Picture of the Week

7 July 2021

Week 25: cycling, Antanina’s visit, Orxeta

Filed under: — Administrator @ 19:21

A week with lots of nice bike rides, also a walk in the city, and a visit by my Lithuanian ex-trainee Antanina.

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The beach continued to provide me with beautiful cloudscapes in the early morning. Later in the day it is boring blue sky, but in the morning it is often a different picture:
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One morning I rode my bike to Maigmó, a semi-hard ride with significant climbing. There is a stretch of about 20 km where the route is a combination of bike path and a service road running along the A7 motorway. At a certain point the bike path forks, and there was always a sign indicating where cyclists should go. But apparently enough of them ignored the sign, continuing on the left towards a dead end, so since my last ride here a few weeks ago, the authorities decided to provide a more forceful hint:
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Yellow and blue:
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The road between Maigmó and Agost, 11 km, is a beautiful, curvy mountain road, beloved by both cyclists and motorcyclists. Unfortunately, some of the latter ride the road too aggressively and end up injured or dead. So the authorities have recently put up signs like this:
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A place I often pass on my bicycle is a newly built solar power plant on the road between Busot and Jijona. Some people complain that such plants spoil the landscape but I have no time for such NIMBYism. We need wind and solar power to save the planet, and I find these views beautiful (there was a barren field there before):
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This view, from the national road N332 that connects Alicante with Valencia, illustrates the two sides of Spain in my part of this country, the sheep and goat farm in the foreground and the vacation homes for madrileños and foreigners in the background:
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The Sunday market in Busot, such as it is:
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A couple of brief walks in the city. A rare spot of rain on Plaza Seneca:
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The big midsummer festivities culminating with the burning of the large statues, called hogueras, on June 24th were cancelled this year (as was the case in 2020). A few mini-hogueras were installed around the city to at least mark the occasion in some manner:
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Another mini-hoguera in the same neighbourhood:
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Relief in the centre, connected to the Santa Faz holiday in the spring:
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Sunday afternoon, the usual lunch with friends:
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Monica and Alejandra:
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Lucas:
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Balu wants to play:
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Antanina is my poster child for the new Europe that has emerged after the fall of Communism in 1989. She was born a year or two after that, in the newly independent Lithuania. As a young student, she went to study at an Italian university under the Erasmus programme, and later, about 6 years ago, she was a trainee in my department. I have kept in touch with her since, including during her PhD studies at the University of Padova and subsequently. She is now back in Lithuania and was visiting Alicante for a few days. We went for dinner with her at a restaurant in the centre, at a newly “discovered” place, La Casa de Leo, a great little restaurant:
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My main dish, tuna tartare:
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After dinner, we walked to a bar for a late drink. I enjoyed walking through the centre, looking at other people enjoying themselves at outside tables:
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Our current trainee Alejandra, with our former trainee Antanina:
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Carolina with a lovely smile:
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The remaining pictures are from two different bike rides, one to Relleu, during which I pass through some lovely landscapes. I always stop to photograph this grand country house:
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Another house in beautiful surroundings, but a lot less grand than the previous one:
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Some 10 km after Relleu, I came to a town called Orxeta. Like much of Alicante province, this is wine country, as evidenced by this mural extolling the “drops of life”:
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The road descends to the Amadorio river which runs into the sea in Villajoyosa:
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Away from the river, there are some nice subdivisions on the hillsides:
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And some nice views of the inland mountains:
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I wrote above that the river runs into the sea at Villajoyosa. Except that it doesn’t, because it is dammed here in Orxeta to create a huge reservoir:
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The river and the banks of the reservoir are a picnic spot for the locals:
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My last ride of the week went to Maigmó via Agost, another frequent mountain route for me. Near the village of Verdegás, I saw some other people having fun on two wheels:
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The church in Agost, a town where I always take a Coke break:
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Eleven km later, I was at the top of the Vía Verde del Maigmó where there is a parking lot and a small picnic area where I took a much needed breather:
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From that point, I had 30 km or so to get home; I was at an elevation of around 650 meters, and since I live at sea level, I could let gravity do much of the work, cycling on a local road along the motorway:
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