Nuevalos – a visit on the way home via the Somport Tunnel

A final Spanish stop on our way home. Another little find; another place to revisit (especially as we missed the best part of the Monasterio del Piedra – the park itself)

Our final stop in Spain before our run through France to catch the ferry home.  We chose Nuevalos via the ACSI book mainly for it’s proximity to Calatayud, not realising it’s a lovely area in it’s own right.

The drive was interesting with the SatNav taking us along a narrow, bendy road through the mountains for the last 20 or so kilometres.  Luckily we didn’t see too many other cars, and when we did we were close to passing points (with the little car on the back it’s not so easy to reverse).  For most of this section there was nowhere to go on the right hand side of the road.  Calv would have loved it if we had just been in the little car; in the van – not so much!  Anyway, we survived and made it to our campsite on the lake, Camping Lagos Resort, Nuevalos .  This is a nice, terraced site overlooking a beautiful lake.  Quite steep in places and unfortunately, at the time we were there in mid-March, there were alot of little, annoying, flies 😦

We stayed 4 or 5 nights and were lucky to enjoy some beautiful weather (although we couldn’t really sit outside the van due to the flies).  We visited Calatayud, a pleasant town about 10 miles north, where we were able to stock up on groceries.  We also wandered along the lakeside, around Nuevalos itself and took a longer walk to the Monasterio del Piedro.

Calatayud Continue reading “Nuevalos – a visit on the way home via the Somport Tunnel”

Tuesday 31st January – a bonus day in Cullera

We had originally intended to move on today, but are so comfortable and relaxed here that we decided to stay an extra day. Also we hadn’t yet managed to do the walk up the mountain or see the castle yet.

So we started the morning with the walk up to the Ermista Santa Marta. My heel was still hurting but I figured it would get better if I exercised it a bit. I’m glad I put my walking shoes on as the terrain was quite challenging in places – I nearly slipped over at one point. Not the best thing to be doing when you’re on the side of the mountain…! Anyway it was 226 steps up (I counted them on the way back down) together with rocky terrain and normal walking. There’s a sort of cactus grove on the way up, and, to be honest, not much to see when you get up there! And what there is is locked and you can’t get in.

dsc_0010wp-1486146504690.jpg

So Calv decided that, as there was no roof, if he went up the side he’d be able to look down into it. Now. If you were an experienced rock climber this would be a good idea perhaps, but I had to beg him not to do it as I imagined him losing his footing, which wouldn’t have been so bad if we’d been on level ground… You get the picture. For once he listened to me! Only to try to scramble up a different way, only to abort that when I heard him mumbling that there were definitely snakes living in there…!

dsc_0015dsc_0019

After a rest we set out on our bikes for the castle, which is signposted form the main road, but not at the road you need to turn off to get to it. So we spent 5 minutes cycling up and up, only to find a dead end! So glad of our electric bikes on this trip – we’d never have made it to the top of some of these hills without them.  Calv videoed the trip back down from the castle (1 hand on the brake, the other holding his phone – luckily there were no cars coming when he got to the bottom and had to turn left, as it was the steepest bit and he couldn’t stop…)

We finally made it to the castle. Again worth seeing at 3 euros apiece. However it was lunchtime so, naturally, the café was just closing and so was the church, so we missed out on the church. Which did look pretty impressive, so we were a bit disappointed.

We needed some fruit and veg so stopped on the way home and loaded up the bikes. Then Calv decided to buy a 6 pack of 1ltr bottles of water. He secured them onto the back of his bike with one of our locks, and then forgot they were there and mounted his bike, knocking them sideways. I know, it was one of those ‘you had to be there’ moments, but it made me laugh!

I’ve finally done my ironing (outside though J ) and we’re now ready to look for our next site (Benidorm remember?!)

Will be sad to leave this site – even though I dreamt last night that we were overrun with some ‘battle re-enacters’ who wouldn’t let us leave…. Not sure what that was all about, I’m obviously getting too much sleep (averaging 8 ½ hours!!)

See you in Benidorm J xx

 

Sunday on Cullera seafront and Monday in Valencia

Sunday 29th January

A very special day this – my brother-in-law, Paul’s, 50th birthday!!

wp-1485889602649.jpg

Happy birthday Paul – hope you enjoy cricket in the Caribbean (don’t forget to wear your new sunhat 🙂 )

We had a lovely relaxing day yesterday. Calv did go out on his bike and found a few things that he was keen to share with me today. So we set off on our bikes for the seafront promenade (empty for Calv the other day, much busier today!)

wp-1485888389605.jpg

We headed off the other way first and found our way to the Lighthouse (faro), to find it was actually a lighthouse (converted into a private residence). We eventually turned back and headed down the way he’d already been. He wanted to go all the way to the end of the beach where he’d found an Aire. So what? thought I! However we then continued down the road to find dozens and dozens of vans simply parked up on wasteground. This is where we found this little beauty (and it wasn’t the only one either; there was a pretty new looking van with a mural of an alligator wrapped around it…)

wp-1485888422511.jpg

We worry about parking on Aires and sometimes you do actually have to pay for them – we prefer to pay a little extra and have the extra security.

We stopped on the way back for a pizza and ended up giving in to an ice cream (why are they always so much bigger than you expect?!) We didn’t need much at teatime, put it that way! We only actually dared order an ice-cream after we saw a Spanish couple doing the same…

wp-1485888461419.jpg

In the evening we sat out with a couple of other British couples (I say evening, it was about 5pm and by 6.30pm it was too cold to sit out any longer!)

Monday 30th January

The day we went to Valencia! The bigger adventure though was getting to the train station and getting our tickets – we literally just made it onto the train. I mean we jumped on the train as it was there because we didn’t have time to check it was the right one – luckily it was J

Although it was nearly 3 miles to the station, and we needed GoogleMaps to get us there, we’re glad that we did walk as we saw much of the old town that we would never otherwise have seen. We couldn’t stop though because we were a few minutes late leaving (as Bob was trying to find a text to show us a campsite in Portugal). Anyway we made the train J

We arrived into Valencia North, a small (by city standards) but beautifully formed station at the gateway to the Old City. Also right next to the bullring (rather more impressive than that in Pamplona…)

The old city itself is a mass of small streets, squares, ancient buildings and monuments, graffiti, modern buildings and ramshackle (as in falling down) buildings. The latter are usually denoted by the netting hung in front of them (to stop the rubble falling onto the road I guess..) There are plenty more that will need the netting very soon.

dsc_0039

We ate at a place called ‘Birra & Blues’ which, with 3 courses of tapas, cost us 10.50 euros each (plus a drink of course – I’m getting into the Sangria). I was very proud of myself ordering something that I didn’t know what to expect, and then eating it even though it was something I wouldn’t normally eat!

We then set off to see some more sights. There was an indoor market, we think, a cemetery in a building (but don’t quote me on that – there was a lack of information on most of these buildings. Well, I guess they’re two a penny in the old city!) and a Silk Merchants Hall. This last one we were able to go into for just 2 euros each. Calv refused to pay for the audioguide though because it cost more than the entrance fee (3 euros)! He’s so tight J

dsc_0028dsc_0025

Next I wanted to head for the cathedral as I knew we could go up the tower from where we’d be able to see the whole city. On the way there we saw many more ancient buildings and also, one of my favourite Spanish traditions – signs made out of tiles. I love them!

wp-1485803796487.jpg

Also some graffiti that was clearly somebody trying to imitate Banksy.

dsc_0035

Not bad, but not as good as the one we saw in Arramonche last year.

(See my post on Normandy from last year) – Day 38 – The Last Post

It also cost 2 euros to go up the tower (208 steps up a spiral staircase – I’m getting better and prefer going up to down..) Once at the top we found ourselves with a party of English schoolkids. Now that’s a nice schooltrip isn’t it? Valencia! I can’t really complain as I went to Germany and had trips to Munich, Salzburg and various castle around Bavaria, including Neushwanstein (the castle that inspired that in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang).

The views were pretty amazing. You just see towers and domes everywhere. We also spotted a rooftop restaurant and guessed you’d probably need to be in the know to find that one.

This bell struck 3pm while we were up there. Wish we’d realised the time as we would have recorded it! Suffice to say it was loud!

wp-1485803851876.jpg

By now we were getting tired (and I’d done something to my left heel. I have no idea what but I was limping and by bedtime I was having trouble walking. I’m still aware of it, but it’s a lot better now and I was able to ‘walk through’ it today!)

Our last adventure was still to come though. We managed to get the bus when we got off the train (having managed to get on the right train again – we were concerned for a little while though)! The driver seemed to drop us off in the middle of the road when we rang the bell – he’d clearly guessed we were from the campsite though and we were pretty much as close as he could get us.

Another lovely day in Spain! See you all soon