The Sierra Natura naturist campsite in Valencia, built by Diego and Carmen several decades ago, has stood the test of time well. The camp is a haven of interesting Gaudi/Hundertwasser/Hobbit/Homemade housing styles with various paths which snake around the cool pool. With the benefit of having visited, I can also heartily recommend the friendly and accommodating service of the staff. Pascal and Clarisse had organized a week of naked hiking based here and I was honoured that Polly and I had been invited to join. The weather forecast was not especially positive for late October, but we determined to make the best of what presented itself during our stay.
The campsite has several well marked trails which wind their way through the surrounding forestry. Our first day was spent on a not-so-warm hike around the outside perimeter of the campground. Once we'd acclimatized somewhat the next day we took the longer "white" route of about 14km. This snaked through the canyons and brush of the scrubby landscape, along an easy forestry/olive farm trail, past deeply ice/water scoured valley walls. As the day warmed up we were able to strip off as more suited to the intended plan for the week. We passed several circular reservoir stone tanks which provide emergency water for helicopters to fight the local fires which so easily start in the dry summers here. The only people we saw were olive workers in a car and a man in a tractor repairing the recently storm-damaged track, they all waved in response as our little group trailed along and greeted them in passing. Arriving back at the campsite the next day's forecast was for steady rain, so most of the group visited a cave in a town some way off. Polly and I taking a quiet day to recuperate from the damp overnight tent experience.
The next day we decided to drive towards the coast to get warmer weather and arrived after a long-ish drive at an area of new-builds perched above the coast. The sky was threatening with dark clouds as we set off across the scrubby terrain heading down the nature reserve towards the sea. As the temperatures lifted so the clothes descended. The few people we passed were somewhat reticent, which I found unusual and put down to the nearness of the population centres. The path led us into a brambly gorge which wound it's way towards some rather fine looking houses near the bay. Dressing now we headed to the beach where Verena and I skinny-dipped briefly under the curious gaze of the remaining October tourists. Refreshed, we headed up the hill to a steep and thin trail winding it's way around the headland. There were a couple of small but tricky steps with chains where one had to take extra care as although the route was easy the steep and serious drop below was also easy. Turning the corner of the headland we emerged onto a gorgeous ridge, which we followed up and along it's fairly exposed coastline, as the late afternoon sun glinted over the route ahead guiding us back to our vehicles. A great day out.
The following day we also drove out towards the coast to take advantage of the warmer weather and I'll write this piece up later as I have to hit the beach right now 🙂