Important Notice

Special captions are available for the humor-impaired.


Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Learning Experience

Along with learning the language I am picking up some useful things about how to behave while I am here in Spain. One tip I would pass on to fellow travelers is never stop and ask a Spanish farmer for directions while you are riding around lost in the countryside. The few times that I have done this I didn’t think that I was ever going to get away. If you happen upon two Spaniards out in a lonely orange grove, and you ask for help finding some place, you are really in for it.

I wish that I had a recording of the two Spanish farmers trying to direct me to a little town called Lliria the other day. It was really hard for me not to break out laughing as the two battled back and forth on the best way for me to get there. You would have thought that they were arguing about the Spanish Civil War.

It turns out that I was probably about ten times farther away than I thought I was when I asked. If I had known this I wouldn’t have bothered them. I don’t carry a map with me so I am just going on my compass reading and dead reckoning, as sailors call it. They were going back and forth for so long that I took a good look around me because I thought that perhaps they were stalling while someone else got into position to throw a net over me.

I’m sure that they could get top dollar for a curiosity like me, not to mention what they bike could bring in. They would probably keep me in a cage and take me from village to village charging people 1€ to see the stupid American. Little kids could poke me with a stick. Anyway, Siskel and and Eibert finally agreed on directions which turned out to be right on the money; pretty amazing considering how far away I was from my destination and how I was in the middle of nowhere when I happened on my two rescuers.

I started pedaling towards my destination and their directions unfolded just like they said. I had already been out more than an hour and a half and it was a hot day so I didn’t feel the least bit guilty when I stopped into the first train station I saw. I finished this leg of the trip sitting on my ass with my bike tethered to the inside of the metro car. I bought a ten ride card for about 11€ that I can use whenever I want to use these trains that service the outlying areas of Valencia. They are a great way for me to extend my day trips by bicycle, or rescue me if I just want to get home.

I finally made it to where I wanted to go after having to go towards Valencia, transfer to another line, and then take this train to the end of the line at Lliria. From here I figured it was only 45 minutes or so to the castle I wanted to see in the village of Chulilla. With no map and only unmarked roads I just guessed and started riding. After riding for about 40 minutes I realized that I had guessed wrong and headed back. Back in Lliria I humped to the top of the mountain that overlooks the village to visit the ruins of the Hermitage of Santa Barbara. The ruins weren’t much but thanks to the commanding view from the top I was able to find the road that leads to Chulilla.

On my next attempt to get to Chulilla I will take the train from my house to Lliria and pedal from there. I probably should have asked for directions in Lliria on this trip but I only had one day and you never know how long getting directions will take.

No comments:

Post a Comment

If you can't say something nice, say it here.