Day 8: Alicante to Torrevieja - Grampies Go Valencia to Paris: Spring 2024 - CycleBlaze

February 14, 2024

Day 8: Alicante to Torrevieja

Heart 0 Comment 0

Lots of times in Europe, even in moderately priced hotels, I have noticed that the building materials are of far higher quality than what we find in our own house. This was the case last night, where the modest El Patio had great tiles on the floors, a fully tiled bathroom, and a super shower fixture and enclosure. One other thing was a rather nice painting on the wall. I copied that below. No way to take the shower fixture  as well, unfortunately.

Heart 1 Comment 3
Marvin PaxmanErika looked at the painting and said " Oh! I've done that puzzle!"
Reply to this comment
1 month ago
Steve Miller/GrampiesTo Marvin PaxmanVery cute. Actually it would make a very challenging puzzle.
Reply to this comment
1 month ago
Steve Miller/GrampiesTo Marvin PaxmanGoogle Lens reveals that this type of Mediterranean scene is a genre, with lots of examples in a similar style. Like Elvis on black velvet!
Reply to this comment
1 month ago

Just outside the main door, we could look up to the Alicante castle. It doesn't look like much from this perspective, but is supposed to be great to visit. Next time!

Santa Barbara castle, Alicante
Heart 2 Comment 0

We set off into the streets of town, mainly looking for the post office. I took one random shot, just to show what the workaday aspect of the town is. In general, it looks like any other big city.

Heart 1 Comment 0

Here is the building of the central market. Unlike most markets, which look a little rough around the edges, this was so formal and well built that I, anyway, did not recognize it for a market. But the GPS does not lie, so in I went for a quick peek.

Heart 4 Comment 0

The first area (on two floors, with an escalator) is devoted to meats. And wow, there certainly was all kinds. This was not limited to the traditional walls of hams, but included chickens, rabbits, and such "delicacies" as cow's feet.

Heart 0 Comment 1
Kelly IniguezJacinto says, as a little boy one of his jobs was to peel the outside hoof off of the foot of the cow after it had been boiled. Then the foot went back in the menudo pot. The best menudo has pata, even today Jacinto will ask at restaurants if the menudo has pata. I can't say we saw menudo in Spain?
Reply to this comment
2 months ago
Ok, there are the hanging hams.
Heart 2 Comment 0
I have mentioned before that we tried and failed when raising chickens to get the yellow skin. But look at these!
Heart 0 Comment 1
Bill ShaneyfeltMight not have been the correct genetic strain?

https://jaguzafarm.com/support/why-some-chicken-skins-are-yellow/
Reply to this comment
2 months ago
There was a fair amount of cheese as well, but not like in France.
Heart 0 Comment 1
Karen PoretYet, there is Roquefort in the selection ;)
Reply to this comment
2 months ago
Finely sliced and neatly arranged vacuumed packed meats are a thing here.
Heart 0 Comment 0

When we passed by the market yesterday on the way to the hotel, the GPS said we were there, but I saw nothing but one flower vendor. Again, this was because the fruit and vegetable people are indoors and down an escalator. This would seem a kind of sterile environment, but once you find the produce, it looks great!

Heart 1 Comment 0
Heart 1 Comment 0
A real cornucopia.
Heart 2 Comment 0

We did some further wanderingin town, still on the trail of the post office, and recorded some more more or less typical street scenes. They are more properly streetscapes and not "scenes" because they mostly lack people.  Nine a.m. could be too early for the people here!

Heart 1 Comment 0
Heart 1 Comment 0
Here is something we don't really see at home: using an external elevator to reach stuff to upper floors of a building.
Heart 0 Comment 1
Karen PoretAla Netherlands!
Reply to this comment
2 months ago
Here go some postcards for grandkids. In a few weeks or months they will know that we are thinking about them.
Heart 4 Comment 0

Once we were out of town, the cycling settled down to a mode that we really like: decent shoulder, or bike lane, passing through various crops, and with some birds around - though always too flitty or backlit to photograph properly.

24131 Spanish Sparrow
Heart 2 Comment 4
Scott AndersonYou might take credit for a new species here: the Spanish sparrow, the close cousin of both the house sparrow and Italian sparrow. Pretty much indistinguishable except by location.
Reply to this comment
2 months ago
Karen PoretTo Scott AndersonI trust you have heard the Spanish song then, Scott? :)
Reply to this comment
2 months ago
Scott AndersonTo Karen PoretEh? Apparently not.
Reply to this comment
2 months ago
Karen PoretTo Scott Anderson🤭
Reply to this comment
2 months ago
Good shoulder.
Heart 0 Comment 0
Broccoli, maybe. Some fields had been harvested and could more clearly be seen as broccoli from the leftovers.
Heart 0 Comment 0
24132 Iberian Gray Shrike
Heart 2 Comment 1
Scott AndersonThat’s a neat find. I love shrikes (aka butcher birds because of the way they impale their prey), but haven’t seen this one.
Reply to this comment
2 months ago
24133 European Stonechat
Heart 2 Comment 0

Something really unexpected was to have a crew out sweeping the way for us. What could they do next to make us feel welcome - strew rose petals?

Heart 3 Comment 0

Something we found really interesting was the many kms of pomegranate orchards. Unfortunately they are dormant now, or it would surely have been an even more splendid sight.

Pomegranate orchard
Heart 0 Comment 0

Another feature along the route, really fascinating for us, was the many nurseries with very large potted trees, of unknown types and heavily pruned.

Heart 2 Comment 0
Heart 2 Comment 0
Heart 2 Comment 0
Heart 2 Comment 0
Heart 1 Comment 0
Heart 0 Comment 0
Not "Truffula Trees", but the concept is sort of similar.
Heart 1 Comment 0

We were rolling along happily looking at all this, when the Google track  figuratively put up its hand and said "Hey, my plan was to take you folks down by the Salines de Santa Paula", "I bet you could see some maybe Flamingos there, and besides I have computed that it is the most efficient route".   So the ever gullible Grampies backtracked and took the Google directed turn down toward the salt flats.

Google said go this way. No one to sweep the trail for us here!
Heart 0 Comment 0
We did get to see garbage. How and why do people do this?
Heart 0 Comment 1
Karen PoretLazy and unfortunately it’s too common..everywhere! No pride and no accountability. People comment to me with “ thank you” when I pick up trash always…then I think “that is nice,” but why don’t they do it too?
Reply to this comment
2 months ago
But also the artichokes were really doing well.
Heart 1 Comment 1
Karen PoretReminds me of Castroville, CA..the artichoke capital of the world..(supposedly )
Reply to this comment
2 months ago
It ended in tears, of course, as the Google track was onto private property and that was eventually locked.
Heart 0 Comment 0

Our retreat was not all that bad, as we passed  a farm growing herbs, more pomegranate orchards, an olive orchard being pruned,  and date palms.

Heart 0 Comment 0
More pomegrates
Heart 0 Comment 0
Olives , being pruned.
Heart 0 Comment 0
Date orchard
Heart 0 Comment 0
Heart 3 Comment 0
24134 Jackdaw
Heart 0 Comment 0
To better understand Google's little trick, see us coming along the red line at the right, backtracking to turn south, then along the dotted line to the left turn, after which we got roadblocked before reaching the salines. Then you see us retreating back to the same (green) road we had been on in the first place.
Heart 0 Comment 0

Not so long after our retreat from the salines, our ride changed character dramatically. We entered crowded Benijofar. This produced a bit of jockeying with traffic, but we were never in any sort of really risky situation. And soon, the track became mostly a protected bikeway down to our destination at Torre Vieja. It was pretty ugly, though, with all sorts of suburban business and fast food located on the quite high speed road.

Heart 0 Comment 1
Karen Poret“The best bike shop”..where?
Reply to this comment
2 months ago
Almost out of Benijofar.
Heart 0 Comment 0
Not interesting, but safe and fast.
Heart 0 Comment 0
Outskirts of Torre Vieja
Heart 0 Comment 0

So far the town of Torre Vieja does not look like much to us - just a jumble of 3 and 4 storey buildings. But maybe tomorrow will reveal more, as we quickly leave town, bound for Hannibal's old capital of Cartagena.

The view from our balcony at Hotel Cano (66 euros).
Heart 3 Comment 0

Today's ride: 64 km (40 miles)
Total: 303 km (188 miles)

Rate this entry's writing Heart 7
Comment on this entry Comment 1
John VincentHello Grampies;

We are fellow E-bike touring cyclists from Victoria, B.C.and friends of Keith and Kathleen Classen. Here is a short blurb about us. https://www.r-m.de/en-en/magazine/darlene-john-superdelite/
Our bikes are currently in Barcelona. We plan to bike Mallorca and the Pyrenees this May/June. Then northern Spain and Portugal this Fall. I am following your current trip as we plan to bike Andalusia next Feb/Mar to beat the BC blues. I don’t have to explain that to you. It would be great to communicate via email to share experiences and lessons of E-bike touring in Europe. Email us if you wish at ebikestouring@gmail.com
John and Darlene
Reply to this comment
3 weeks ago