Algar FallsI’ve been a bit neglectful about writing lately but have a good excuse… I have been sitting sunning myself in Spain for ten days!

Okay that’s actually a not very good excuse at all and isn’t this blog supposed to be about tough endurance type things anyway- not sunbathing, gentle walks along the beach front and dipping into a lovely cool pool?

Well yes but it’s also good to take a little time out once in a while (although along with the cruise I have been taking more time out than most!) My Dad lives in the Costa Blanca region, in the lovely Spanish town of Catral, so the plan was to spend some quality time with him and my step mum.

It wasn’t all sunbathing though- we did do our share of walking and exploring. I also took myself off for cool evening walks around the town, watching the late evening light turn the mountains purple and spotting bats flittering around my head as they hungrily gulped insects.

We took the train to the city of Elche, known for its extensive palm groves, the scale of which could only be truly appreciated when we climbed the narrow twisting stairway to the top of the bell tower of the Basilica de Santa Maria. They were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000 and are a delight to wander through.

Elche palm tree groves from the Basilica

Elche palm tree groves from the Basilica

The river Vinalopo

The river Vinalopo

We also took a coach trip, passing the high rise towers of Benidorm (shudder!!) to the Algar waterfalls, which involved a steep climb up flights of wooden steps to the top of the falls. There was loads of flowering pink blossom everywhere which gave some great photo opportunities.

The Algar Falls- upper falls

The Algar Falls- upper falls

After admiring the falls (a few hardy souls jumped in the icy cold waters for a swim) it was time to head for El Castell de Guadalest, a small town in the mountains with an extensive Moorish history and a castle perched high on the rocks. The old part of the town is accessed by a small rock tunnel, which opens up onto the main street with a breathtaking view over the bright turquoise reservoir. I helped to burn off my egg and chips lunch by climbing up steps to the castle ruins to a viewpoint across the surrounding mountain range, only marred by a few ominous rumbles of thunder.

Guadalest

Guadalest

Guadalest Reservoir

Guadalest Reservoir

I have posted a few photographs to indulge my touristy side…but don’t worry! Normal endurance type services will resume very soon… the holiday is now over and I have serious work to do. The Gritstone Grind looms in September, the Beacons Ultra in November and I may have rather stupidly entered something tough and epic for September 2015… Details soon!!

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