🎶 E I E I O 🎶
Off at 9am a nice 22C straight through the rural areas and farmland. The cycle paths are great and well signposted, although Garmin is taking the lead. A few riders and walkers in these outer suburbs later small villages? We stop to take a pic of a senior in horse and cart and a horse following also getting a workout, dragging a weight. A rider stops, we have been leapfrogging with him for some time, I think he asks us where we are going … with a mixture of fingers, my map on my phone and charades. I think the message was it will be hot today for a long ride, you need plenty of water.
There are kilometres of orange orchards and naked fields separated by canals. There are a few riders around going in both directions, we leapfrog a young couple with a toddler in a bike seat; at our last passing … the mother is singing E I E I O to the familiar tune of Old MacDonald … as we pass I join in … putting smiles on all dials. That is the beauty of tour cycling … simple moments like that.
We are approaching the village of Sullana, John called for a coffee stop. Crossing the railway line we take a guess … which way? The streets are deserted but we take a punt and go right … a few blocks and a little activity, a bell tower and council offices … tables and chairs on all corners and in the median street. Here will do … seems this is the towns meeting spot … it’s 11.30am. This is considered morning tea time, beer, wine, coffee, soft drinks and light snacks. We are gradually coming in sync with the Spanish meal times … lunch mid afternoon and dinner around 8-9pm.
Back on the bikes, it is a good surface although it’s getting warm around 30C no shade now as we are in the farming areas, the farmers are busy ploughing … its very flat, reminiscent of Holland, in the distance you can see scattered plumes of dust, indicative of ploughs at work. The hills are slowly getting bigger a sea breeze is refreshing but also tiring as it’sin our faces. In the distance we see evidence of a beachside community, large population of multi storey apartments/hotels. Finally after 60km we arrive at our hotel around 2pm … good timing …
It’s Sunday … the beaches are full, umbrellas everywhere, there is a fresh breeze that doesn’t stop the multiples sunbathing and dipping into the sea. Along the promenade and nearby streets the restaurateurs are enjoying a booming trade. This must be a popular place for a holiday apartment for the Valencian.
High above us is a church on a hill, we have a map … 1.6km on the switchback road … we were glad we walked and not rode, however the road did level out eventually … it was worth the view.
Side note: the bike tour guide remarked yesterday on a construction zone in the centre of the city … it was a roundabout for cars; however since covid the city and has made more pedestrian areas in the old town … where we stood was new paving a few months old. Some planters and palms that had just appeared 5 days ago … the ever changing face of Valencia.