Having returned south, we found better weather, although it was very windy. We spent Sunday 26 February exploring Dénia by cycling along the coast path into town. The wind made for a chilly but enjoyable day with a visit to the castle which has an impressive history. The campsite at Los Pinos was excellent value for money with friendly staff and a sense of ‘community’, we were invited to join a session on the Monday night but had already decided to leave as we’re due in Switzerland next Sunday!
Our attempt to make progress north was once again cut short as we passed Valencia and decided to take the scenic route off the A7 – E15 towards the mountains and hilltop town of Morella. Oranges and lemons were planted alongside almonds and olives as we drove up the dry riverbed Rambla de Cervera. The new road cuts straight through the countryside, leaving what seem like many deserted farmhouses. There are groups of huge quarry lorries carrying roadstone, making their way up the crawler lanes and we use sections of the old road to take a break to look at the views. It’s still windy and as we gain height the temperature drops to just 4 degrees. In places we use the crawler lane when the road is 6%. As we reach the summit at Port de Quero, 998m there are poles to indicate the road sees snow, although there’s no evidence anywhere.
We park up at the free motorhome camping area provided by Morella, just off the N323, with a great view of the 1,000 year old walled town opposite. It’s zero degrees. Having learned the hard way on a trip to Scotland last winter, we keep the van’s heating on. This avoids the boiler getting cold and tripping out resulting in all our fresh water draining away (and the heating going off, of course). We get out the thermals and walk over to the town for a recce after driving 185 miles.