Day 20 - Thursday 17 September 2015
I made us wake up at 6.30am to watch the sun rise because our host said it was a great view from the rooftop. Jazz was very reluctant but I made her get up and join me. It was freezing on the rooftop so I ran down to get a blanket and we sat there wrapped up together for a while.
Unfortunately there was too much cloud cover in the east so it was a bit disappointing and we went back inside after about half and hour of hoping it would get better.
It was still very early so we went back to bed because we were both really tired and the shops weren't open yet so we couldn't go and get any supplies.
I set my alarm but accidentally snoozed for a bit longer than expected and we didn't get up again until 9.30am.
We packed our bags and got ready to go to a place called Montanejos (Mon-teh-nay-hos) as we had heard there were hot springs there. We thought this would make good use of the car and make the hassle of hiring it at least some what worth it.
On the way to the car we stopped to get some baked goods & orange juice, get cash out and go to the pharmacy. All of this took longer than expected so we were running a lot later than initially planned.
We got to the car and I was going to be the driver for the first time. Ange who we met the night before said she much preferred being the driver to the passenger so I thought I should give it a go. It was a bit scary at first and under pressure I would reach for the gear box on the LHS and slam my arm into the door instead. I got the hang of it but continued gripping the steering wheel pretty tight.
All went fine and we drove out of Valencia onto the highway. The drive was beautiful, we drove up and down all of these windy roads to get over the hills, no tunnels to make it easier or quicker but it's such a beautiful countryside.
I think the drive took about 90 minutes and we got to the town Montanejos which was very small. We tried to find the tourist office so we got get a map of where the hot springs actually were but got a bit lost. After a bit of back and forth and a few confusing conversations in Spanish with some locals we found it. The lady at the tourist office drew on a map and showed us where to drive and it didn't look too far.
We got back in the car and set off still a bit unsure of the instructions but happy enough to risk it.
We drove a little way and parked the car where part of the road was blocked off to have a look around.
We walked down this really steep hill that wasn't meant to be a path but we thought we could make it. About half way down this old man that was walking by tried to tell us we shouldn't be going down there and to follow the path. Or at least that's what we assume he said as it was in Spanish. We continued anyway and made it to the bottom unscathed.
We walked down to this big water way where all of this water was shooting out of the damn going about 100m into the air & across.
It looked gorgeous because there was so much water in the air it created a permanent rainbow!
We walked over the bridge to get a closer look and then decided to go down the path that we could see further along the stream. Walking down the first bit of this path we got really wet as you had to walk through the end of where the water was shooting.
We followed the path around and continued along the river for about 20 minutes. It was so beautiful and very wild. There was a path but we didn't see anyone else walking the whole time so it was nice to do something less-touristy.
When the path came to an end we turned around and walked back to the car. We then drove back the way we came and stopped when we saw some cars parked as we figured that was the most likely spot where the springs would be.
We walked down the path and there was a clearing with a shallow pool running through it. There was a little cafe up the steps so we stopped to get some lunch first.
The pool was called Fuente de "Los Banos". There was no sand just pebbles so it was a bit uncomfortable on your feet and pretty hard to lie on but it was gorgeous.
The hot springs were definitely not hot, they were actually really cold when you first got in but once you were swimming around not so bad.
We swam further around the bed and it got even more beautiful as we went. It was just breathtaking. There was even a tiny trickle of water creating a little waterfall and a cave. We swam down the gorge for a little while taking pictures and seeing what else we could find.
Once we were tired from swimming we can back into the shallow area. If you stayed still there were these little fish that nibbled at your dead skin (like at a fish foot spa in Thailand/Malaysia etc). I've been getting blisters for most of the trip so they loved me but it tickled a lot so I only let them do it for a few minutes. Once we got out of the water it was cold so we sun bathed on the pebbles to dry off. We said that if actually worked out well that we got there later as it was warmer at that time of day.
Once we were ready we drove back into the town as Jazz had seen a flyer for some beer made with the spring water from the Montanejos river and wanted to try it. We asked at a cafe but they said we had to go to the hotel. We went to the hotel and they were delicious. We had one there and Jazz got some to take away also because she liked them so much.
I drove back to Valencia and felt much more comfortable on the road until we got into the city when I got nervous again from all of the traffic.
Before going home we drove to Museo de las Ciencias, which is the science museum. It was too late to go in but we more so wanted to have a walk around and look at the buildings and water features. We'd driven past them in a taxi the day before but wanted to see them up close. It was really awesome and we even saw a film crew shooting some kind of add or scene of a guy running on water.
Afterwards we drove back to the car park, dropped off our car and walked back to our apartment to drop off our stuff.
We freshened up and got a taxi to La Pepica, which was recommended to us from Gaby that did the tapas tour for the best Paella in town. We hadn't booked so couldn't get a table outside but that was ok, we were there for the food not the view.
The paella only came in serves for two and I wanted seafood and Jazz doesn't eat seafood so we ordered one pan each which is technically a meal for four people. Luckily it was delicious but neither of us could finish ours.
We were both exhausted afterwards as we had been up late the night before and didn't get a full nights sleep because we got up to watch the sunrise. We went home and crashed.