The day dawned bright, but being a Sunday an early breakfast was impossible. I’m in no rush anyhow, and the homemade produce was intended to be enjoyed. Left that K10 sign and wandered up easy lanes past farms towards the range of hills separating me from Bocairent. Met a helpful Spanish dog walker who gave me complicated directions as well as several alternatives which he thought superior. He also warned me of stormy weather approaching in a couple of days. As I started to gain height there were good views back across the fertile valley to yesterday’s hills with that awful descent route a prominent scar.
My route today couldn’t have been better in comparison. A well constructed mule track zigzagging up through the hills and across numerous barrancas. This whole area had suffered severe fire damage a few years ago, rumoured to have been started by a disgruntled firefighter. New growth is soon establishing itself.
As I crested the hills there was some mild rain in the air so I christened my new ultralight-weight waterproof for 20mins. Not entirely confident it would cope with a great deal more. A short stretch on a road past a large finca produced lots of warning signs; this is partridge shooting country and season. Warned not leave the road. Of course my red/white flashes guided me straight into the rough hillside, unable to hear any obvious bangs I decided to risk ‘imprudencias’ and follow the waymarks.
First impressions of Bocairent were not good as I was walking through industrial areas. Some of it fairly run down.
Then came the dreary, gated, private villas on the outskirts…
…at least someone has more flare.
This hapless guard dog never barked or twitched a muscle when I rattled his fence. I began to wonder if he was a plastic imitation.
Bocairent turned out to be a fascinating place to explore, an old fortified town which became prosperous through the wool trade between the 14 and 18th centuries. But this afternoon nothing much was open as it was Sunday. Even my hotel had a deserted look to it, and I had eventually to phone a man to come and open up for me.
“Oh and by the way our restaurant isn’t open this evening” !
A local bar however produced an excellent simple meal complete with wine for 8euros.