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Published: November 25th 2018
Our Hiking Group
This is the before hike picture to Montanejos. As always, we are full of spirit before the hike.
to Nov 20: Speaking of phones, both Kathy and I have Spanish phones numbers now and we are taking Spanish classes. Every once in a while, one of us will get a call on our Spanish phone and the person on the other ends says, “blah blah blah.” Since we have no idea what they are saying, we say “No entiendo!” The other person then says, “blah blah blah”…again. We then say, “No hablo español". After a couple of rounds of this, they finally hang up. I have often wondered what these people were saying. I hope they are not saying, “Get out of the apartment, Godzilla is coming” or maybe “Get out now, your building is on fire.” We just hang up and happily go about our business not knowing that our lives may end at any moment.
Interestingly, almost to the date, on Oct 14th, 1957, Valencia experienced a devastating flood as the Turia River ran through the city. Nearly three quarters of the city was flooded and over 60 people died. The following year, the city embraced a plan to divert the river to the Mediterranean Sea. Born out of a crisis, the old riverbed
Scenic town of about 1 thousand folks. Surrounded by majestic mountains.
is now a park that allows folks to bicycle and walk/jog through much of the city without the use of roads. The park, 6 miles long, is called the 'Garden of the Turia' and boasts numerous ponds, paths, fountains, flowers, soccer fields, cafés, artwork, athletic track, and more. The Turia is a significant part of our Valencian experience since we live across the street and use it for navigation, biking, walking, and entertainment.
On the weekend of October 14th
, we took our first hiking trip to Mola de Segart in Gilet, Spain, just outside of Valencia. I think that I had some pictures from my last post. Kathy organized this adventure through a “hiking meet ups.” It was fun. Twelve or so people were in attendance and the hike was challenging considering that Kathy and I have not done any hiking except in the flats of Valencia. We started off the morning by meeting at a subway station in Valencia and loading up 4 or 5 cars for a 45 minute trip to Gilet. There we spent the next hour drinking coffee and getting to know one another at the local monastery. Then we hiked for about 3 hours.
The hike was good with several spots of bouldering...my favorite!!!
Then we stopped at the same Monastery for after-hike beers for about an hour. Then we went home. It seemed we did more socializing then hiking but the hike was strenuous as you can see from the pictures.
The next weekend we traveled with the same group for an overnight trip to Albarracin. We started the weekend with a 6 mile strenuous and adventurous hike in Montanejos. We met at the same subway station and loaded up into a couple of cars for the trip to Montanejos. --This Meetup is really working for us. Since we don’t have any method to travel far outside the city, the access to transportation and knowledgeable hiking buddies is working in our favor.-- We reached Montanejos in an hour and of course had coffee before the hike. Montanejos is a quaint little town nestled in the mountains north of Valencia. Located within the province of Castellón, a region between Teruel and Castellón, it was developed prior to 1600 and now has 604 inhabitants. The scenery was definitely worth the effort as you can see from the pictures.
After the hike we imbibed in adult beverages before heading to our next destination…Albarracin. Albarracin
Fortuneltly there were chains and cables for stability.
is the highlight of the weekend. The group checked into one of the local “youth” hostels and took off in search of the evenings dining experience. After a couple of hours roaming the narrow streets, we finally found a small restaurant ”willing” to serve us tapas and drinks. This was about midnight…just about right for Spain dining. Our problem was that our party consisted of about 8 people and the restaurants were not capable of serving that many people on such short notice. Apparently, restaurant space is at a premium in Albarracin. Kathy and I left the restaurant about 1:00am leaving the others to party the night away. Judging from the stories at breakfast, that is exactly what they did. But our new friends were up for the challenge and on Sunday we toured the city streets and outskirts of the small village. Albarracin is very scenic with lots of history. It is a locality and Spanish municipality of the southwest of the province of Teruel, autonomous community of Aragon. It has a population of 1054 inhabitants. The town has been a National Monument since 1961 and holds the Gold Medal for Merit in the Fine Arts of 1996 (whatever
Scenic View of Montanejos
From the top, this was the view of Montanejos. Funny enough, we hiked for about 3 hours. When we reached the top, there was a small shack with a new 4 wheel drive in the driveway. If you only knew you could ride to the top.
that is), and is proposed by Unesco to be declared a World Heritage Site for the beauty and importance of its historical heritage. Check out the history on Wikipedia.
We were fortunate to have our second quest...Wendy from our Spanish Meetup Group in Lexington KY. Wendy was spending several weeks in Malaga Spain taking a class to teach English as a second language to Spaniards. During her trip, Wendy spent a weekend with us in Valencia. Did we have fun walking and talking and just seeing the sites! We toured old town, the town square, the business district, the Turia, the City of Sciences and Arts, and the beach. For a 24 hour period, we covered a lot of ground and Wendy was up to the task. Kathy and I walk a lot but Wendy was right there with us all the way. Unfortunately, I can't find the pictures from that weekend. Ummm!!! I will blame it on Kathy, but don't tell her. Mums the word...right?!!
Healthcare…we all like to talk about healthcare…right! Spain has a universal healthcare system and seems to maintain a quality network of hospitals and medical centers throughout the country. As part of our
Kathy in Her Element
Kathy is always up for an adventure.
visa application, Kathy and I maintain a private healthcare policy. We have just begun to establish our healthcare in Spain because we have finally found some light at the end of the tunnel. So Kathy goes to an internist to establish a relationship with a physician in case she needed one (What???.. ain’t I good enough no more?) – anyway…one that spoke English. It was comical. She was able to get an internist appointment the next morning. She went to the physician and he said “digame” meaning, tell me what is wrong with you. It seems that in Spain, you don’t go to the doctor unless you are sick. Make sense!!! Somewhat taken aback, she asked for a flu shot and renewal of prescriptions. She was there less than 10 minutes. Ha! She found out she didn’t even need to see a doctor. She just had to go to the pharmacy and for nominal fee, the pharmacist would give her the flu shot.
What we have learned is that most Spaniards don’t go to the doctor unless they are having a problem. Also, the pharmacy carries most medications “over the counter” for a fraction of what is charged in
The after hike picture. Never as full of spirit as the before hike shot.
the states. With that said, I read the other day where Spain has either surpassed or is about to surpass Japan with the longest life span. That doesn't surprise me. Spaniards walk everywhere.
Well at the same time that Kathy saw her internist, I made an appointment to see the internist two weeks in advance. They clearly thought I was crazy….how would you know that you needed to see the physician in two weeks? Are you planning on being sick? After Kathy’s experience, I cancelled my appointment and just got my refills in the pharmacy. Who knew!!!! It is good to have someone run interference for you so you don’t look dumb.
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