Though the reference is a bit geographically misplaced it seems appropriate.
23rd September 2012
Forget about NZ, Spain really is a land uplifted high. We are descending through a series of ranges stretching into the hazy distance, through plantation forests pine (not radiata) and having spurned a petrol station just out of Cuenca, I’m wondering if we will make it to the next one. Eventually, the forest gives way to more open country, vines olives and crops. Looking for a picnic spot we divert, into a small town called Utiel. It’s not looking to promising when I spot a tree lined side street by what appears to be a canal. We turn down and not only is there shade, but bench seats. Now this is the funny part. We stop next to a bench, but before we can even get out of car, a very old man toddles up and sits down, then a woman crosses the road and sits beside him, a few seconds later another old man comes along and a deep conversation ensues. Suddenly, this deserted street comes alive, so we quickly pick another bench and have our lunch.
The sea, the sea! We reach the outskirts of Valencia about 2:30 and as it is too early to go to our hosts we head for the beach. There are several kilometres of beach north of Valencia, but we stop as soon as possible. We haven’t seen the sea since the Gironde in France, not good for coastal dwellers. Ah, the glory of water, warm enough to dash straight in, but cool and refreshing at the same time. We are feeling truly relaxed.