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Paella Valenciana

09:55 Kasia i Przemo 0 Comments Category :

Farewell with Catalunya was sudden and surprising, enough to make us feel that disappearing behind us peaks of Montsant seemed to shout... don't go yet, no no no! Or maybe that was us actually, not the peaks. But there was so much more to explore, something was shouting too. That was we found ourselves in Valenciana climbing in many different places.
We didn't jump on the walls greedy though, not at all actually. First we've arrived to Montanejos.


The name Montanejos meaned for us couple of things.
A) large climbing region
B) hot springs
Kasia (as usually, when there is any A) option and B) hot springs) choosed second option. Not that I didn't have a choice, but when somebody wide open her eyes with passion says magic words "hot springs" then there is not much choice actually. We didn't found any topos online for Montanejos anyway, so we jumped into maybe not very hot, but not ice cold spring and spent quite a nice morning freezing in cristal clear water along with indian people on organized trip (for whos Kasia became a guide - yes, down here, no, it's not that cold, toilets are closed, no, there is no changing room neither) and a few local people.


In the afternoon we've moved to Jerica, a little town, which name - which origin is actually arabic - means "eastern slope", where we have even managed to only send one - but long, 40m - 6a+.


Our good climbing has been interrupted by rain coming so we've decided to carry on driving - towards much bigger climbing spot - Chulilla.


We could actually write a separate post about Chulilla itself. For many reasons climbing was not going as well as we might think. We've been also thrown away by grades too, we've been climbing 6a which felt like at least 6b+, mostly because of quite highly polished holds. The other time thunderstorm with havy rain, on day fiesta, other day fiesta, way too hot to climb. For all these reasons during over a week we've spent in Chulilla we've had an amazing time, but we didn't climb much. We've got to know all the region, we've explored Valencia and we really enjoyed fiesta with locals.

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If you have ever thought to climbing around orange plantations - come to Gandia. But not like us, in May! It's really hot there - we've been getting up at 6am, to be at 7am on crag and climb before sun will make it's way to the rock, which in practice gave us about 3 hours of climbing. But even here we've spent a few days, as we've found quite a nice place to sleep and there was a beach nearby, which as you know is very practical, as on the beach are located showers. Climbing routes here are really interesting, rock is a bit polished too, but not as bad as some of Chulillas routes and we really enjoyed climbing when sun didn't put us off yet. Perfect sunny spot for winter climbing.

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Some people has been climbing next to us in Gandia and after a while we've started a conversation - their down, Kasia belaying me, and myself, on the wall, swapping my hands on holds from time to time and maybe moving up slightly, to reasonably actively attend to conversation. They did recommend us Guadalest, a few hours away spot with concentration of 6a-6c routes which for us seemed to be perfect.


So early in the morning we've already been going through winding road towards Guadalest. Mekka of coach buses, sunburned seaside tourists, pearl of Velencian tourist agencies. Town known of being known and that it is a MUST SEE. Because apart from crowds of people, stores full of souvenirs and huge pay parkings, it wasn't much different from any other Spanish towns. But climbing was first class though. Kasia for the good start did onsight 6b, and after that all the rest (about other ten) from the same - shaded - sector. I was trying to keep her pace but last three she did only herself anyway. And the rock formations on some of the routes were simply extreamally beauitful. Unfortunately there was only once sector in the shadow so we've added Guadalest to our list of perfect winter climbing destinations and we've carried on further. That way we've found ourselves in Petrer.



We didn't expect anything unusual with Petrer. Somewhere online we've found free campsite and climbing around that. There wasn't many routhes we've had topos for - at least in compare to Chulilla - but it was enough for us. We have arrived there at night and we've already knew that it will be amazing, as we've been in the middle of nature park and the road which was going there was really small and forgotten. Complete quietness, darkness, stars and just ourselves.
Next morning we wanted just to go several kilometers to the town to do little shopping so we doesn't have to go buy food everyday. But then we found out that the only road going from campsite to the town is closed. But we've asked some people met along the road about the alternative (so we doesn't have to go alllll the way back and around the mountains) and the only thing they've been telling us that there is a fiesta (!) in Petrer and we just have to go there. And the road? There is a diversion and is not so bad, and they showed us the way through hills and dirt tracks.

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So fiesta again. A few days of defilades Christians and Mouros, which were about taking the castle once by Christians, once by Mouros, peacufully (!) over the centuries. We've spent our days climbing around local crags - and local climbers helped us again here, who drawed for us topos of local sector and gave us guidebook to make pictures. That way from a few routes we knew it became a several dozens. And evenings we've spent watching defilades in beautiful dresses from  ------ and sounds of orchestra which gave them a rhythm. We couldn't  stop watching them and we've been coming almost everyday to find out if they are going again. And they did :).

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After that we went to Andalucia but will write about that next time. And for now have a look on our video from Valencia: