|Our row on the campsite with|
snow capped mountains in the background
|Benidom at a Distance|
However, Benidorm wasn't on today's agenda! Once lunch was out of the way we walked the 100 metres or so to the sea front and then followed a mostly coastal path into La Vila Joiosa where we found the usual lovely prom which was lined with alfresco cafes, very colourful buildings and additionally the busy marina and fish harbour. Apparently, it's said that the purpose of the houses being painted in such a colourful fashion is to guide fishermen back to their homes!
Our wanderings also took us past The Santa Marta Dry Dock which can trace it's history back to the 15th century for Royal Commissions, and this may have been related to it's more recent claim to fame when in 1860ish it became the second most important shipyard in Spain. Later still, during World War 1, because of the depth of water around it, it was responsible for a large number of schooners and pilot boats - some of which weighed more than 400 tons and thus needed deep water to be launched. However, all we could find there today was this 'Yellow Submarine' tourist shuttle!
On Friday we decided we'd had enough of walking so we swapped two feet for two wheels and trundled off up into the snow capped hills aiming for (in a very round about way) a reservoir called Embalse de Amaddorio. In doing so we passed by the magnificent Puig Campana Mountain which literally translates as Bell Hill, and it's tallest peak (there are 2) stands 4,613 feet high. However, strangely enough there was no snow on it's summit although there was on some of the hill tops that it dwarfed.
|Puig Campana with it's notched top|
We then toddled on to a picnic site at the side of the reservoir's barrage and had magnificent views of the waters below us and the hill that were surrounding us.
|Really - Who'd pinch the backs off the benches?|
But at least we'd got a post each to lean on!
Once home all that was left was for us to cook our tea - and because it was Friday we decided to have fish! Luckily we'd managed to convey to the Spanish fish monger that we wanted them beheading - but they were still so ginormous they hardly fit on our plates - however they were very delicious!
On Saturday we walked into Benidom, and quite surprisingly, what a lovely walk that turned out to be! From the campsite it was only a short distance down to the sea shore, and then we quickly found ourselves on a very hilly coastal path that passed by numerous little coves and beaches where snorkeling is very popular, and the trail also took us right by one of five 16th century watchtowers.
This building along with 4 other watchtowers and 4 nearby castles formed part of coastal defences between 1500 and 1750. One of it's main purposes was to watch for Berber pirate fleets and warn others (which they did with smoke signals) before they landed thus preventing them from kidnapping the local population who they would then either ransom or sell into slavery in the markets of Oran or Argel. Apparently, a small artillery mortar was also kept in the tower to fire at the pirates landing in Villajoyosa or Benidorm. As you would expect the tower stood right at the top of a hill and in it's vicinity we found a couple of picnic benches so it's strategic position also provided us with a lovely place to stop for our coffee break!
|The Tallest of Benidorm's|
By the time my purchases had been made it was nearly 4pm and time we were heading for home - so should we walk or catch the cheap and quick tram? No competition really - as you would probably guess we did the latter - and quite astonishingly, on the way home we discussed how we'd quite enjoyed Benidorm and we've definitely promised ourselves a return visit sometime in the future.
Sunday, well that was another ride up into the hills, some of it being a repeat of Friday's outing, but we also managed to cover some new ground by continuing our uphill ride through Orxeta and on towards the town of Sella. There seemed to be so much more to explore but for today we hadn't really got the energy of the inclination to go to much further- so instead we admired the views and then turned our bikes around and zoomed back down the hills to our lovely spot overlooking the Embalse de Amaddorio for another picnic in the sunshine.
Anyway, that's all for now - so cheerio from rainy Spain - However the good news is the 🌞🌞🌞 will be back tomorrow 😙😙
Click here to see our Spanish camping spots