Days 114 & 115 – We are rubbish at rainy days

Monday 5th & Tuesday 6th November 2018

Monday 5th and it’s set to be a wet afternoon. We make the most of the dry morning with a lazy breakfast at our free campsite just above the beach near Altea.

Camping for nothing and the view for free

This free camping spot/carpark we found overlooking the beach is at the unfashionable end of Altea. There are small bars down by the sea with a mix of locals and tourists and no shops selling tat. It’s lovely.

My theory is that it is unfashionable at this far flung spot because there are steps down to the beach. No self respecting resort in these parts is going to get away with making the clientele exercise before they walk to the bar. I mean. How do you get your electric bike down there in the first place?

Anyway, back to our morning. We know it will rain later. We know this because we looked at the forecast. There is a 67% chance that 1 -2mm of rain will fall between 1 and 2pm. The wind will be 23 kph from the North East and the temperature will be 16 degrees C. Though it will feel like 12. This forecast will be correct. Does anyone pine for the days when you had absolutely no idea what the weather was going to be like from one day to the next? When you checked the colour of the sky in both the evening and the morning? When you carefully observed the verticality of cows (a tricky one as there is always at least 1 cow bucking the trend.)

A bit of exercise is called for before the rain so we set off in the direction of a coffee shop on our bikes.

Mrs P confusing the locals by being over the age of 12 and not on an electric bike

The main reason for this excursion is definitely not exercise. Yes, we also have to visit the post office but, even more important than both of those, we must visit a coffee shop. The coffee (tea for Mrs P) however is of secondary importance. In brief, free camp spots rarely have toilets, coffee shops almost always do. Or, to be more graphic, there are certain bodily functions that simply cannot be addressed by access to a hedge in a public car park.

FUN FACT No. 1: The speed at which one pedals is directly related to how desperate one is for the toilet.

In the afternoon we head to a place up the coast that looks like it might entertain us for a wet afternoon. Bright lights, big city, Denia. There are no pictures of Denia because, through no real fault of its own, Denia failed almost completely to entertain us. It was so cold Mrs P had on two coats and a waterproof and it threw it down with rain the whole time we were there. Add to this the fact that everything was closed including the tourist information and you have 2 very grumpy campers.

Only one thing for it, find a campsite near Denia and go to the supermarket (I know, that’s 2 things. Do feel free to sue me). It is dark by the time we have shopped and found a campsite.

Good or bad campsite? Difficult to tell in the dark

The Gods are smiling on us though as Mrs P, on return from her evening ablution, declares the showers, “Certainly one of the best of the trip.” High praise indeed from our resident connoisseur of campsite plumbing.

Tuesday 6th November and the forecast is good. We have an adventure planned but it requires 24 hours of dry weather to ensure the rock is dry so today we will chill out on the coast for the morning and then head inland for a few climbs.

Morning breaks to reveal a lovely campsite (where more than 90% of the people are English) and a lovely day.

FUN FACT No 2: 95% of all statistics are made up

Time for a stroll and some arty photos…

Lovely coastal fauna south of Denia

The area of coast adjacent to the campsite has large notice boards banning pretty much everything. You can swim but no scuba diving, dogs, Jet skis, littering, picking flowers, dropping or weighing anchors (about 17kg)… The list is long. The results are. Plants and coastline as they should be. Admittedly there is a path running alongside it all but it is a very lovely stretch of coast all the same and a far cry from the beach fronts of Calpe & Altea. Well done Denia.

Mr P gets arty

Coffee at a seafront restaurant is followed by a short drive inland to the climbing crag at Alcalalí. Steep and long. Just a few late afternoon routes including one of 30 metres. Great fun.

The crag at Alcalalí

Tomorrow (Wednesday 7th) we plan a traverse the Bernia Ridge. A fun packed 3 km of climbing, scrambling, abseiling over around 7-8 hours. Gandalf is parked as close to the start of the route as we can in anticipation of an early start (yeah, right!)

Gandalf is not a 5 star hotel. He is a 4,548 star hotel


Tune in tomorrow to see if we survive.

Spoiler alert: We do

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