By Motorhome to France, Spain & Portugal - 2014 travel blog

Big Rock

Calpe From On High

Path Up The Rock

Tunnel through The Rock

Dangerous Path

Moved on again today. The weather on Friday when we arrived was gorgeous, sunny & hot but yesterday it was dull again with a bit of rain during the day. Today it was still dull & chilly first thing. We did find out that all the water filled fields around the site that we had remarked on when we arrived were rice fields as this is a big rice growing area.

Sunday must be bike day as there were packs of cyclists in fancy coloured Lycra cycling clobber on every road we went on. We had one bit of excitement on the way down to Calpe, our next stop. I had pulled off the road into an commercial area looking for an open supermarket as our supplies were getting low. Nothing was open & the exit road took us down to a tunnel under the road which looked pretty low & had no indication of the height. Our motorhome is 2.85mtrs high so, after previous experiences with low bridges I wasn't inclined to risk this one. Unfortunately we were down a ramp with two way traffic when I stopped. It was going to be a right pain trying to reverse back up the ramp especially as cars started coming in both directions so we were causing blocking one side of the road. Fortunately for us a very kind young Spanish guy stopped his car & got out to check that we could get through. It must have been very tight but with him guiding us we made it through. Phew!!

Calpe is only about 80 miles from Valencia so even with a late start we were there by about 1pm. However the Aire that we had selected was full so we had to find an alternative. The Aires in Spain are different from the French Aires in that they are more like basic camp sites rather than just overnight stopping places. The ones here in Spain that we have been to, apart from the one in Barcelona, seem to cater for motorhomers who want to stay for long periods. The site we did stay on in Calpe in the end, which was not an Aire, had well over a hundred pitches most of which were occupied by people intending to stay for quite a while. There were some quite fancy set ups around the site with lights, awnings etc. Speaking to other motorhomers on our trip it seems that some come down every winter as a regular thing.

Once we had lunch we headed down into the town & harbour area. The outstanding feature in Calpe is a massive upright rock headland on a promontory jutting out into the sea. It is very impressive & we wanted to take a closer look. The headland also forms a natural harbour & there were a number of small stern trawlers moored inside the harbour walls as well as some pleasure crafts.

The thing I like with geocaching is it gets you out & about & often takes you to places you wouldn't ordinarily think of going. As it happened today. I had loaded a few caches onto my mobile phone where I have a geocaching App which uses the phones inbuilt GPS unit to locate the ego cache positions. As we tracked two of the three caches I had found in the area of the rock we actually found a trail leading around the base of the rock. I don't think we would have realised that the path was there if we hadn't been tracking the coordinates of the caches.

The trail didn't go all the way round the rock but it did go about three quarters of the way round before it stopped & we got some spectacular views of the rock's sheer, craggy faces. We did track both caches on the trail although the second one at the end of the trail had me scrambling up amongst the rocky boulders that were scattered about.

We went back into the town for a coffee before heading up a trail on the other side of the rock to look for a third cache. Unlike the first trail which went round the base of the rock this second trail took us up some hilly ground on the landward side. The trail meandered up the open ground behind the rock which was a natural park area. However once it got closer to the rock the trail steepened & zigzagged its way quite a long way up the back of the rock. It went right up the rock & there was even a small tunnel cut through the rock leading out to the outside face of the rock. The trail did continue but there were a couple of warning boards set up stating that the path was very dangerous from that point with sheer drops down the side of the rock into the sea below.

We did locate & log the third cache before making our weary way back down to the camp site. Viv wanted to do some washing as we were running out of clean clothes & this camp had good washers & driers. We ended the day with a late meal in the small restaurant/bar on the camp.

Mileage to date -1596

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