Posted by: Stevie D | November 22, 2012

Old friends in new places.

Oropesa del Mar is a tourist resort just north of Castellon de la Plana. As a tourist resort, when the tourists go home, there are few people left behind at all.The rows of apartment blocks along the seafront stand empty and the bars and restaurants which thrive for six months of the year sit forlorn and empty and, in the most part,closed.A walk along the promenade in the late October sun however is probably more pleasant than it would be in August. Not so hot and fewer flies would probably sum it up. More people should take advantage, as it is a very pleasant time of year to be here.

It was good to be back by the sea on such a lovely autumn afternoon.

Jayney takes the air on Oropesa beach. There was plenty to spare. No one else seemed to want it.

It wasn’t long, however, before the lack of human company and, perhaps, available bars took its toll and we chose to move on. We decided to do what we hadn’t done on the whole trip until now, namely, return to a place for a second visit.

Those of you who have been following this tale since the start(shame on you for having nothing better to do) may recall from last May that we stayed in the town of Calp, with its outstanding rock. Well, there is a big difference between Oropesa and Calp. Calp is a town.Oropesa is a tourist town. When the tourists go home, Oropesa dies, whereas Calp has plenty of people of it’s own to keep it vibrant through the winter months.We had enjoyed Calp, and its excellent campsite, so much we headed back and enjoyed several more days in and around this fine little town. We had a couple of rides in glorious weather along the coast and up into the hills that surround the town.If you want to see photos of Calp, check out the post ‘In the Lap of Luxury’ from May.I’ll just post one now. As we were walking on the seafront one day, we saw the strange phenomenon of cloud forming as air rose over the rock and rapidly cooled.

It looked like the rock was on fire.

When we left Calp, we headed down the coast past Alicante. We were going to the small town of Abanilla, between Alicante and Murcia. Some good friends of ours from the UK  had moved here some years ago and this would be our first visit to the cave they call home. Ron and Michele had kindly invited us to take a break from the endless round of campsites and share their home for a few days, an offer gratefully accepted.

The town of Abanilla doesn’t appear, at first sight, to be a place that would draw a traveller away from the more well-trodden routes around southern Spain. But with the benefit of Ron and Michele’s local knowledge and, more importantly, the wonderful friendships they’ve built with many of the Spanish inhabitants, we found a really terrific little town full of interest and character.To recount all the things we did, places we went and people we met would take far longer than I have to write them down, but here is a brief recap, in picture form.

Looking across Abanilla beneath unusually cloudy skies. It’s one of Europs driest areas but we had three days rain out of five.

We were made to feel completely at home by Ron and Micheles many friends in the town, here with Jose Antonio and Maria.

The local baker, Geronima, showed us the inner workings of her traditional oven.

The owner of local bar, the Posada Casa del Pepe, proudly shows his trophy for best tapa in the ‘La Ruta de la tapa’ which is basically an excuse for everyone to visit all the town’s bars.

It was great to ride with our old friends again as they showed us some of the best roads in the area.

It was so good to ride in such pleasant conditions so late into the year. I almost felt guilty.

 

It’s wild and woolly country around there. Perfect for riding when you’ve got nowhere really to go.

Pride of place and hero of the week however, must go to Jose, who was the perfect guide, chauffeur and general Mr Fixit during our week in Abanilla. Nothing was too much trouble for Jose as we were whisked around the bike shops, museums and all the sights worth seeing in and around the historic city of Murcia. Finally he located a new battery to get us out of a jam just as we were due to leave.Thanks Jose. You’re the man.

Jayney with Jose. We all need a friend like he.

We saw the inner workings of a shoe factory, visited the Moroccan Gardens and took tea, checked out most of Abanilla’s unique collection of bars and cafes. The list goes on and I’m sure the memories will live on for a long time.

We took our leave of Ron and Michele and headed for Andalucia. Thanks go to them and the good people of Abanilla for giving us a fantastic week and a taste of real Spain.

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Responses

  1. We were in Spain in October, Toledo on the 9th I believe. Great country around there.

    • Yes, I knew you’d been over to Spain John. There’s so much to enjoy about the country.

  2. How wonderful to see the “real” Spain with good friends to show you around. It’s great to see the tourist sites, but seeing how the locals live is so much more interesting!
    And I remember Calp! Great pic this time around!

    • It’s what it’s all about for me Shadowrun. Abanilla proved to be a great little town once we scratched beneath the surface.

  3. It was great that you came to stay & a pity you had to leave,believe me ,we don’t say that very often. We seemed to do so much in a short time.Hasta pronto.Ron & Michele.

    • The pleasure, amigos, was all ours. 🙂 🙂

  4. Lovin the pics Steve, seems a age since we seen Ron n Michele Kernow party in Newquay.

  5. Hey man, yeah they’re doing great. Lovely place they’re living now. Hope you and your good lady are well. We’re heading home now…booo hooo 😦

  6. Great write up and pictures Steve; probably one of my most favorites yet. BikerMonkey

    • Aww, thanks BM. Truth is, it was one of the best weeks.Maybe it was just good to speak English again. 😉

  7. Brilliant Steve and Jayney.

    • Aw thanks Christine. Good of you to take time to check it out. Enjoy your upcoming safari.


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