Apologies for the ‘radio’ silence. DHG came to stay so I haven’t had a minute to marshal my thoughts since his arrival a week ago ( 1. Only joking by the way, he’s not D at all. Waiting for his review on Trip Advisor with trepidation even so. 2. So, marshal in this context only has one l, thanks spell check! #learningallthetime )
So to Alcoy we travelled. DHG was going back to Barcelona by train and I suggested that he start from Alcoy rather than Gandia as the ride across to Xátiva looked interesting. Let’s enjoy the scenic cross mountain route to get there and do an overnight I proposed. He agreed. Subsequently I was tipped the wink by SW ( Shoeburyness Woman ) that Guadelest was on the way to Alcoy and is well worth visiting ( it sure is )
All well and good. FAB ride there, we check in to a super 1* hotel, have a walk around the town ( yes the restaurant we were looking for was closed but the walk there and back was worth it), eat a great tapas supper at the side of the Town Hall and so to bed.
Morning breaks and I deposit DHG at the station at 08.15.
I’ve loads of time to get to Jávea for tennis at 12.00 so I have a quick squizz at Google Maps for a route.
I’ve looked at the proper map before and know there are 2 motorways from Alicante to Valencia. I’ve got a degree in Geography FFS! I presume the quicker routes are motorway all the way, I’ve driven Alicante to Jávea before so I head north to go that way round.
Beautiful day, great views, radio on, I’m on a roll. Then a road sign appears , take this exit for Gandia. So I presume this is the A ( non motorway ) road connection and carry on. Valencia 68km.. This is good . Valencia 48km..I’m concerned. Valencia 35km…something has obviously gone wrong. OK, I decide to carry on at turn back when the two Alicante to Valencia motorways converge. I have loads of time. And on we go..and on.
Valencia centro or port? What do i know. It cannot be port. Still no signs for Alicante via Gandia. I press on but know I am going in the wrong direction. The clock is ticking . I’m now in the outskirts of Valencia driving along a major boulevard. I pull in to switch Google Maps satnav on…and over my shoulder I see the sign Alicante ! U-turn it is, sat nav on, can I get to Jávea for 12 ?
Enrique ( sat nav man voice, the woman is Carmencita FYI ) tells me to power on for 8km. But this is back the way I’ve come from and there was no junction between the two destination Alicante motorways on the way into Valencia ( Trust me I was looking. I CAN’T have missed it. I can’t have.. ). What do you do ? I have to believe him, but I don’t ….
And after 8km the motorways do split and I’m ON MY WAY SOUTH. Yay! Will I make it ? I’m hammering along at 120km something I don’t like doing in small borrowed car. I’m twitchy. Surely I will get there by 12.15
I come off the motorway to pay my toll and so it begins. The car in front is having some sort of dialogue with the people who work there. On it goes. Directions are being given . My feet are tapping.
And so I arrive on court at 12.20 and my coach has pissed off. Fair enough. FAILED!
I drive home, have a bread and cheese lunch with a bottle of rosé and collapse on the bed. I snore for 5 hours. Exhausted. Gutted even. All that drama for nothing.
When I wake up I look at the road maps and all becomes clear ( Spanish road signs are seriously crap, trust me )
As you can see, there is no interchange where the north west to south east motorway crosses the north east to south west one ( exactly where you see AP-7 printed on the map ), you have to do that dog leg which involves coming off the motorway. And is there a sign on the A-7 saying come of the motorway here to get onto the Gandia bound motorway ( that’s the road where the map says 1hr 7mins )
Dear reader, I leave you to draw your own conclusion in this matter.