before.
After about 7km on the fierce, we turn right onto a narrow quiet road and the walk becomes nice again. There had been an earlier turning which we had resisted because there was a river coming and we thought we'd better cross it first. In the event there was possibly a way over the river but when a walk is going to be long it's better to be safe then sorry. The weather is now consistently very hot during the middle of the day and for some reason my fingers are deciding to swell up. The right hand more than the left because I take care not to let the left one dangle too much. I'll have to do the same with the right.
At our break today we have our last caramel Easter eggs. We are short because before departure, I had put a bag of little solid chocolate ones in Neil's carrier bag by my front door thinking he would be ever so pleased when he found it. My error was to put it in his overnight carrier bag rather than his journey carrier bag. The eggs are even now sitting in his car in England and no doubt when he finds them he will be ever so pleased. Because of the lie of the land we are now heading in a westerly direction and actually making the distance between us and Turkey even greater.
At night we always look at the BBC five day world cities forecast that being our only source of information on loca weather. Sometimes we scroll through to see what the weather is like elsewhere on our route and in Istanbul it is invariably indifferent. Why do we want to go there? I ask myself. We have lunch on the banks of the River Girona. It has a fair amount of water in it and has attracted a number of frogs and a small white egret. Mont Go is receding and I wonder why it features so largely in "Spanish Lessons" if it is so far away from Gandía where the author was living. Many towns have a street named Carrer Joan Fuster. Who was he?
We are now on the Camí Real de Gandía Neil says it isn't a question of if the computer will lose your worms but when. Psion is still being good so far. We see a second squashed snark. They are about. Indeed we sometimes hear them slithering through the undergrowth. Lizards make a scuttering sound because they have feet and snakes don't but we have yet to see one alive this year or indeed on this walk. In the Cabo de Gata on our first visit to Hortichuelas at Christmas, the snakes seemed to favour the same sort of secluded corners that I like to use as a place to relieve myself. More than once having bared all I felt constrained to beat a hasty retreat hastily pulling everything back up having found a snark sunning itself in my territory. This also happened in Crete. The snarks were usually long fat black ones and quite harmless but still a surprise when you come upon them unawares.
We take off our socks to cross the river but put our sandals back on as it is stony. We get wet up to our knees. There is an unpleasant aroma in the area but we hope this is coming from the depuradora opposite rather than from the river. The presence of frogs is some assurance that the water is OK. During lunch we are entertained by small white egrets and three stilts one of whom is obviously non grata to the other two. We carry on along our narrow road. There are several small rivers - all with bridges and sometimes with yellow flag irises in bloom along their banks. We haven't seen these since our second walk in Portugal. It must be getting wetter. We are now in Valencia - the river is the border (check which) but there was no sign because we are off the beaten track.
We eventually get to Oliva and work our way towards the centre where we try to ask a policewoman for directions to the bus stop. She is busy seeing school children across the road. Once she has finished she dives into a patissería, buys a gattock. I wait by the door to intercept her on the way out but she escapes through a different door. Neil suggests trying a man standing in a shop doorway on the other side of the street. He tells us to go on down the road past a bank to the end where there is a brick wall. We ca pick up a bus there.
We set off and get past the bank when Neil says this cannot be right because we are almost out of town. We have seen two Alsa buses and hope neither was ours. We ask a woman where the bus stop is. We need to go back to the bank and turn right. She is going that way taking her son home from school. We go with her but when we try to cross the street she says No No down there Aca. So we go down there aca and when she is eclipsed by some cars cross over the Rambla to the other side. Soon a bus saying Intermarché comes in and we ask the driver if Alicante buses also come into this bay and is this the right side of the road to be waiting. . He says they do and it is. Ours comes in just 15 minutes late. We get in., I have the correct money ready according to the internet printout but it is too much and I get change. I'll get it right tomorrow. It is only 5 minutes late by the time we get to Xabia and we get home at 8.30.
We have smoked salmon and potato salad for supper. Mini is horrified that we have eaten a whole jar of mayonnaise. It's worse than that we have also eaten a pot of allioli (mayonnaise with garlic). Tomorrow we get a lie-in because the bus doesn’t go until 8.30. The ride is over two hours so we shan't start until about 11. However, it is very short so this should not matter.