Monthly Archives: February 2017


Our next pitch is at Bonterra Park in a town called Benicassim. The park is again pretty full so we have spots at the very back. I don’t mind as its somewhat quieter but a bit longer walk to the bathrooms and cleaning up sinks.

We immediately head out for a run on the via verde (green) trail. This is a really nice bike route that goes up the coast, has tunnels, and cuts through the cliffs making it easy to cycle or run on. It took us up to the next town Oropesa which looks pretty dead this time of year. Benicassim has a bit more going on. We enjoy a movie and also an interesting Piano concert by Santos and Borras at the Cultural Center. Heading south is a bigger town called Castellon. Nick and I cycle there on Valentine’s Day so I can find a gift for Paul and he needs a phone store. The town has lots of fun things to see like this cool sculpture.

I find a nice shirt for Paul, Nick gets his phone in working order and we have a coffee. Siesta time so we check out a park. No grass to lie on but we lay down on a bench to nap. The park has strange looking trees that have been recently trimmed.

A couple of love birds on Valentine’s Day xxoo

After napping we walk our bikes towards the Contemporary Art Museum. We stop along the way to admire buildings and eat mussels at an outdoor cafe.

The museum has an exhibit about skateboarding. The photos are from all over the world and black and white. Here is outside of the building. A pretty collaborative mural Eltono Modo No. 6

Nick is the navigator for another epic hike into Desierto de las Palmas. It is a pretty steep climb up and down. There are old forts, walls and monasteries. You can see pretty far from up top and look back at the ocean and towns. Then you remember that you will have to climb back down. I was pretty sore the next day.

Javea – Mountains and the Sea

I am really digging the options for trail running and/or hiking in Spain. So far along the coast we have encountered numerous trails with variable skill levels. On easier days around Javea we would go behind our camper park and run through the orange groves without having to climb very much. You also have the sea front option but it is only flat for about 2-3 miles. Paul’s parent’s enjoy hiking so we spent one lovely day hiking up to the Molins de la Plana. (windmills)

We stop along the way to eat some lunch and enjoy the view.

The camp site in Javea has nice trees. We would prefer the sun as it is still a bit chilly in the shade.

A wonderful museum to visit in Javea is Museo Arqueológico y Etnológico Soler Blasco. It is in Old town and free! A lot of information about the town’s history and great displays. 

Here is a picture of the waterfront with the mountains in the background. Our next destination is up in the mountains at a sweet camping spot Vall de Laguar. Nick and I cycle up there through the orange grooves and almond trees. I love the small town, its market and the old washing areas that are situated along the hill sides.

We stay for only a few days and have time for one long hike with Lynda and Derek. I will end with some hiking photos and one of the campsite. Nick pitched his tent next to the van.

Camper Parks

This journey is unique for us and all its participants. Paul and I normally travel alone in our van and sometimes we stop and visit people along the way. This trip we are following Paul’s parents (aunt and uncle too) and going to places that they have been and enjoyed. Mostly this is in Southern Spain along the coast. After Seville, we meet up with the parents in Cabo de Gata. This is our first camper park experience.

Paul and I enjoy some coastal runs, some easier than others. The small store at the camp ground has some interesting items and a good amount of local food.

Our next stop is Los Madriles. This is a busy camping spot but we get three pitches in a row. There are many amenities like, hot showers, ping-pong tables, super clean bathrooms, and a heated salt water swimming pool. I swam 5 times while here as they have an indoor lap pool and an outdoor pool. The store has most things you need, vino, fresh bread, and a weekly farmers market. Although the site had many people, I enjoyed my time here a lot.

Here are a few photos of the water front and hiking in the mountains behind the campsite.

Lynda and Derek are experienced hikers and their friends John and Reena joined us on a 10 plus mile hike. The weather got cold and we had some rain but they were fine and dressed appropriately. I on the other hand got cold by the end and Lynda was kind to offer me her gloves. I will be better prepared next time! Here is Lynda and Derek making their way up the hill.

Our next stop is in Javea or Xabia, the town with two names (Xabia is the name in Valencian, which apparently is essentially Catalan). We are unable to get into a camping spot so we all find places to park on the street. This is common and the police do not seem to mind as long as you are not directly on the waterfront. We park outside of Nick’s airbnb by the Mercadonna. Quiet at night but it gets busy in the morning with traffic.

Paul and I figure we can’t get into the packed campsite in Javea so we head up the mountain towards Denia and find a quiet sweet spot very near the water. Camping Los Pinos. Rustic place with friendly people and friendly cats. I even got to hold a sweet baby girl for a long time while her parents packed up the van. We had 2 pleasant nights there.

We try to do a hike/run over the mountain to Javea but find it more difficult than expected. This seems the norm. We end up going up to the top, watching a bike race (Vuelta de Valencia), climbing back along the coast to Cova Tallada. In some places there are ropes and chains to help you not fall off the cliffs. From there we climb to Torre del Gerro. There is a road back down to the camp so we have it easy the rest of the way.

After a tasty dinner by Paul and some healthy…sleep, we wake and head back to Javea. We are able to get into a spot near the family this time and here we all pretty cozy. Paul and I are parked next to Pat and Terry.

More to come on Javea…..