Day 1

Km: 95.4
Max: 51.1
Ave: 24.3
Time: 3:55
Weather: 31, clear, dry
Favorite Sign: "Cambio de Sentida"
Highlight: reading local newspaper on the beach
Towns: Valencia, Puzol, Sagunto, Castellon, Oropesa del Mar
Fav Food: energy bar from fellow rider


Location ItemLocalUS$
Cepsacream cookies, peanuts, milk 425PTA
Prensa newspaper, lemonade 350
Beach houseumbrella for shade 300
Telefonicaphone home for Father's Day 1000
SupermercadoMcVitties, bananas, croissant, 2L lemonade 425
Torre Paquitasmall campsite, nice bathrooms, shower 680
Totals 318021.20

Loading Up
I accumulated a few extra things over the last two weeks of travel by car throughout Spain. I was a little worried about packing everything in and pulling it up over the Pyrennes. I had the backpack converted into my custom panier system and was pretty much ready to go. I carried everything downstairs at about 8am. Everything fit better than last time, thanks to the new strap that I had bought for the right side (plus the fact that I have no food). Got on the road and out of Valencia without any trouble.

Smooth Sailing
I didn't choose a Sunday on purpose, but today was a nice morning to get started. Few cars. There were actually lots of bikes out. I found a bike trail for a stretch, but mostly I just followed National 340 up the coast. Most of the bikers would wave at me. One guy came up to chat for a bit too. After I told him a bit of my story, he offered me a couple of his power bars. I must have looked hungry. Most of the other riders were older (50's?) who were pedaling long on their racing bikes. No gear. I guess I look like a bit of a sight with all the bags. It was nice to see everyone else in cycling attire, though. In America, I am generally the only one wearing the shorts, jersey, and helmet ensemble. Anyway, I rolled along quite well, el rodador.

Throughout the morning I saw lots of signs for campgrounds over on the beach. I decided to push it till about one (siesta time) and then pull into a campsite for the day. At about 95km I found Oropesa del Mar. I had a little trouble setting up my tent because the hard ground would not cooperate with my tent stakes. After I set up, I crawled in for a nap.

I think this area is pretty standard for Mediterranean vacation culture. There are some people from Britain or Germany and France, but the majority of people are Spanish. The beach is lined with tall buildings which are mostly condos for the regulars. There are a couple campgrounds where people seem to set up for weeks at a time. Many people probably vacation here often so they know other people here too. One large group gathered outside a camper near me and seemed to be engaged in a discussion about work, gambling, and quality of life. I sat down on the beach and read about a demonstration in Madrid yesterday in favor of a 35 hour work week. I enjoyed my own vacation, reading and writing as the sun set over the mountains. Tomorrow I should ride more miles.

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