We had heard about a cycle and walking route called the the Vià Verde which hugs the coastline and runs for about 5-6 miles along a disused railway track from Beniscassim to Oropesa. So today we thought we would try and find it.
So after a few false starts we finally managed to leave site but not before going to Mercadona and stocking up for a picnic lunch.
We walked along the seafront past the Colonnial Villas to the end of the town then under another ‘Bridge to No-where’ and here we found the start of the Vià Verde. After a slight incline, the path levels out and we have views across the bay to Benicassim. The clear azure blue sea and the white surf crashing against the rocks.
Further on up the path we stop at a picnic spot and make some filled baguettes and have a drink. Time for the obligatory selfie.
The Vià Verde is well used by cyclists and there are two distinct areas, a gravelly path for pedestrians and the more tarmac’d path for cyclists. We noticed that there were far more electric bikes than pedal powered ones. How quick this has caught on….
The sun was high in the sky now and vey strong, it was a relief to walk through the old cuttings where the sun was no longer penetrating and it was cooler. We’d reached the 3 km mark and saw the first of two look-out towers. There are many of these dotted along the Spanish coastline and were used long ago when this area was plagued with pirates.
Further on, there are small hidden coves where you could walk down and bathe from the rocks in the crystal clear water. We saw large Aloe-Vera plants and cactii growing alongside the pathway.
We got to the long tunnel (570mtrs), and I was hoping that it was going to be illuminated. Phew, thank heavens it was well lit, but we were lucky as they only put lights in it about 5 years ago. Before then it was pitch black inside and apparently quite scary. … there is now a raised pavement for pedestrians and the roadway/path is for cyclists.
Out the other side you see Oropesa Marina, a great little marina with lots of sailing boats and yachts. They are well catered for as we saw a lovely rooftop swimming pool and tennis courts, the entrance is guarded by security so we couldn’t get in to look around which was a shame. So we made our way around the winding road with ceramic tiles pavements round the bend to see the beach set out before us. Some nice rocks and a gorgeous house on the promontory made for some arty photographs.
We took our shoes and socks off and paddled in the sea, cold at first but lovely after we got used to it. There were couple of kite surfers on the beach so we watched as they darted back and forth and manipulated the kites high and then swooping them down to give themselves enough energy to drag them along the shore.
At the end of the beach, there were some men playing boules in the sand and we watched as we washed the sand from our feet and put our sandals on again.
There was a nice little cafe open on the promenade and we had a cup of coffee each, the paella looked lovely and fresh but we knew we were eating when we got back to site.
I looked at endomondo (an app that my friend Janet had introduced me to when we were on site at St David’s and going on bike rides), and it told me that we had walked 6.3 miles. It was about 3.15pm and it does get quite cold very quickly when the sun goes down (about 4.30-5pm) and we were only in t’shirts. There didn’t seem to be any buses, so we started to make the return journey back again.
It took us just over a hour in the end as we didn’t stop to take anymore photos, have lunch nor look around the towers. As we got back to the ‘Bridge to No-where’ the mobile rang, it was Bernie and Lyn asking if we’d like to go for a walk??? Well in for a penny, so we met them near windy alley on the seafront.
By the time we met up the heat in the sun had gone and we were getting cold real fast. Bernie and Lyn had got jumpers and fleece so realising that we were cold they suggested that we go into their favourite place and have a beer.
Lyn and I walked arm in arm back to the site but on the way stopped at the Mercadona and bought some extra sausages and a couple of bottles of wine.
Back at the van I cooked sausages, eggs, mushrooms and some fried potatoes and we all sat and had a wonderful evening in the van, Rusty the dog sleeping by our side and dreaming of running along the beach….
By the end of the day we had walked 13.5 miles and burnt 2,063 cals and felt really smug with ourselves and life in general….