Well it’s been a while since my last update. *waves*
Sorry about that, I’ve been busy. And what a journey it’s been so far.
Thrown into the random melting-pot of travellers in hostels, I couldn’t help but get lost in their stories, recommendations and just damn good banter. I even stayed four extra days in Valencia.
I was reminded of just what good fun travelling is. And I remembered I’m not so much cycling around the world as I am travelling, but by bicycle.
There was the Italian that moved for work, the busker, the Irishman, the travel blogger, the guy that became colloquially known as “the crazy Spanish guy” aka “the wanky man” (don’t ask). And then there was the hill-billy crack addict that was of course sleeping in the bunk below me. But I guess the fact that you can’t choose your room-mate adds to the mystery of travelling.
Leaving the hostel took me across the plains surrounding Valencia, abruptly ending just north of Benidorm, where huge red rocks began towering out of the ground.
Cycling became more difficult, and the wind was often in my face. But the roads not so busy.
After the hills the land flattened out again towards Alicante, itself lying in another plain. I never stopped though, passing through the city in around twenty minutes. It looked like it had many stories to tell, but sadly, I cannot stop everywhere.
Heading further south I reached Orihuela, a small town with trashy buildings and an essence of rusticity, the type of place I think of when someone mentions a generic Spanish town. The Arab influence becomes more prominent in the architecture the further south I go, and the number of North Africans I meet is also increasing, with more Moroccan bars in which Spanish is seldom spoken. Which I didn’t mind, because this Spanish is a lot more difficult to understand than in the north of Spain – people talk like they have something in their mouths here.
But hey, wild camping is so much easier…
Though where many people think of southern Spain as a sweltering desert, in fact, it contains several micro-climates. Where else can you be standing on semi-arid desert land, looking over acres of lush, green forest and have a snow-capped mountain in the distance?
Cycling into Andalusia from the province of Murcia brought light to this fact. And what’s more, people live in CAVES here. Ok, not actual caves, but “casa cuevas” or cave houses. But it doesn’t matter –
*whispers* …These are cave people… *end whispers*
There are thousands of these houses dotted all along the Sierra Nevada, and heavily concentrated in Guadix.
But much more importantly, this is basically where I entered the “free tapa” zone. Dangerous …as once I discovered this, it has become increasingly difficult to stay sober. Slowly cycling from village to village ordering beer in the early afternoon, and receiving beer and free food. FREE GOD-DAMN FOOD GOD DAMMIT. Why buy lunch when you can buy beer and get lunch for free? And I think this pleasurable southern custom makes me like it here a little better. It’s cheap, warm, and for the most part, beautiful as well. **please note I’m not sober while I write this**