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Travel
 
  The Experience of Cave Living
The National Parks of Sierra de Baza and Sierra de Castril date from the Byzantine period of history and are approximately two hours drive from the southern Costa Blanca.
   
  Marvel at La Manga
Just an hour’s drive south from Torrevieja, away from the high-rise buildings and tailbacks and from the summer’s traffic, the true splendours of the area are seen in the form of vast open countryside. Farmers attending to their crops and herds of cattle being rounded up after a day of grazing. It is worth a trip to La Manga if not just for the drive, and the N-332 goes through the picturesque villages of San Pedro del Pinatar and San Javier, both worthy of a closer look.Upon reaching La Manga it is back to the joys of beach-life. La Manga’s strip is home to thousands of apartments and restaurants and enjoys some spectacular long stretches of golden coastline and yet it is surprisingly very quiet out of the main summer season, perfect for those now desperately awaiting the end of August and the return of the tourists back home, whether it be Madrid or Manchester!
   
  ´Colchonetting´in the River Cabriel
A “colchoneta” is the Spanish word for an airbed. It is used very often for playing in the swimming pool or the beach. Have you ever tried putting an airbed in a fast running river? Well, I have tried it, and it was the most exciting and funny experience I ever had. Here are some things you need to know if you want to practice this funny sport, recently named by my friends as “colchonetting”. For a start, you will need these things: a big air-bed (the bigger it is, the more people can fit in), a pair of sandals, a swimming suit, lots of sun cream and something to eat and drink. I went to the River Cabriel near Valencia. It took around one hour and a half to get there by car. The car should be a 4x4 because the road is a track. You can go with a regular car, but you’ll have to go really slow and carefully. The place is called El Tete-Rio Cabriel and it is near the nuclear power plant of Cofrentes. To find out how to get there call 96 218 50 39-96 218 50 01 or check this web: www.kalahariaventuras.com which is in English too.  When you arrive, park the car and then take a track on the left that goes up the mountain. This will take you about five minutes and then you arrive at a tunnel which has been dug through the mountain. There is no artificial light of any kind; just the natural light that comes at the end of the tunnel and walking with the airbed towards the end of the tunnel is a weird experience. Then take the path on the right and you arrive at a fence, you have to follow the fence by a path on the left. Be really careful with your airbed, because the fence has spikes (you don’t want to burst it before the fun starts!) Then you reach a pool by the river, and there you go. Just put the airbed on the water (it helps if someone grabs the air-bed while everybody is getting in) and let yourself be carried away by the running of the river. The trip is very funny, because the river runs really fast and you have moments with big rapids and moments that are very calm. The trip on the river lasts about 45 minutes. My friends and I enjoy trying to board the other air- beds, or hold races. When you see a rusty steel bridge, just row very quick towards the left. And that’s it.  If you had fun, I’m really sure you will repeat it again.
   
  In Search of An Island Hideaway…
Just a few kilometres off the mainland lies the small and tranquil island of Tabarca. Once used as a hideaway by Barbary pirates and the Spanish to house Genoese prisoners the island has a chequered history, but today it is used by locals and tourists alike for its recreational facilities.
   
  Barcelona – Modernist Architecture in a Modern City
From the Costa Blanca there are various ways of travelling to Barcelona, by plane, car or bus. For a scenic, relaxing way of travelling, however, you can't beat the train.
   
 
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