Monday, September 10, 2012

Day 1: Valencia to Xátiva

Wow! What a day! 80km on the bike in 8hrs in 35 degree heat. We got lost, sunburnt, dehydrated, and forgot to eat, but gees it was awesome! I don't think I have ever seen so much in one day, or experienced riding in so many varied environs and terrain. We rode on the road, on dirt roads, on original cobble stone Roman roads, on roads made of marble from the 15th century, on single track, through irrigation channels, past farms, fields of corn, oranges and peaches, through industrial estates, tiny towns, past castles, through festivals and fireworks and more! To explore my favourite country by bike is a pure pleasure. I have seen more in one day than I ever imagined, and I cant even fathom how much more I will get to experience in the next few weeks! Amazing!

The day started off in Valencia...there was excitement and nerves at the unknown of what was ahead. It was harder than we originally anticipated. Getting out of the city and past the suburbs was a challenge! New motorways meant that some of the roads we were meant to be on no longer exist. This is when patience and some Spanish comes in handy :-D

Bike set up in Valencia in front of our apartment, and us before the start of our camino!
We spent about two hours trying to get through the suburbs. It was not until we got to Catarroja that the path to take became clearer. We were helped greatly by a local police man who wanted to be our very own police escort through his town! He was very excited to have Australians to talk to :-)

Not long after Catarroja we found our very first arrow! These became our lifeline, and I was hawk eyes all day trying to find them so we wouldn't take a wrong turn.

We got to ride past some amazing scenery today, but probably for us the most fun was the single track through irrigation channels!


We originally thought the route today was 60km, it ended up being 80km!! Because we were worried we wouldn't get to Xátiva in time to eat we were hurrying all day and didn't really drink enough or eat at all! We arrived in Xátiva sunburnt and very hungry. We managed to get lunch (Just!) at 3:30pm thanks to a lovely restaurant owner who stayed open late just for us. I had to call ahead to book our accommodation, my Spanish is getting much better! I am now proficient in bike workshop Spanish, mobile phone technical information Spanish and for the first time ever I can now make phone calls and actually understand the person on the other end :-D very glad for all those lessons!



Ready to roll for day two! The plan is 70km and I am very was flat, tomorrow is all climbing! At least Ben has been letting me draft him :-D oh and I have to report, Spanish roadies are super friendly! They all say hello! And mountain biking is super popular!! Ben will report back tomorrow :)



  1. Wow...I have only just started reading your blogs and I am so jealous, Norm and I are definitely doing this next year, that was my promise to myself by the age of 40 (I turn 40 in 2013) that we would tour europe. I love it! Well done guys, you are awesome!

  2. Hello,
    I am Marc, i am from Bruges-Belgium and I lived in Elche-Spain.
    I like to ride the same route with my bike, i think next year.
    I read your blog, i like it.
    I nhave a question: do you have the track for the GPS (GPX) of your route de Levante?
    my email adres is
    i have a site
    thank you very much

  3. Hi Marc, sorry i missed this comment. We didnt record the route unfortunately, I lost the cord to my Garmin when we arrive and I couldnt find a replacement anywhere!

    There are some GPS routes on Wikiloc if you take a look around on the web. The CSJ books are also worthwhile getting.

    Good luck!