Our first day of biking took us from Benissa, Spain to Oliva. Jamie, our host in Tarbena, dropped us off with all of our gear in Benissa, about 15km from his place. It’s a real pain to get out of his driveway, and the extra time it would have taken us to get down the mountain would have been serious.

Anyways, we hugged Jamie goodbye around 10am, and built up. 2 Camelbak’s full of water (3 Lit. each) and empty stomachs. We headed out to find the road to the east, toward the sea. It took us quite a few tries at asking people for directions before we were able to figure it out. We ended up in a small rural village because we took a wrong turn. The road ended into a guys homestead, and he gave us directions. We think he was German.

From there, we got on the road towards Xabia (Javea on the Google Map).

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Before we say anything further, you need to understand Valencian language. Google Maps hasn’t recognized the difference between Spanish and Valencian. Jamie described it as more of a ‘cool’ way to talk. Shortening words and having other ways to say things is a form of Nationalism that the Valencian’s share.

For example,

Ordinal numbers (5th, 6th, 20th): quint, sext, vigèsim for cinquè, sisè, vintè. < >
More info here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valencian

H’okay. So…

We pedaled into Xabia just fine. It was a bigger city, but we didn’t stay too long. After getting turned around, we found a narrow road up the mountain to take us to Denia. It must have been 7 km total up the mountain. Maybe not. Maybe it was 4 up and 3 down. Either way, it was hard. We had to get off our bikes only 200 feet into the climb and put on our tennies to get up the rest. Long, but at the top, it was beautiful.

On top of the mountain between Xabia and Denia

After that, it was smooth riding down the mountain into Denia. From there, we just hugged the fairly flat coastline to get to Oliva. Nothing too unique to see, except some lemon and almond farms. We were between the ocean and the red road, the national highway (think I-75), but we couldn’t see water.

When we got to Oliva, we biked into the long city center and hung out on a bench. Kristen shopped for some fruit and veggies, but we ended up just eating the cookie sticks and potato chips (fried in olive oil, not veg!). From there, we started looking for a place to sleep. One thing led to another and we were ‘forced’ to sleep in a campsite, Campo de Kiko. When we got there, there was no receptionist. We looked around and decided to enter. It was a small RV park only a dune-climb from the ocean. Some German folks told us to just pitch our tent in an empty spot and see what happened.

What happened was that we got to use the bathroom, shower, and sleep without having to pay. Sweet.

Check out the pictures below!

[altpwa user=rawandfit album=MaridTarbenaBenissa]