One of the best things about travel is the serendipitous moments you don’t plan for or expect: making new friends, jumping on a surprise opportunity, stumbling onto a unique cultural happening. Although we love to hike, hiking in Spain was not something we had really considered when we made our plans for our month-long visit there in February. And then we met Richard Price and his lovely wife Maria, who moved to Valencia less than a year ago. In the small world department, Richard is the brother of my friend and former co-worker, Susan Bachmore (she connected us when she found out we were headed to Valencia).
Since we were staying with our friends David and Cindy Thomas, they also got to meet Richard and Maria. While we were traveling down south, Richard contacted David and invited us all to join him in a group hike when we returned to Valencia before heading home to Colombia.
Which is how we found ourselves on a 20-km hike (!) with the Valencia Mountain Enthusiast Club to a beautiful area called Los Órganos de Benitandús.
After meeting in the parking lot of the Mestalla football stadium in Valencia, we drove for an hour to the picturesque little village of Alcudia de Veo. From there, we started our hike in the Sierra Espadán natural park – climbing over 2,000 feet to the Órganos de Benitandús – imposing rock formations that must have reminded someone of a church pipe organ. The views from that height were breathtaking.
We hope this will be the first of many “Hiking in Spain” posts. There’s so much to see on foot in this spectacular country!