Having only cycled 154 kilometres in the last two days thanks to punctures, and the maze out of Barcelona, we were hoping for improved progress as we left Cambrils.
We more than made up for the lack of progress with a 160 kilometre ride from Cambrils to Cala d’Orpesa la Vella. And at the end of a fantastic day’s ride, we found the best camping spot of the whole ride.
But before that, let me just mention our camping spot in Cambrils.
Cambrils is another beautiful seaside town, and we found the perfect spot to camp in a park next to some Roman ruins, the La Llosa Roman Village.
We put our tent up between two trees and after dinner, turned in. I especially enjoyed sleeping on the soft ground with my punctured mattress.
We were both ready for a good night’s sleep, but were woken up by what we thought was torrential rain. On and off. At very brief intervals. I remember thinking this is very strange kind of rain, and so had Justin.
In the morning, we discovered the origins of this strange rain.
It wasn’t rain. It was sprinklers. They were the reason the grass was so luscious. And explained the torrential effect as they rotated.
It could have been worse, though. The sprinklers could have come on earlier and ruined our dinner. Or worse still, force us to move somewhere else. Another disrupted night’s sleep was not so bad in the grand scheme of things.
Because we had camped in a park, we made a swift exit in the morning after breakfast. We wanted to make up for the poor progress, but we didn’t plan to ride for 160 kilometres. It just happened.
When the going is good, and all that jazz.
By the end of the day, we were knackered, but the campsite we found made us forget our tired legs. I would have cycled another ten kilometres or more for it. It really was so special.
When we reached Cala d’Orpesa la Vella, once again, the universe worked its magic.
A few kilometres from the town, we found a stunning cove where we stopped for the night. It was perfectly secluded, so we decided not to put up the tent and slept under the stars.
It was perfect.
And so was starting the next day with a swim.
We could have stayed in the cove for another night. It was so beautiful and tranquil, but of course we had to press on. We said goodbye to our secret spot – we knew it wasn’t secret, but it felt like it – and prayed we would have another puncture free day with good progress.
And hallelujah, we did. In fact, there were no more punctures for us for the rest of the journey.
However, there was one more bike issue in store for us. One that could have spelt big trouble had it happened sooner. But it didn’t happen until Torrevieja, so I will come back to it in due course.
With no more punctures and the wind on our backs, we got 80 kilometres closer to the finish line before we stopped for the day in Masamagrell. I know it’s only half of what we had done the day before, but we left our beautiful cove late. It was too special to rush away from in the morning.
We also stopped in Valencia for a few hours. Having wild-camped for so many nights in a row, everything was running out of batteries, and we needed to find somewhere to charge everything again.
We found a Burger King in Valencia and prepared to eat very slowly so everything could get a good charge. We probably could have sat there and ordered nothing. The young staff didn’t really pay any attention to us, but we combined the charge stop with lunch.
We had a couple of stops in either McD’s or Burger King on route, not for the food, but for the electrical equipment. Now, I cannot say anymore that I haven’t eaten in either for over twenty years.
I’m still not a fan of either chain and probably won’t visit them again in ages, but the chicken burgers I had. Damn, they tasted good. And were such a welcome change from the usual campsite menu. Although, I think anything that didn’t come out of a can would have tasted amazing at that point in the journey.
Two hours later, our bellies and batteries full, we were ready to continue.
Thankfully, Valencia was a lot easier to get out of than Barcelona, and we didn’t have another episode of accidentally ending up on a motorway.
We had enjoyed sleeping under the stars so much that we wished to repeat it in Masamagrell where we stopped for the night. But we couldn’t find anywhere private enough. Also, there were “No camping” signs everywhere on the beach.
We had to sleep somewhere, so under the cover of darkness we set up camp as far away from the main stretch as possible. And from the nearest no camping sign. We weren’t sure how well the pegs would hold in the sand, but we were lucky. The sand was only a thin layer and we had no problems with the pegs.
I have to say; I wasn’t too pleased with our camping spot. Near where we put the tent up, I discovered some drawings in the sand. Sort of pagan ritual-like drawings.
In the moonlight, they unsettled me. But because it was way too late to look for somewhere else, I just had to put up with them.
In the morning, I had another look at the drawings. Although they were definitely a strange collection of images, they didn’t unnerve me anymore. The sun made everything brighter and less threatening.
I don’t know what I imagined could happen if we slept near the drawings. That a group of people determined to raise dark spirits would suddenly congregate next to our tent and start some sort of dark ritual.
Maybe I’ve watched too many scary movies. Maybe sometimes my imagination runs a bit too wild.
We slept through the night with nothing to disturb us, and with two good sleeps behind us, we were ready to cycle on to our last stopover before Torrevieja and a deserved rest.
Until next time, and as always, thank you for being here.