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Bike ride in the Parque Natural de l’Albufera de Valencia

Today the weather’s sunny and much warmer, so we put swimming gear into the bag, just in case. Having failed to find much information about how or where to visit the dunes and lake, we set off with a photocopied map provided by the campsite and Strava as our guide. We rode south through the forested dunes which divide the sea from the freshwater lagoon forming the major part of the Natural Park. The infrastructure seems to have suffered from the same lack of investment we’ve encountered elsewhere, but the tracks and trails are fine for bikes and we ride down the coast towards Gola du Pujol where there’s a canal linking the lake with the sea. There’s also a large beach complex, closed at this time of year, Playa de la Garrofera, where Steve braves a swim (Bev just has a paddle, the water is still really too cold).

At Pujol, fishermen ply their trade taking visitors for a trip on the lake and we continue our ride to el Palmar. Sadly, we’ve left it too late and all the restaurants have stopped serving food. We didn’t bring a picnic so return by the main road to the van to have a quick snack before riding back to Pujol to watch the sunset. There were huge murmurations of glossy ibis and flocks of flamingo flying across the lake. It seems to be the place for youngsters to ‘hang out’ for an evening before catching the bus back into Valencia. Once the sun had gone down, we rode back to the campsite in the dark. The Spanish seem very considerate of cyclists, so it wasn’t too daunting riding on the road, where there’s a cycle lane in most places.