I started the day by booking tonight’s accommodation. Hotel Manises’ rate had gone up from normal €35 to €70 (Saturday night with festivities in Valencia) and furthermore, they were full. So, for €78 I am booked at the Valencia Airport Travelodge in Manises. I am hoping things go down, henceforth!
First I headed toward the Cathedral to see what was happening, but instead found myself at the bridge where a procession was to start. I took a seat on a bench in the shade, with some other old women, and waited. There was much coming and going of important functionaries dressed in black suits, a couple of nuns in black habit, local police in dashing bullet proof gear, volunteers in royal blue shirts handing out cards with the words of a hymn that had been written for this occasion, and ordinary onlookers. Some impressive singing started, but nothing else was in sight, so I gave up, knowing that this could go on for hours.
Instead, I went down into the linear park that runs through the city, and headed in the direction to join the Camino. This park was full of Saturday exercisers – I walked past outdoor facilities including but not limited to: soccer, basketball, baseball, track and field including pole vaulters vaulting, bands playing, zumba classes, drum groups, and ping pong. Cyclists and walkers galore.
Finally I turned off this organized urban area onto a dirt path following the fluvial route. This felt more like a camino. Especially when I got to an interesting pedestrian highway overpass.
A few km later, I left this path and entered Manises, by the Valencia airport. Sometimes an airport Travelodge is exactly what you need.
I’ll admit to some serious doubts tonight about my fortitude. Remember I said that walking caminos gives me a sense of youth? Well, at the moment it is giving me a definite feeling of old age! I am exhausted, my whole body hurts, especially my feet, and I don’t think I can walk the planned 25 km tomorrow. Furthermore I can’t contact the only lodging in Cheste. At least the commuter train serves all the towns for the next several days, so I can always get a bed somewhere, after I see where I get to, but thinking about that makes my head hurt.
Spoiler alert: I went to bed at 7:30 pm, stayed there for 11 hours (very very rare for me), mostly sleeping. I awoke during the night but my feet still hurt en route to the bathroom. Finally at 6:30 a.m., I got up, surprised that my feet were improved, and my mood had lifted. One should never underestimate the effects of jet lag and sleep-deprivation.
3 thoughts on “Day 1. Valencia to Manises (8.5 km officially; my legs did 12 km )”
That was an eventful start! Wishing your feet continue to improve and carry you the distance. Loved that drumming band.
Valencia’s lodging has skyrocketed, unfortunately.
Buen Camino regardless, and I look forward to reading about how many of those 25 km you did after your refreshed night of sleep 🙂
I sure know what you mean about limitations, Clare. I know you’ll figure out a way to make things work. Best wishes.