Oh, let me tell you about my very interesting day. I woke up early at the hostel and made the decision to hitchhike to Alicant, which in all actuality isn’t that far, about 120km south of Valencia. My intentions are to try to get to Gibraltar, and if I can, get across over to Africa for the day. Because, if I am that close to Africa, why not!
I took the train as far as I could where it was still close to the highway. That got me about 25km. I started walking. Eventually something like 5-6 miles goes by and not a soul even honks. So I thought I would try a gas station along the highway. I hung around for about 2 hours trying to catch a ride to Alicant which was now only an hour away. I had the impression that spain was like much of the rest of the EU in regards to openness and understanding to the typical backpacker…wrong! To find out they are very anti-hitchhiking here. I thought, maybe that was too far for people, so I tried a closer town called Xativa (cha-tea-bá, or hot-ee-bá i still don’t know) FAIL. I got to ask people, but still, not a single offer. The real frustrating part were the truckers thats destination was Alicant but they still said no. So I just decided to walk to Xativa instead and call it a day there.
Now at this point I haven’t managed to eat anything other than some chips at the gas station and a sandwich I made at 8am while packing. All I can think about is pasta. Must be all those tomatoes 🙂 All I could think about doing was eating the biggest bowl of pasta I can find, and if I cant find one, I’m buying it all and making it. Also screw hitching, Right then, all I wanted was to get to Xativa and not get rained on in the process, so I walked on.
So, this is where my day gets interesting. I got stopped by some local police wondering who I was and they told me to stay off the highway if I were to keep hitching. Ok, fair enough. So I took the side road which was actually shorter in some ways but took me up this huge hill. There was a good amount of road traffic but they ended up all being the same cars. This made me curious and also frustrated. I mean, give a guy a break, right.
I got to the top of the hill and there was a derelict building, I think it was for mining or something. Like many other abandoned buildings, I didn’t think anything special, so I decided this to be a good spot to cool off a bit and shoot some photos. Not even 5 minutes goes by and a car pulls up, so I hide. Then another, followed by two more. This is kind of started to make me a little nervous. What did I just get myself in to. I mean, I’m in the middle of no where on a road most definitely not traveled often in the ruins of an old mining building, not even a school or house.
One of the older men came inside, poked around and became very surprised when he ran into me. Thought I was going to give the poor guy a heart attack, Lol. After seeing my pack, he realized I was a ‘tourista’ and started talking to me. He asked me about the place and said something…I didn’t understand him, but by his thrusting of the hips and the fist pumping thing he was doing I got what he was getting at, sort of. I had first thought he was just telling me kids come here to get it on. So, my response was, yeah! I can see that. Then he said it again and point at me, as if I came here to do that. Now remember he is speaking a very lispy spanish and I dont even speak bad spanish, so I told him, I like to, but not here. Then immediately got what he was aiming at, so I took a few more picture, grabbed my shit and jetted the hell out of there. Two more cars were turning around as I left. The most popular run down vacant building…ever.
About a half mile down the road, I met another guy, who confirmed my thoughts on what the hell was going on. It turns out there is a pretty large gay community in Xativa and they like to come out to this location and meet up with each other for some quality ‘chico y chico action’ (his words). Guess that explains why there were about 9k condoms strewn around the place. I seriously just thought kids were really bored or something until I saw all the guys walking around and the gears started turning. Relieved it was just gay guys and not some weird cult thing, I walked in on.
Turns out I walked about 15 miles. Sweaty, tired, and achy from a 30lb pack; I decided to call it a night just outside of town at this run down house with the windows busted out. It looked like any other crappy falling down building here. I get there and there was music playing and some old guy hanging half naked out of a window smooching with his german shepherd. What the hell is wrong with this country. I jumped the fence went across the street and walked for another 10 minutes.
Right on the edge of town runs a small creek now currently a larger one from all the rain. I walked down a dirt road that circled around the bridge that lead to the bottom and ran smack into the back of a car. Thinking it was more gay action I hesitated, but it ended up being some couple just chilling in their car. I’m sure I surprised them too. Now at the bottom, about 50ft from the creek I set up my tent and took a poor mans shower with a very large jug of water and settled in for the night. Tomorrow – get to the station and continue onwards.
After note – Fail on the not being rained on. I got up around 3am and had to put the rain fly on. Around 5am it was so saturated I had to get up and migrate everything up to the road just under the bridge. Turns out road ruts are quite comfortable to sleep in.