Benicássim & Vilafamés
Thursday 22nd February
We had a long drive from Calpe and although the roads were typically Spanish and of superb quality they were very busy and full of Large lorries driven in the typical Spanish fashion (little consideration for other road users and Spanish lorry drivers seem to be the worst). It was therefore quite stressful, especially around the Valencia area. The whole journey was alongside orange groves for as far as the eye can see and all of them full of oranges ready for the picking. The N332 also had its fair share of prostitutes sitting on plastic chairs on the roadside by the orange groves in the middle of nowhere plying their trade and waiting for passing punters. Where they go to conduct their trade I would not start to imagine. We arrived at our campsite (GPS N40.037280 E000.041020) Our Aires & Stop Overs quite tired and eager to put down roots for a week.
Friday 21st & Saturday 22nd February
Friday was a lazy day where we cought up on washing and setting up. Benicássim is a very clean and manicured town with an impeccable beach and promenade and we look forward to exploring it and the surrounding area. We decided to visit the hilltop village of Vilafàmes on Saturday unsure what to expect. It was a really lovely village of red stone houses and narrow steep streets leading up to a church and a ruined castle on the top with shear drops to three sides.
A huge rock resembling a “happy whale” seemed to defy gravity and remained perched on a 45 degree slope.
A few hundred years ago, Locals fearing that it would slip off and destroy the town tried to dislodge it and finally admitting defeat gave up. Perhaps in thousands of years time the gap between its base and the rock face which is slowly eroded by water will become so large and the connection so fragile that gravity will prevail, but for the moment it remains where it has been for centuries. Spain has more than its fair share of castles and fortified towns, it feels that every rocky outcrop hill or mountain has a small village or town on its lower slopes and a castle on its top to defend it. The last 500 – 600 years in Spain must have been severely troubled times.