Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Moncofa - Spain - Day 43 - 48

Bouquet on Apple iOS 11.2Happy Birthday Sarah - Hope you had a great day xxx  ๐ŸŽ ๐Ÿพ๐ŸŽ๐Ÿพ๐ŸŽ‚

Friday 12th - Wednesday 17th January 2018

Well doesn't time fly when your having fun!  It's quite hard to believe that we've been here on Monmar Campsite for nearly a month now, and in that time we've made some lovely friends and we've very thoroughly explored the area which has more or less resulted in us not being able to find any new things to do for some of our last days here!  However, that matters little because we've just  revisited some of our favourite spots, socialised or passed our time lazily at home sitting in the sunshine with a good book kindle!

So to be succinct:-

Friday  -  After a slow morning we packed our lunch and toddled off on our bikes for a 20 miler that took us out over the paddy fields for a bit of bird spotting; into the local nature reserve where we ate our picnic while soaking up the tranquillity of the area that was only disturbed by a couple of sparing cats; and when we'd had enough of that we continued on our way to the sea front where we traversed along several miles of board walk and promenade before returning home for a cool beer! - It's a hard life but someones got to do it!


Then later we were persuaded to join  several of our fellow campers for quiz night in the campsite bar - and unfortunately our team won - I say unfortunately because the rules say that the winners have to set and officiate at the following weeks quiz!  However 4 of our team (including us) will have moved on by then so that left poor Ian and Julie with the task - but we did help out with a few questions!

Saturday - Our first chore was to say a sad farewell to Liz and Jack - we'd been parked opposite each other for 3 weeks and in that time we've cycled together, eaten together and celebrated both Christmas and New Year so we'll definitely miss them!  Then later we took ourselves off for a walk, and later still, although we'd intended to stay in, we were once again coaxed to the site bar for games and another sing song!

Sunday - Found us out on our bikes again - just 22 miles this time through the lovely orange groves and back to our favourite sea front spot for our picnic lunch!

Then home for more lozerking in the sunshine and a lovely Black Angus Steak supper!




Monday -  Well that was a big one!  A 43 miler up over the hills that provide a backdrop to our campsite!  Our panniers were quickly packed with lots of refreshments and then we were off heading for the town of Nueles, and it wasn't long after that gentle climbing started and took us first up over winding twisting roads lined with more orange groves, and then further into the national park where the hills ramped up and required us to use a bit of battery power!



On our way we found a couple of quite stunning picnic spots and we also passed through the town of Eslida before reaching the summit of the same name which stands at a mere 620 metres!

 

Then from there all that was left for us to do was woosh down the other side - but even though the sun was shining brightly and there wasn't a cloud to be seen anywhere - it was bloody  ❄️ cold  ❄️ - thus warm gloves and jackets were very necessary.  Our route down took us through the towns of Chovar, Alfondeguilla, La Vall d'Uixo and on to Xilxes which wasn't far from home,  and by the time we got there we were more than ready to put our feet up!

Tuesday - Well that turned out to be a rest day!  That is apart from washing, cleaning and shopping - but we did find a spare hour or two to top up our tans and natter with our neighbours!

My Fellow Pilgrims!
And finally Wednesday -  that proved to be a bit of an adventure - well for me anyway!  The site wardens had arranged a trip to Betxi to experience a pilgrimage from the village to a hilltop Hermitage - Muntanyeta de Sant Antoni!  John didn't really fancy the trip so I arranged to go with a group of 7 others from the site while he stayed home to do a few checks and cleaning  jobs that T4rdis2 required after a month of being stationary.

The minibus picked us up at 8.45 and it was only a short journey to the town ob Betxi where we were dropped off in the main square.  There, initially it was  all a bit confusing and quite hard to hear yourself think because the church bells were ringing out presumably in honour of what was to come.  However, our group was very quickly sorted when the Mayor greeted us and took us into the town hall where we were each presented  with a scarf to mark us as his guests, and then we were then given a place  towards the front of the throng and had a perfect view as the pallbearers who carried a statue of Jesus through the town and also of the marching bands that provided the music. 




Eventually the statue was taken into another religious building and the procession which now numbered in the thousands continued on a 3 mile trek (the last bit being steeply up hill)  to the Hermitage, and on the way everyone was very generously given a coquette of salt and oil bread - which was actually very tasty!


When we reached the top of the hill we were able to enter the Hermitage and everyone was encouraged to assist with the ringing of it's bells!  However, no rope pulling was required - all we had to do was press a button, but we didn't stay to long because it was obvious that preparation was being made for a Mass with several Priests present and dressed in their finery! 


After we'd completed our explorations we meandered back down the hill to partake of our picnic lunch and on the way we  dawdled while we viewed the many stalls that lined our path - scarves, toys, jewellery and lots of edible goodies being some of the merchandise on offer! 


Then after our appetites had been sated we rang the campsite to ask for the minibus to come back to collect us and while we travelled everybody agreed it had been a very worthwhile and pleasurable  experience!

The Hermitage which sits high on a hill
Once back on site it was another lazy afternoon in the sunshine along with the stowing of some of our belongings ready for the continuation of our journey tomorrow - our next destination is Calpe - but you'll have to tune in next time to see what that's like!

So bye for now and we'll see you soon ๐Ÿ˜™๐Ÿ˜™

Click here to see Spanish Camping Spots


P.S.  Thomas we hope you had a fantastic birthday ๐ŸŽ๐ŸŽ๐ŸŽ xxx