A beautiful morning with a touch of autumn. We climbed up the ridge in the trees and within the hour had reached Las Moratillas recreational area. Because of the financial restraints in Spain this has officially been closed which meant that all the water taps have been cut off. There is a grand old house here with a fantastic drive approaching it. I’ve done some research but cannot find who it belonged to before handing over to the Valencian state.
We had a good look around in the capacious rooms, what a place this must have been in its heyday.
We had brought some figs along with us but when we unwrapped them they were covered in hundreds of ants, so we were unable to enjoy them. Whilst on the subject of wild fruit there was a tree in the grounds which bore strange green fruits, they were hard and obviously not ripe but had a distinctive taste. Found out later it is a Persimmon and should be yellow/orange to eat.
Onwards, on the road there were no signs and we of course took the wrong turning to the left which ended as a dead end above a steep cliff above the valley we wanted. No alternative but to reverse and start all over again along the road until we found signs pointing us in the right direction. We quickly lost height into the valley which was a beautiful nature reserve.
It was hot down here, the Fuente Roses was bone dry, the refuge was locked so we sat by the trail eating our tuna. Climbing up forest trails was hard work in the afternoon heat. Down the other side we had our first glimpse of El Rebollar in the wide valley. Now we were walking through vineyards of the Utiel-Requera wine which we had been imbibing the last few nights. The Bobal grapes are grown low and unsupported in this area.
The village of El Rebollar didn’t offer much and we were directed over the motorway to a motel. There was some difficulty crossing the motorway. At one point we thought the safest way might be underneath through pipelines. Ended up climbing over and walking down the slip road!!