The site itself is based in an old pueblo and the restaurant and facilities look like something out of spaghetti western film set. The only thing that prevents you being convinced that you have slipped backwards in time is the Madrid Valencia high-speed railway runs past about 500 metres from the entrance.
Luckily the trains are very fast, the service is infrequent, every half hour or so there is a short lived whoosh as an express rockets past. As a fan of 'Great Railway Journeys' I became convinced that each train must contain at least one cultured Englishman with Hispanic roots dressed in a stylishly tailored dusty pink jacket, quietly thumbing through a first edition copy of Bradshaw's guide.
The group on the next aisle from us placed three across the road, the family's shadowy forms were barely discernible through a wall of flames. In the warm night air, under a sky glittering with stars the moment felt ancient and elemental. A fine way, I feel, to celebrate tribal belonging and a sense of place, much better than waving silly flags.
However, neither of us relished the prospect of a downhill trip on such an uneven, loose surface. We decided to use the metalled road to the campsite on the return trip, if anything the descent was even steeper, but much less hazardous on the asphalt. Nevertheless we descended at a sedate pace using the brakes most of the time. We are definitely sedate cyclists these days, well sedate at everything really.