This is about my journey back to Berlin after I spent one year in Valencia. I had the chance to spend two awesome semesters at the Polytechnic University of Valencia, and now it’s time to roll back to wrap things up in Berlin. Why I go by bike can be read in the entry about the no-fly challenge.
By coincidence I chose the same date to start my return trip to Berlin as I had to leave for Valencia: 29th of July. The night before I said good bye to the beach, with friends and cava during the sunset. Perfect prep for the 70 km climb to Jérica, a sleepy village in the north west of Valencia. I aimed to traverse up to the French border on the Atlantic, to Hendaye. That is where the RAID Pyrenees takes off, a 10 days race across 28 passes and 870 km long, ending in Cerbere. Everyone can take part, you just have to register and make the checkpoints in the given time. I registered, and that’s about it. On my way up to Jérica I noticed a throbbing pain in my right ear and throat. I blamed it on the heat and decided to ignore it. In Jérica my girlfriend welcomed me with lunch in the house we had booked. Honestly, I have never eaten such tasty and delicious tomatoes in my life than I have in my year in Valencia. I will never be able to eat tomatoes anywhere else again. I’m spoiled and tomatoe-ruined. Anyway, we had booked the house to enjoy swimming in the river and enjoy private time away from Valencia life before my departure. The summer is hot and we learned, when it’s too hot, the water from the river gets traversed to the surrounding farms. So instead we went to visit the Arab thermal bath of Montanejos the next day. It has been built in King Abu in the 12th century “to keep his favourite young women looking beautiful”. It’s a water source of 25 degrees celsius that spills into the river. The water is super soft to swim in and can be drunk straight from the source. The locals call this part of the river the “piscinas naturales” and it is indeed very beautiful. We went early a had an hours or so with just some local pensioners before the tourists started swarming in. The walk to the village was shared with 4 lovely local ladies who exchanged recipes for a yoghurt cake with us.
In the afternoon the pain came back and I was dead tired. I knew something was up and I probably had to pause the tour, so I decided to head back to Valencia. On Wednesday I rolled the 50 km down to Sagunto and Ines took the bus. We met at the train station and travelled the last bit together. At the hospital they diagnosed an ear infection and prescribed me meds and 5 days off sports. So I settled on the couch, slept off the fever and hid from the sun for the rest of the week.
Day 1: Valencia – Jérica 71.80 km
Day 2: Jérica
Day 3: Jérica – Valencia (via Sagunto) 46.3 km
Day 4-7: Valencia