Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Gas,buses and sun

FEb 3rd.................

We have at last exhausted the charms of Benecasim and will be moving on. In the end, it has turned out to be a reasonably pleasant place....the site itself is top notch....and we have visted Castellone again by bus to see the wondrous Monday market which was the largest sale of cheap, nasty clothes I have ever seen - no rural charm of a Provencal market here. Had our first Ever problem with local public transport and had to wait 1 + 1/2 hours for the bus back which then dropped us a mile from the campsite having appeared to make an arbitrary decision not to go the publicised route but detour off to see his girlfriend for lunch. Subsequent enquires confirmed the total optimism of the timetable and the lottery of the routing. We made 4 trips, to and from the same start and finish and went 4 different ways despite having a map of the route from the Tourist Info. We also paid 3 different prices for the same journey.
The weather is sunny and warm in the sunshine but chilly in the shade and cold at night. This led to the second gas scare when we tried to ignite the gas heating and discovered very low pressure just like last year when the regulator failed. Without boring everyone, the fault was eventually traced to the use of Butane which is crap when the temp. drops below +4. We have a Spanish butane bottle and after talking to everyone around us I have now changed this for a propane one which has solved the problem - fortunately they sell gas on the site and were quite happy to swap butane for propane which is not usual. We bought the butane in Andalucia where the temp is never near 4 degrees and so they only sell butane which is slightly more efficent. Good job I didn't listen to Gaslow who I phoned and who suggested changing the regulator-again. For those readers who buy gas, a new 7kg propane cost £11.50, unlike Calor Gas in the UK at about £18.
We have had a trip to the hills behind Benecasim which were settled by Carmelite monks and seen magnificent views for hundreds of miles along the coast and remains of 12th.C monasteries ; the nearby town of Grau, port of Castellone, well worth an hour or two of one's time, very nicely done; and the next resort along the coast, Orepesa, which we discovered via 'the coast road' , a very closely kept local secret. The road did indeed more or less follow the coast, but also was near vertical in places. The scooter did stirling work to get us there. A very neat and tidy place with lovely beach and views, but deserted at this time of the year.
So we shall pack up on Thursday, stock up with the 1.75€ Rioja and head inland and south to La Carolina,
between Valdepenas and Jaen, in a national park, where we trust the air will be a bit warmer.


  1. Aah, Valdepenas, means Valley of Rocks. Lots of limestone means it's a good red wine producing area - can't think why you've chosen to head there...

  2. Did you know that ValdepeƱas is a municipality in the Spanish province of Ciudad Real, in the autonomous community of Castile-La Mancha.

    Interesting that during the Islamic period the area was part of the Moorish Kingdom of Toledo. The Arab inscriptions and a sun dial on the walls of the Church of the Assumption date from this period. According to oral tradition, the Caliphate gave permission to the inhabitants to cultivate vineyards and make wine. This is prohibited by The Koran. The Moors were expelled from Valdepenas at the end of the 15th century.

  3. At least all the piss taking means that you are both learning something. A new post is on its way as we are back in cyberland