Benidorm

A New Year!
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So far it’s been a good one, with great weather, interesting places and friendly people. What more could one ask for.
Left Palma early on Friday, via Ibiza to Denia. It took all day and I used the last of the light to walk up a hill outside Denia and find a campsite.
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Ended up with a nice view back over the town, even if the ground was hard and it was difficulty to find a clear space large enough even for my small tent.
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Saturday saw me walking to Calp, arriving a bit late and getting a room in the cheapest hotel I could find.
Rather than walk along the busy road to Benidorm, I set off on a roundabout route the next morning, trusting Google maps to help me find the way along some smaller roads. Which might not have been a great idea…
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Halfway up the mountain I met Sheila, and spent some time talking to her about my planed route. She was a bit sceptical.
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Then I found some climbers and wasted time watching them cheat their way up a small cliff.
Sheila found me again on her way back down the mountain, sitting and enjoying a very nice three course meal in a restaurant filled with German and Dutch people, with the odd English and Spanish couple thrown in. She had checked the route with some locals and everyone agreed that it was going to be impossible to complete with the Mule. It was essentially a very rough mountain pass, a walking trail. Not wanting to turn around, I was going to have to take a much longer, circular route, adding lots of kilometers.
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Ended the day camped on the top of the mountain, with spectacular views all around. It had been a hard day, heading up all the time.
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The next day proved just as hard, over 700 meters down followed by even more up again. At least I was burning some calories!
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I have been in this area once before, during a road trip through Europe in 2006 and I remember not being too impressed. Something I have told other people since then.
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But I couldn’t have been more wrong. It’s both beautiful and interesting. Just shows how important it is to travel slowly and really get a feel for an area, rather than blasting through it in a car and missing everything!
I was lucky to have a goal for the day, Sheila had contacted some friends, Vivian and Roger, and they had very kindly offered to put me up for the night.
Spent a nice evening talking with Vivian and Roger, and set off back towards the coast the next morning.
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If possible, the views were even nicer
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I had been meeting a lot of cyclists on the mountain passes. Seems that this is a popular area for off season training, with a few professional teams spending time here.
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I’m now in Benidorm, about to try to find something to eat and then get some rest. What could have been a short 20km walk from Calp, turned into a 80km, three day struggle, up and down mountains and along some rough tracks.
But so worth it!
🙂