We wouldn’t be here if not for NIE. But in Alcoi we had an appointment to get NIE number. Here the waiting time was the shortest. Duties accomplished, the time for the pleasure of sightseeing had come.
Alcoi (or Alcoy) lies at the foot of Serra de Mariola (greetings to Mariolas around the world!). It’s located to the north of our town, and further from the sea so the temperature was noticeably lower. I must admit that Alcoi had left me under
We were quite impressed by Alcoi city but our true destination was actually Mariola. Jurek had checked GoogleEarth the previous evening, however, as it turned out, he did not mark any specific spot on the map, so we weren’t sure what course to take. We’ve chosen CV-794 because it was going through the whole park. We thought, if it goes through the middle of Serra de Maiola, there will be some awesome views. In reality, the road was nice, twisty with the forest around but that’s it. No “wow” at all. Somewhere on the way, we found a picnic area so we made a stop for lunch. Then we left the park, turned left and soon reached Banyeres de Mariola. Pretty narrow streets, often very steep, led us round and round. It was almost impossible to get out of the city without GPS. We finally managed to escape. I saw from the distance that we were close to the castle on a hill in the center of the village. Well, if I knew before, maybe we would have stopped for a break there.
I set GPS to lead us home through El Paisaje Protegido Serra del Maigmó y Serra del Sit. Yes, it is a very long name… It will be simpler to write that we drove from Onil to Elda, or that we entered with road CV-817 and left with CV-837. And here we found that “wow” which we didn’t in Serra de Mariola. Generally, we are in Spain not for long and I absorb everything around me, vegetation, fields, mountains, roads, buildings, everything. We were passing an industrial zone, blossoming trees (I’m not sure what kind but I think they were almonds) until we reached the foot of Sierra. Do you know this triangular road sign which informs you about the percentage of inclination? Well, it’s usually 8%, maybe 10%. And before my eyes there came sign with 20%. And my thoughts ran quickly through my head: did I see it right? Maybe somebody drew extra “0”? I’ve never seen a sign like this. Or did I? I consulted my thoughts with Jurek and he confirmed. It was a
There is a big difference between walking up the mountains and driving. I am not saying one is better than the other. Everything depends on the situation, possibilities, time. Wandering around the mountains gives undoubtfully a unique experience, but I am also glad that the driveways high in the mountains exist. Thanks to them we were once again above the world. I was standing there, looking out into the vast space reaching another mountain range on the horizon and felt joy. It’s priceless to stop and feel it.