Picture of the Week

15 May 2021

Week 18: Mother’s Day hike, ride to the Carrasqueta

Filed under: — Administrator @ 20:27

The bulk of this week’s photos are from the beginning and ending weekends. In Spain, Mother’s Day is celebrated on the first Sunday of May. The children (one here with us, the other across the Atlantic) came up with the idea of a hike followed by lunch. And so it was. And at the end of the week I did one of the hardest rides in my repertoire, 95 km in the mountains, including the Carrasqueta pass.

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Behind Alicante’s Mercado Central there are several flower stalls. The market is usually closed on Sundays, but on this day the florists were open–and from 7 a.m.! So I drove down to the market early in the morning to get some flowers for the mother of my children. The 25th May Square was almost empty (it is named after 25th May 1938, when Italian bombers killed more than 300 people right here, similar to what happened in Guernica):
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The café was just beginning to stir:
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But the florists were in full swing:
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I love seeing almost empty, quiet city streets on a Sunday morning:
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After breakfast, we drove to the Vía Verde del Maigmó, the gravel track on which I cycle from time to time, but which my wife and daughter had never seen. The total length is 22 km, and my idea was to walk 8 km in the middle part of the track where there are pretty landscapes, a few tunnels (since this was once a railroad) and other interesting features. Near km. 17 the adjacent road is right next to the Vía Verde, and there is parking. So that where we started the hike:
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We walked the 4 km to the km. 13 marker, and back. The tunnels are fun–if you remember to bring a light, since there is no illumination:
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The views were pretty:
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I cycle quite often on this road, connecting the Maigmó mountain to the town of Agost:
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We met this friendly Samoyed (her people were friendly too):
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A complete record of our Mother’s Day hike and lunch is here.

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I finished the day with a walk on the beach. It was windy and not particularly warm, so the only people in the water were these guys:
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The next several days were mostly work and few photos. On Friday I noticed that the magic cactus inherited from my mother in 2001 was getting ready for another flower show:
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Our lemon tree is also doing well this spring:
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My wife is fighting a losing battle against the birds that steal the seeds she puts in the garden. To deflect their attention, she has recently bought a couple of bird feeders:
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Next to our house there is a short, unpaved sidestreet, used mainly for parking by us who live in the area. But every day, this man comes and sits in the sun on a folding chair he brings. Why he chooses to do it here rather than on the nice beach, less than 500 m away, I have no idea:
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On Saturday, I did a serious bike ride. 95 km with lots of climbing. First was the ascent to the Carrasqueta mountain pass, which basically means cycling uphill for 35 km. A few km before the pass, there is a bar, popular with the many motorcyclists who enjoy this road:
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About 20 minutes later, I arrived at the top:
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I stopped for a few minutes to enjoy the views, eat my banana, and pee:
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On the way to the pass, I passed another sad reminder that this road is dangerous:
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And at the pass also:
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Usually, when I climb the Carrasqueta, I return on the same road. But this time I descended on the other side of the pass, to the town of Ibi, which adds about 20 km and more climbing to the standard ride. Ibi is a major centre of light manufacturing, especially toys, as reflected in the roundabout at the entrance to the town:
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Closer to Ibi, I happened on this scene, a timeless activity around here:
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After taking this picture, it was about covering the remaining 45 km or so to get home. My only other stop was at a gas station on the other side of Ibi to buy bottled water to refill my bottles, and to eat an ice cream–some calories were badly needed at this point to provide fuel for the home stretch. No more pictures.

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