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TDE2012 day 7 – back to the nature reserves: mas de barberans > rincons

we leave quite early – on our way out of the village, we wave good-bye to the people who helped us the day before. such a small place!

one lane roads winding through the village barely wide enough for the TWIKE and everyone knows everyone > better not be in trouble with any of your neighbours > they are about 2.5 metres away from your front window!

TW231 waiting for us downstairs

TW231 waiting for us downstairs

lots of space in comparison to the roads in the small village

lots of space in comparison to the roads in the small village

just as we leave the village behind us, we get our first glimpse of the sea in the distance. there is still a lot of dust in the air and would it not have been for the sun reflecting on the water, we would not have been able to see it!

our first glimpse of the sea

our first glimpse of the sea

we descend slightly to get back to our seemingly endless olive tree plantations. everywhere, the trees are being treated with chemicals – I’ve really got to look up why olive treas would actually need such treatment!

endless olive plantations

endless olive plantations

our chosen route takes us – yet again – back into a nature reserve and up some hills. they are less and less green, more than shrubs and the occasional pine tree cannot be seen.

from the plateau up to our next hills far off

from the plateau up to our next hills far off

up there is where we go

up there is where we go

the vistas, however, remain impressive and the small villages sleepy.

basic way of life in the nature reserve

basic way of life in the nature reserve

on our way back up to the plateau

on our way back up to the plateau

one thing we were waiting for, however, happened today: we crossed the 0° Greenwich meridian and are now officially heading WEST 🙂

crossing towards W

crossing towards W

now and then we stop in one of the small villages due to the temperature and us getting fed-up with the water we are constantly drinking in order to avoid dehydration. whilst we drink some non-water drink, we are usually surrounded by people asking us about the TWIKE and telling us how good they think this kind of travelling is.

during this morning stage we finally enter the province of Valencia – our destination can no longer be too far off!

finally in valencia province

finally in valencia province

in onda, at the end of our first charge, we arrive and try to find a place for a tri-phase quick-charge. usually, the fire department is a good place to start. today, however, we find the place easily, but we are informed that we could not charge here. the fire department chief explains us that this [electricity] is public property and that there could not be any private consumption of such public property. furthermore, if he allowed us to charge, this would then represent a precedence for *any* other electric car driver in spain…and where would that lead? him working more for electric car drivers than for the local community! (he gave us even more explanations…but you get the idea!)

we then headed to a local VW garage and were greeted with nothing less than open arms. the guys there want to know everything about the TWIKE and are more than happy to give us the electricity we need!

charging @ VW in onda

charging @ VW in onda

we return after 75 mins to find our TWIKE well cared for and the guys ready to take some pictures sitting in the TWIKE. one of them even went home to get a proper camera 🙂

our afternoon is rather uneventful – nice landscapes but more of the same as we already have seen. as we arrive in lleida, we park in the city center and whilst we drink some non-water beverage and admire the old church just across the road, we reserve our rooms in a very small hotel outside of lleida, in a village called Rincon.

lerida, just across the road...

lerida, just across the road…

the friendly hotel owner, Andrew, and his two daughters are very interested in the TWIKE and we are more than happy to give them a ride and answer their questions. the hotel is located far away from any noisy neighborhood – no-one else is there today and I then go to the very nice chilled-out pool area and enjoy a dip in the swimming pool before eating some dinner and try to upload some pictures to my server – the uplink is non-hspa 3g-based, every picture takes a good 5-7 minutes to upload > to one service alone! this is why you’ve not been seeing any updates on our flickr-feed yet.

the night is very relaxing and we are looking forward to our next stage tomorrow – we’ll be heading out into one of the largest nature reserves yet, complete with 500m climbs and perilous-looking roads leading to 1083 meters – our so-called sea-avoiding-corner. the pin we set on our blue line close to Valencia which makes our blue line from Andorra to Alicante not cross the sea but instead stay on land.

Andrew, our hotel owner told us that tomorrow will be one of the hottest days for a long time – naaah, we think, just how hot can it get? we’ve been to india with the TWIKE and have seen it all…