Alicante Easter 2012 – Friday April 6th

Port de la Carrasqueta (Pou de Neu) — Coll del Raconet — Lorcha/L’Orxa — Villalonga — Colladet de la Comba — Collado de Benissili – El Miserat – Vall d’Alcalá/Pla de les Vinyes – Planes to Pou de Neu (car) (? km, ?m, ?°C)

Coll del Raconet

I got into some troubles on the last two days that both ended up with me getting a ride back to the hotel by friendly people, but no accidents. We come to that later. This day started fine again and I went down the main road to Alcoi/Alcoy, but took the cobblestoned road through the old centre of the town and it descended somewhat abruptly to the river, but not sure about the exact road I took here but was soon on the main road I had been on the day before again. I then continued to Muro de Alcoy (380m) where I turned off to Beniarrés (395m).

First climb of the day was up a popular (among cyclists I believe) road to Coll del Raconet/Rinconcillo (595m), but I was (perhaps) oddly going back down the same way I came. Good views from the top towards the north.

Coll del Raconet

Here I am looking back at the pass.

Coll del Raconet

This is on an alternative narrow and somewhat steep road on the way back down.


I continued westward to what looks like a dead end by the village of Lorcha/L’Orxa (250m). This is a nice little village.

Thanks to Google street view I had found out that there is a road going west from here that is fully paved. It is a very nice and interesting road.

Colladet del Riu

Here I have climbed somewhat steeply up from the village to a little pass called Colladet del Riu (449m) and am looking down the narrow valley where another road runs, but it is only a gravel road and with tunnels.

Looking back toward Lorcha

Another road from the pass.

Looking forward toward Villalonga

But the road continues to climb another +100m to ca. 552m before it starts to descend, which is where I am in the photo here looking ahead and you can see the sea in the distance now. The road is then very narrow and clings to the rock wall and then comes some hilarious up and down sections with concrete surface. Great views all along.

Not simply down to Villalonga

It was not all a long roll down to Villalonga as we see here, but quite a steep concrete section to climb before an equally steep and curvy section down.

Steep concrete road down to Villalonga

This photo is supposed to show the steep section down to Villalonga. It soon becomes a more gentle road.

Coll del Macareno detour at La Llacuna

I stopped for a coffee and cake in Villalonga and remember I got a message from an American acquaintance who gave me a helmet while he was working selling sports equipments (got it later that year I think).

I then followed a nice road climbing up from Villalonga (100m) to and obscure pass called Coll del Macareno (481m) which is close to the road near the house here in the photo (I think there is a path down on the side of the huge fence). Mostly asphalted detour from the main road on the flat plain, Pla de la Llacuna, ending with a short stretch of gravel road.

Colladet de la Comba

Got back on the road through the plain and by the end of the plain the narrow road suddenly becomes a big road going nowhere really and it is not even marked on detailed maps. Anyway the road nicely climbs over Colladet de la Comba (695m) pass as seen in the photo here. The Spanish has spent endless amounts on meaningless roads, so we better use them … .

Colladet de la Comba looking ahead

Not many people living here … but nice views and a perfect road at least up on the mountain (all roads descending in the three possible directions are quite narrow minor roads).

Colladet de la Comba small road to Vall de Gallinera

Here I descend steeply on the minor road into the nice La Vall de Gallinera.

road to Vall de Gallinera getting quite steep

This is the really steep part.

Vall de Gallinera road choice

Then I went up to the pass at the end of the valley.

Collado de Benissili

Collado de Benissili (571m) is where I am at in the photo here. From here I went back down the valley again almost all the way down to Pego, but turned off at Adsubia/L’Atzuvia.

Adsubia/L’Atzuvia start of the climb

In Adsubia/L’Atzuvia (91m) on a very minor road you better look closely on the map to find the next climb started and this was without comparison the steepest climb of this week in Alicante. This is just as hard a climb as the Carrascoy or the Collado del Portell/Xorret de Catí, but steeper. The road was up to 27% from this very undocumented direction. The traditionally infamous climb up here is usually from Pego, which should be hard too, but doubt it is as hard as this.

Adsubia steepest part finish

Here I just got up the horribly steep section of hairpins from Adsubia and am welcomed by great views out over the sea.

El Mistral

Now the road is flat (or close to) for a while as it meets the road coming up from Pego, but then it slowly starts to get steeper again and the surface disappears briefly (semi-paved), but returns again as one reaches an unnamed pass (647m) just below the El Miserat mountain. Here a great and steep road continues up to El Miserat (756m). When you finally reach the top you are greeted by some of the best views in this part of Spain. Not easy to get here with a road bike, but you surely would have a great memory if you try it!

El Mistral

Me at the top here. They have a station here for a forest guard and the nice lady on guard took a few photos of me.

El Mistral with Vall de Gallinera

Here you see the valley I cycled up and down just before climbing up here, the La Vall de Gallinera.

El Mistral

On the start of the descent I stopped for one more photo out over the coast.

Vall d’Alcalá/Pla de les Vinyes

Now I had decided to continue to the valley on the other side, which is the Vall d’Alcalá, but the road I followed for quite a while going a bit up and down before reaching the main road high up the valley was in quite a bad state and it is was a very bumpy gravel road mostly.

Just before reaching the main road the left crank arm broke off (near the pedal) – I have never seen such a thing and later realised it happened because a fracture must have been present from the accident I had the year before and looking closer on the crack later confirmed this. So now I had to continue up to the pass using only one pedal … . Happily this accident did not happen on the 27% section as I might have injured my leg severely if so. Here I am at the pass wondering a little about the long journey back to the Pou de la Neu, which would not be easy to reach in a short while now.

Pou de Neu with the moon

I continued, stopping a little to look on the map wondering about the easiest way back – if I should go the way over Beniaia as planned or not, but it would include more climbing than just going ahead down to Planes. I just had to descend on the main road.

After a while a man and his son caught up with me on their bicycles. We talked a little and just for fun I managed to keep up with them on a few ups and downs. The man later told me they lived nearby (visiting his old parents living in a little mountain village nearby) and told me to wait in Planes and they would go home and get the car to drive me back up to the Carrasqueta. Wondered if I could buy something for them and went to a bread shop (Forn de Paa/I Pastisserria - Paco "El Molineer" as I see the sign in Google maps now) and bought something but it disappointingly did not really cost anything much. Eventually they came and picked me up and we had a nice ride back. Learned that the man was working with constructing roads or bridges, but that there was little work now in the downturn of the economy, so they went away to cycle some instead. Terribly lucky to get back in time for a great dinner again. So happy, but still worried there would be no cycling on the last planned day where I had saved some of the nicest local climbs for. An eventful and very nice day apart from the bike failure.