Sunday, 29 January 2012

Local explorations

The weather last week continued to be sunny but cooler through to Friday when it rained. But before the weather turned, Andy plotted out a roadie circuit for us midweek which took us on some wonderfully quiet little back roads inland, through citrus groves (OK, I admit it, we did 'acquire' a few stray satsumas along our way which were totally delicious!), almond groves and olive groves.
It was lovely riding, but my lack of biking fitness was very evident. Even the smaller hills and undulations felt like mountains and it was all much more of an effort than it really should have been. Still, 68kms/600m+ in the bag.

On Thursday we had a meander along the coastal path trying to photograph and identify some of the bird life that occupies the scrubland there. Unfortunately we didn't see anything amazing, although the cormorants that flew up and down the coastline were good to see.

Friday, rain, so an indoor day. We were due to leave on Saturday but, with the forecast at home looking far too wintery for my liking, we decided to stay on here an additional week. Our apartment is the ground floor of the owners detached property and is in a wonderfully peaceful part of the town. It is spacious and heated and excellent value. The bonus is that Bonita loves to offload her excess potager produce and eggs on us. So far she has given us nearly 2 dozen eggs (omelettes anybody?!) and some delicious lettuces and salad onions. Fantastic!
Saturday, we ran 20kms of the track that runs from Alcossebre to Peniscola along the coast. The skies were still heavy after the previous day's rain and the seas decidedly choppy. But the forecast was for the skies to clear as the weekend progressed
Today, sure enough, clear blue skies but a hellishly strong wind that resulted in Andy cancelling his planned long roadie ride - it would have been suicidal! Instead, we headed further down the coast before cutting inland to the Parc Natural del Desert de les Palmes. I had downloaded the GPS data for a walk which looked appealing. The route initially took us along some lovely tracks and trails with views towards the coast

We passed several almond plantations with fruit still left on the trees. It would have been rude not to sample the nuts.... 
... and OK, I admit it, our pockets were soon filled! As for the walk, let's just say we have spent far too much time running and are out of 'walking mode'. The walk seemed to take forever and I was seriously wondering how much longer we would be out. I so prefer running! We only covered 13.7kms but it took us over 3 hours. But still, it was good to be out, exploring more of the area. And we did come back with some good bunches of wild thyme as well as a fair quantity of almonds

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