DAY 30 Sunday 30 September
Final packing and off for breakfast in the Plaza Mayor; the usual tostada com tomate.
The Tourist Information Office is open at weekends and there are maps of several longer walks around Chelva to explore in November; the weather will be just right then. I discover that I can walk to the Rio Turia via something that translates a Death Pass. Mmmm.
I walk north out of Chelva and discover a whole new part of town. Here are tiny whitewashed chapels dedicated to various Virgins, the bull ring, cemeteries, the football club and best of all, el Fuente de “La Gitana”.
There are shady, pollarded plane trees and picnic tables and I sit alone surrounded by the sound of numerous waterspouts, gushing basins and cascades, while leaf-shadows play on the white walls. Heaven; the Naiads are smiling.
The sound of running water fills the valley.
I pass an interesting piece of irrigation infrastructure; one channel splits into two with a carved stone plaque showing the irrigation system around Chelva- it’s very extensive.
I walked back to town for lunch; Chelva is bustling; people sitting in bars, hikers, wandering families and the only restaurant is full; several bands of bikers rumble by. I have chipporones (baby squid), tortilla and a beer outside a bar.
The bus leaves Chelva for Valencia at 5.10pm, so I have the day to do nothing.
BUT it didn’t, because it is now running on the ‘winter’ timetable and it left at 4pm; I wasn’t the only one waiting in vain! So I have an extra night here and will catch the 8.35am tomorrow.... I’m obviously meant to be here for the whole month.