From Benidorm I rode to Valencia in 2 days. I felt lonely again after mixing with English-speaking people for a week. From Benidorm I rode over the Coll de Rates (660 metres) and on up to the coast South of Velencia. I camped for the first time in Europe, given that I´d picked up my camping gear at Benidorm where I´d sent it from Portugal.
I passed through the ugliest town I´d seen: Cullera. In Valencia I found a very cheap hostal: Hostal Rincon for 10 Euros. After staying 2 nights in Valencia I left in the rain and headed for the mountains. This was my worst day as it rained all day and my Goretex jacket didn´t keep me dry. I got depressed and decided to stop cycling at Barcelona and catch the train to the UK.
Next morning I awoke with an abysmal headache as I hadn´t drunk enough water the day before. This has happened a few times. This morning was so-so, but the afternoon turned out very well: I had "lunch" (3pm) at Villafames, sitting on the castle wall eating beautiful bread and cheese. The scenery after San Pau was great and I stayed at a lovely pension in Cati with the late-afternoon sun streaming through the windows. They cooked a beautiful meal for me.
From Cati I rode 130 kms to Mora D´Debre - a very hard day with mixed weather. At one point I was planning to turn left further into the mountains but as the wind was blowing strongly from that direction I turned right - with the wind and downhill. I cycled alongside the River Ebre for some kms and was surprised at its strength, after cycling through very arid countryside for so long.
Mora D'Ebre to Arboli was 60 kms with some stiff climbs. The road at one point was closed to cars because of a minor landslide, but I took off the panniers and carried my bike over a few rocks. I took a wrong turn to end up at Arboli, a tiny pueblo...as it was getting late and I was tired I called it a day. I stayed in a "refuge" for mountain-climbers.
Another windy day dawned, though sunny. I continued through the Montsant mountains. Fortunately the wind was behind me. I stopped, very tired, at Santes Creus. Another lovely dinner and breakfast at the Hostalet there. Santes Creus is home to a huge and significant monastery. This area is important for its vineyards.
From Santes Creus I continued for my rendezvous with my brother in Barcelona. Still a cold tail-wind accompanied me. I caught the train for the last 50 kms into Barcelona to miss the traffic and because I was tired.