Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Guest Blog From Chris Lee

A different post today which relates to Valencia. Chris Lee runs a website called Cycle Tour Spain and the site will give you all of the information you may need about planning a route and carrying out a cycle your in Spain. Enjoy Chris' blog and click through to his links.

I’m writing this from a roof terrace in the Valencia Community, marvelling at the dark blue sea in the distance that lies above the green muddle of the orange groves through which we wander to reach the beach. These are definitely the main plus points of living on the Costa Azahar, south of Valencia city.

I’ve blogged before on the best and worst aspects of living in Spain, but what I love most about the Valencia Community is the shear randomness of it all. If there’s one thing they like here it’s making a noise, be it the annual Fallas (mid-March) festival, regular mascletàs (short daytime firework set-offs) to celebrate saint’s days or 8am wake-up calls by blunderbuss on a Sunday morning. You never know what will happen in Valencia.

One thing that is guaranteed is the quality and value of local produce – oranges, cherries, strawberries, tiger nuts (xufas) and almond-based breads and sweets – all of which tantalise the tongue and make a trip to the local market a very pleasant and cost-effective experience.

I run a website dedicated to getting on your bike and seeing off-the-beaten-track Spain on two wheels called CycleTourSpain.com, and – once you venture inland got away from the costas here, which can be busy, ugly and run-down in places – you get a real sense of freedom. Small towns of Arabic origin, shear mountains and dramatic off-road hiking and cycling routes, such as the Racó del Duc offer incredible variety in scenery, plus a sporting challenge (coupled with quiet roads) that one simply cannot enjoy in the more congested, flatter confines of most of the UK.

Whatever you’re into, the chances are you’ll find it in Valencia.

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