We got up early this morning so that we could look around Guadalest before the coaches arrived.
It was magical walking round the deserted streets which were bathed in golden light from the rising sun. I’ve just read that the fortress was built by the Moors 1,300 years ago and the Portal tunnel through the rocks was 15 metres long. It must have taken an eternity to carve that out of the rock.
I took the opportunity to take a lot more photos of Guadalest as it was deserted.
The only person we saw during our walk round was the car park attendant, it seems before all the vehicles start arriving he puts on the hat of street cleaner! He was pushing a little cart down the street as we walked past him up to the village square.
It was time to leave El Castell de Guadalest, I’m really glad we came up here again this morning.
I stopped to take some photos of the mountains (as if I didn’t already have enough) and a little cat came over and started rubbing itself round my ankles, I was rather confused when I bent over to take a photo of him and he appeared to have changed colour! Apparently there were TWO little cats and the other one had appeared as if by magic!
Time was getting on and we decided to shoot off to the Fonts de l’Algar before it got very crowded there. We weren’t relishing sharing mountain roads with lots coaches.
Unsurprisingly it was yet another windy steep road going to the tourist attraction and the mountains were covered in white netting protecting trees beneath them, it wasn’t an attractive sight, we didn’t hold out much hope for the attractiveness of the waterfalls.
We were a little concerned when we arrived at the small town having followed the few signs directing us to the Falls. The road through the town got narrower and narrower and all the car parks had chains across them!
Darren’s nerve finally gave out when we appeared to be going out of the town uphill into the olive groves and we’d reached a bend in the road with a chained off car park on one side and a restaurant with an overhanging balcony on the other side. He had visions of being completely stuck, there was nowhere to turn round so he asked me to get out and see if I could unchain the gates, luckily at that moment a man unchained the gates so he could park his motorbike so I asked whether he would let us turn round there. I told him we’d been looking for the waterfall but there was nowhere to park. Luckily his English was very good, he told us their car park was closed today because they were hosting a wedding but if we carried on up the mountain we would come to another car park and the Falls.
I thanked him and we carried on, we EVENTUALLY came to a sign for a campsite and followed that. The campsite itself was closed but the gates were open and there was a dog chained to a post by reception, sunning himself. Darren asked me to go and see if I could find someone, I was a little concerned about going near the dog because he was rather large and I didn’t know whether he’d take my leg off! However looks can be deceptive and he rolled over for me to tickle his tummy, just as his owner appeared. He was a nice man, he gave me a map and told me the Falls were 800 metres down the mountain (but of course!) and we could park while we visited them but couldn’t stay overnight, which was fine by us.
The walk down in the sun was an eye opener (and ear opener) it was silent except for the hum of thousands of bees buzzing around in the net ‘cages’ it was fantastic.
After a false start we finally found the entrance to the Falls. There was a group of friends already in there and a young couple, we probably would have been the first there if we hadn’t had trouble parking.
We enjoyed walking around but (and I know this sounds VERY spoilt) we got the feeling it was a ‘manufactured’ tourist attraction, some of the river water had been diverted to make some little waterfalls, which is quite understandable and at 4 Euros each it wasn’t expensive but we’ve visited Iguassu Falls in Brazil and seen lots of huge waterfalls in Canada and South Africa and our favourite waterfall, Aber Falls, in Wales so it wasn’t quite up to the mark.
When we’d finished looking round we went for coffee and see if you can guess…. tostada con tomate, yet again, then we walked back to the van via the second entrance which meant walking back up to the top of the waterfalls again and along a path running along the side of the mountain. That was the best bit, it had great views over the valley AND a tunnel which Darren had to walk through with his knees bent, fortunately I could do it on tiptoe!
We met a man wandering round looking lost, he couldn’t speak English but we think he was asking whether there was an exit nearby. We showed him the exit on the map and hoped that we could get out of it. We think he must have followed us because we heard the turnstile going round as we got back out onto the road and walked back up to the van.
That was when we made a HUGE mistake, we believed the SAT NAV! It told us NOT to go the way we’d come in but to turn right out of the car park so we did! The road didn’t look too bad to start with but after we’d passed the Dinopark that we’d seen the advertisement for on our way in, it started to go downhill in more ways than one until eventually the road was not only very narrow with broken edges and very rough, it also narrowed down to a track and yet the SAT NAV wanted us to follow it, NOT ON YOUR NELLIE!
Luckily there was a piece of wasteland at that point so Darren reversed into that and we backtracked, hoping that the man in the car park wouldn’t see us! He had his back to us as we drove past so maybe we were lucky.
As we came to the entrance to the Falls there was a coach parked right outside (at the narrowest point) we would have been able to get through without too much effort but the driver and his mate decided that would be a good time to get out of the coach and stand beside it making the road even narrower! Thanks guys!
We had a slight issue when we got into Callosa d’en Sarrià, we couldn’t find our way out and kept turning up at the same roundabout! Aaaaargh, let us out of here!
We were pleased to see the back of the Falls and EXTREMELY pleased when we arrived at San Antonio aire in Altea to be told there were a few pitches available. The owner was SO helpful and organised, she even offered to trim the little tree on the pitch if we wanted to put our awning out (we’ve only put the awning out twice ever so that was highly unlikely) and we were chilling out on our pitch very quickly recovering from the traumatic journey here.
We parked up and went over to the sea to stretch our legs.