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            Marcia drives the 62 miles to Orba and the little town nearby in the hills called La Plana.  Brian told me in July it was Paris des Orba but in the meantime the new major changed the name to La Plana.  We met Brian at 8:30 (2 hrs late) and he guided us to his house here.  When we arrived we met Barbara and Ray and his wife Margaret, who used to work for Brian in his nursing home business in Nottingham, UK.  After we got unloaded they took us to dinner at Awraba in Orba and we had calamari Romano, shrimp and roast chicken washed down with, as usual, rioja.  We got to bed at 3 AM.

We woke at 7AM on this the 66th day (53 in Iberia;38 in Spain) of our trip.  It is now two-thirds over.

  Another dream is what woke me up.  At 11:30 I finally got up.  I helped Brian learn how to transfer digital photos from his new SONY camera to his computer.  We visited awhile and then I went for my run down the hill into the orange and olive tree groves that are all over here.  The house sits on a hill at the end of a valley looking out over the city of Denia and the Sea.  It is very beautiful and the weather is nice and warm.  As I'm running through the road by the trees I begin to smell something funny and then I hear a spraying noise.  After a bit a see a guy spraying the trees with this huge pressure hose and note he is wearing a gas mask and full regalia.  I conclude that it was pesticide and hightail it out of there as fast as I can run while trying to hold my breath.  I made it out OK, climbed the hill back to the house and we packed up, said good-bye to Brian and then at 6:40 PM Marcia drives us north for the 123 mile trip to the city of Castellon (cast-eh-yohn) passing Valencia on the way.  The city is on the coast but not a beach city.  We arrive at the Intur Hotel at 8:45.  After checking in we go for a walk in the downtown streets. 

 I called Jairo to see if he knew the name of any good restaurants here and while waiting for him to return the call we stopped for tapas at a little place called "Pintxo a Pintxo."  Jairo called back and recommended two places; Casa Carlos & Penapen.  The owner of the place was called Poldo (short for Leopoldo) and he knows Casa Carlos and is his friend.  He gives me directions on the map and a card with a note from him in Espa˝ol.  We walked to Penapen first because it was closer to the hotel, but we found it was closing and they wouldn't let us in.  So much for restaurants staying open in Spain to 2 AM - its not true.  We then hiked over and finally found Casa Carlos and as we walked it, it looked like they were going to tell us the same thing, so I quickly handed the card Poldo gave me and they smiled and seated us.  So that was lucky.  We decided to let the waiter suggest our dinner, which we rarely do.  He then proceeded to bring us mussels (which I don't care for and I groaned - but they were very good - I ate them fast), then polpo (octopus), langostinos & shrimp, and finally a big plate of sea bass.  We finished it with local tinto and a glass of pacharßn and then walked back to the hotel and got to bed at 2 AM.

I woke at 11 AM and got up at 1 PM.  That annoying phone ringing every time asking if we are staying another day, and we say no we are checking out.  We checked out at 1:30 PM and then I did my run through the city streets and at the end I find Marcia sitting by fountain near church where we were last night.  I saw the open market and bought 4 perfect little pears.  Then we both went for a cappuccino at Il Caffe di Roma and relaxed with a crossword puzzle.  Back to the hotel to change and get the car out of the garage and head north for our final leg to Barcelona.

 

KJH                                                               Go To -> NEXT DIARIO #40 

Castellon, Espa˝a

Kenneth J. Hoffer, MD

KHofferMD@AOL.com         RETURN TO INDEX              

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