You may remember me banging on about how frustrated we were on account of failing to get a fishing license for Valencia in a recent visit. Well, Paul Reddish and I went back fishing in Valencia last week and I was determined that we would succeed this time round. In advance of our appointment I downloaded the necessary forms and dotted all the i´s, and crossed all the t´s. I made online payments, secured appointments and then turned up with PR in the right building in Valencia city with every document in my possession, including my great grandmother´s marriage certificate and a certificate showing that both of our dogs had been electronically chipped.

Paul and I got past the security person at the entrance, were issued a paper slip giving us an appointment (I still remember that mine was Z004 and Paul´s was Z005). We then sat in a general waiting area for our numbers to come up on a screen so we could be assigned some functionary to, presumably, break the news that there was some reason or another that we could not be granted a license. These were nervous times I can tell you. I was biting my nails and PR was hyperventilating. Then our numbers came up and we went off to desk 14.

Nothing could have prepared us for what then happened next. 

The guy looked at our applications, identification documents and confirmation of payment and, after a bit of typing into his computer, cheerfully issued us each with a license. I thought that there was some kind of mistake but apparently not. Everything was in order!

Over the next couple of days PR and I went off fishing. In our search for the elusive Mediterranean barbel we had targeted two rivers that drain into the eastern Mediterranean; the Júcar and its major tributary the Cabriel. Following a couple of forays in search of a suitable venue, we settled on a lovely stretch of the Júcar which flows through the beautiful town of Álcala del Júcar. This section we fished on both of our fishing days.

Rivers in Spain can be very long and start in one province and pass through others. They can also create the border between provinces and this is true of both the Júcar and the Cabriel.

The ironic thing is that our little section of the Júcar is not in Valencia at all, but lies in its neighbouring province of Castilla la Mancha! The Cabriel to the east forms the border between the provinces here and the Júcar which lies a little way westward falls on the wrong side of the border.

So we had overcome pushed through mountains of red tape to secure Valencian fishing licenses only to happily trot off to fish in another province altogether!

Without a license!

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Here is a lovely picture of Álcala del Júcar with its fine roman bridge over the Río Júcar. I would like to claim to have taken this photo but being a man of some (limited) integrity I must come clean and say that I stole it from here:

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I can´t claim this one either! This is PR´s shot of the town from an elevated viewpoint and was taken before descending a series of hairpin bends down into the gorge. On the left at the bottom you can see a couple of bridges over the river at the downstream end of the section we fished.