Day 18 - Tuesday 15 September 2015
It was our first full day in Valencia. We wanted to go to the zoo during the day and then had a tapas food tour booked for the evening.
Once we were ready to leave the apartment we walked to Plaza de la Reina where our car was parked. We were hungry so stopped for lunch in the square. I can't remember the name of the place but we got tapas - jamon, bread, olives, salad & potatas bravas. It was very yummy and we were nice and satisfied by the time we headed off on our way.
We put the address into the GPS and drove to Valencia Bioparc Zoo. My manager at work who was over in May suggested this to me so we thought we'd give it a go.
After a few wrong turns from the GPS's confusing instructions we found the place and parked in the underground car park.
I had read that the queue to get in could get really massive but when we got there, not one other person was lining up and after paying our entry fee we were in.
Jazz interpreted the map and we headed to the Madagascar area. On the way we saw some beautiful pink flamingos gathering around some water.
They had an enclosure for lemurs where you had to enter one door and then another because the lemurs were literally running around on the ground around you and jumping from tree to tree above your head. My first impulse was to bob down and get close so I could take a picture and then I wanted to pat the closest one. I was quickly told off for getting too close and didn't get to pat the little guy. We stayed in the enclosure for a little while trying to get some good pictures but once a few more people entered most of the lemurs went up into the trees.
Next up was an enclosure with deer, monkeys, pelicans & small hippos in it. The deer were really cute and I felt like they wanted us to come closure because they kept looking at us and wagging their tales.
The hippo was under water but he would swim along and pop up for air every minute or so.
We wandered around the park for ages, it was really well set up and the enclosures were set up so you could get quite close.
We saw Gorillas, Antelopes, Zebras, Elephants, Giraffes, Rhinos and lots more.
They had this area with big turtles in it and it looked like one turtle was chasing the other one around and then we realised what was happening when the bigger one caught up and they started having sex! It went on for ages, we watched for a while but felt a bit creepy and it was pretty rapey as the female turtle was still trying to get away during. While it was happening this other big turtle came out and starting circling them and we thought maybe that meant he was next. It was gross.
They also had this mere cat area where you could lean in and get quite close to them. They were really cute.
After we'd gone around the whole zoo our feet were killing us.
It was still a few hours until our food tour so we decided to go to the beach. We drove there as it was on the other side of town.
It was quite overcast and a little windy but there were still quite a few people there. We lay on our towels for a little bit to try and warm up and then went for a little swim. We both noticed that the water was very salty, we floated really easily. It was a bit chilly in the water so we splashed around for a bit before heading in. Because it was so windy there was lots of sand on our towels by the time we got out and the sand was so fine you got coated with it all over. We dried off for a little bit and drove back home. It took us a bit longer than expected as we took a few wrong turns and the traffic wasn't great. Jazz dropped me off at the apartment so I could jump in the shower and start getting ready as she found a temporary spot for the car. We were meeting the group for our tapas food tour at 8pm at plaza de la Reina so we figured we'd just drop the car off then.
We had showers and got ready but by the time we got back to the car we had gotten a parking ticket! It was in Spanish so we didn't know what it said but could see it was for between €30-€60.
We figured we'd deal with it later so put it in my bag did got in the car. We got to the plaza a little early so sat on a bench waiting.
We were shortly greeted by our host Gaby (who was a man) that grew up and lives in Valencia. There were 4 other people on the tour. Andrew & Arnel, a couple originally from the Philippines but now living Toronto, Canada. And two ladies Julia and her mum (whose name we don't remember) that live on Salzburg, Austria. Lucky for us the tour was in English!
We went to three different tapas style restaurants so we could learn about the different types of tapas. Everyone was a bit shy at first but the conversation got rolling and flowed very naturally from there. We asked Gaby lots of questions about Valencia and the others lots about where they come from. It was cool learning about their homes and cultures and telling them about Australia as none of them had ever been there.
At the final tapas place Gaby set us our final tapas challenge. To drink from a Pouron. This is kind of like a jug with a really skinny spout and it is used to share drinks around a table when you are having tapas so you don't put your mouth on it and share germs. Gaby filled it with sweet wine and we all had a go, it was hilarious! None of us were very good to start off with but we all got a bit better.
The tour finished around 10pm but we ordered a Pouron full of beer and continued going around the table each a having a go. Everyone gradually got better and better and we were all laughing and enjoying ourselves.
We all stayed there drinking beer, wine and several rounds of unusual shots of Spanish liquor until around 12.30pm when they closed. We had all used the wifi and become Facebook friends and left saying if any of us went to Toronto/Salzburg/Perth we had to get in touch. It was a really good night and Jazz and I were pretty drunk by the end of it.
When we went to walk home this group of young French people asked us for directions to a lesbian bar. We still had wifi from the restaurant we were just at so Jazz looked it up for them and then we decided to go with them. We got about a block down the road when we realised they didn't really speak any English. We were miming things to each other but it was quite confusing.
We went into a club with them and had a round of shots but they wanted to go somewhere else. We followed them out but decided on the way that it was too late and we were too drunk so said goodbye and walked home.