Monday, 9 October 2017

Valencia Community Day

That would be today. A somewhat unexpected occurrence which had a profound effect on our plans. Our intention was to move today - Monday, do a supermarket shop then drive to a pleasant small site in the hill village of Navajes. The site is next to a disused mineral railway, now converted into a cycle track that wends its way along a forested ridge in the valley of the Rio Palencia.

The public holiday put the kibosh on our shopping trip. It also resulted in there being a queue of motorhomes waiting for a pitch when we arrived at Navajes. The place, which we remembered from a visit in November 2014 as a haven of rural tranquillity, today was heaving with Valencian families enjoying a long weekend thanks to their community day falling on Monday.

There were so many under sevens on the site that it resembled an infant school annual outing. We squeezed onto one of the last remaining pitches, taking care not to squash a toddler, flatten her bike, dent papá's randomly parked car, or crush the family caravan which was positioned within an inch of the edge of pitch next to ours. I really do not like reverse parking laterally onto a pitch. Nor am I much good at it, but somehow we installed ourselves without damage, or even too much embarrassment.

We thought the last place buzzed with kids, there were scores here, mainly aged between four and seven. "I wonder what happened in Spain between 2010 and 2013 to fuel the population explosion," I enquired idly. Gill's response was unequivocal, "Austerity," she asserted. I must have looked a tad non-plussed, so she added, "You know, like after a famine there's always a spike in the birthrate..." I nodded, but did not ask her to elaborate.

As an en-masse extended lunch raised levels of collective excitement from from merely animated to almost manic the noise levels reached fever pitch. It was all somewhat overwhelming. We decided to unload the bikes and go for a ride up the track, though we wondered if it too would be impossibly busy. In fact, within 500 metres of the mayhem it was empty, peaceful and beautiful.

We have now discovered that in the Valencia region there are two public holidays this week, today is the regional one, followed by Spain's national day on Thursday. We are rethinking our itinerary. Gill phoned ahead to the Betera camperstop and Kikopark rural, our next two planned stops. We wondered if they would be as busy as where we are now. They assured us there would be no problems. We shall see.

Because Ribenor was a bit remote and down a rough track and the shops closed unexpectedly today, we are running low on life's essentials. Whatever tomorrow brings and wherever we end up, one thing is certain, it will involve a supermarket visit.

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