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After impulsively signing up for the trip to Montanejos (pronounced mon-ta-NAY-hos), the group was to meet at Torres Serrano, one of the city gates, to leave on our all-day excursion.  The weather was clear and crisp, with lots of sunlight, and the bus was full of really friendly people. What else can you ask for when signing up for an event with a group of (mostly) strangers? I was fortunate enough to know a couple of people on the trip already. Mostly expats, the groups was gregarious and engaging, and there was plenty to chat about with everyone.

So, after a first stop at Salto de la Novia, or Bride’s Jump Waterfall, we proceeded toward Montanejos, an area famed for its thermal springs and lovely terrain. Wait one moment, gentle reader! If you think that this is like the Icelandic thermal baths filled with pasty white people wearing blissful expressions while steam from the spring wafts about in the air, you are totally wrong. That was my expectation, or at least my hope for this destination. Nope. Not even close.

Instead, there is a totally different kind of beauty about Montanejos. The setting is both cultured for lots of visitors in the warmer months and still wild enough to enjoy being outdoors. A group of friends and I walked into the town for a quick bite to eat before walking along the paths beside the river to the thermal springs. All said, it was a perfect day. Clear weather? Check. Picnic lunch? Check. Great people to talk to? Check. Plenty to photograph? Check.

A note about the pictures below: The water looks green, but that is actually suspended minerals, not algae. The water is actually amazing clear, as you will be able to see. The next time I come here, I would like to swim in the water to explore the river more thoroughly. I have included pictures of the town and the river… I hope you enjoy them!

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Montanejos town square and city hall. So different when compared to Valencia!

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