Monday, 1 June 2020

Valencia to Alicante Off Road Route 2019

Climbing a steep incline not far 
from Banyeres de Mariola 

Late November 2019 and I met up with Jimmy and Rab at Sagunto castle outside the city of Valencia, with the intention of driving as much of the way to Alicante as would be possible on unsurfaced tracks.. 
...what followed was one of the most amazing and enjoyable drives I’ve done to date. Although we averaged speeds of just 16km/h, driving mostly in the low range 4WD gears, this introduced a slow and deliberate rhythm, like riding the trails by pony or horse, and I did not find it tiring, like the type of concentration necessary for long distances by road. 

The off-road stages of our journey (map Wikiloc)

We used the Wikiloc app to record our route, the flags on the map above indicate photos taken along the way. Follow the link below to see the journey details recorded there, as well as over fifty photos I took..

We also recorded a little video footage of the driving, and some of the places we stopped to camp. I’m sure this will give you a window onto our world as we enjoyed the scenery and ate up the kilometres on the dusty tracks..

Making more off-road journeys of this type is a pleasure afforded to us by driving rugged 4WD vans, bridging the gap between the camper van experience, and the 4x4 scene - it’s great to have a little more comfort and space inside, without sacrificing too much of the off road capability. 

Overnight near Enguera

There is nothing too challenging on these routes, but with some tricky sections and steep climbs, low range gearing is going to put a lot less strain on the clutch and drivetrain. Rougher, rocky and corrugated stages, will put more stress and the suspension and steering components, but there is no hurry, and lowering tyre pressures provides a smoother ride as well as more traction. 

The evening shadow of a tree divides 
the camp near Biar 

In all we covered a total of 233km on this journey over a period of six days. Climbing to over 1000m in altitude on these tracks was thrilling, and the views well worth it, though at times it’s best not to take ones eyes off the way ahead! There were some real precipices, and at some points actual exposure, driving around mountain sides on trails not much wider than the vehicles, and taking steep hairpin bends in low gears downhill.. 

Then evenings having a beer, and talking over the days route to the smell of the breeze in the pines, and something nice frying on the stove. 

Great memories!
More updates to come from this years adventures. 
Have a good day!

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