Cycle Ride around l’Estartit
The next day we stayed local and used our bikes. There are many opportunities for cycling around this area and numerous cycle paths (we tend to make up our own routes!) We first headed right out of the campsite, finding la Gola, where the River Ter meets the sea.
Unfortunately, due to the recent storms, the beach area was a bit untidy. However, there were people there busy clearing it all up.
We then headed back up towards the campsite and the other way towards the marina. This entailed cycling through the floods (we weren’t meant to, but I followed Calv – although I but managed to hit a large bit of debris and ended up jumping into the water to stop myself from falling off completely! It was deep enough to come up to my ankles, so the rest of our ride was completed with me in sodden trainers….)
Any upset was alleviated though when we found a bar open near the marina. A coffee soon turned into 2 glasses of wine and 2 beers sat out in the sun. Very nice it was too! We then headed a little further along to a headland before Calv decided he wanted to go up the hill – I stopped halfway, joining another lady who had also refused to go any further. She was an American, born in Yorkshire and married to a German man 🙂
Dali Castle, Pubol and Castello Montgris
So for our final day in l’Estartit we headed out in the car again towards a tiny little village, Pubol where Dali’s castle is situated.
Dali actually bought the castle for his wife and muse, Gala (she lived there and he had to make an appointment to visit. He then moved in after her death).
Dali, of course, renovated the near derelict castle in his own inimitable style and it is an extremely interesting visit.
The church, which is attached to the castle, is not open to visit, but for 1Euro the altar piece is lit up. It’s quite pretty!
The village itself is absolutely charming. It’s so tiny you could actually walk around it in about 5-10 minutes.
There are several villages of this type in the area and it is certainly worth stopping to have a look around at least one if you find yourself in the area.
Below is a selection of photos from the castle and Pubol.
Finally, on the way home from Pubol, we parked up in the free carpark at Toroella de Montgris (having followed the signs. Good size car park with ample room for motorhomes) and headed up the mountain towards the castle. It’s about 307m to the top.
We had taken our walking boots with us but neglected to put in suitable socks, so we ended up walking up the mountain in our trainers. It was fine, but we would recommend walking boots as it is fairly challenging terrain in places.
It took us about an hour overall (and then almost the same again to come back down). This included me deciding that I could see a shortcut up to the path, only to find that the path didn’t switch back on itself at this point, and I had to make my way back down – some of it on my bum! Needless to say Calv was wondering where on earth I was!
The castle itself was never actually completed, as by the time the 4 outer walls (31 metres high) had gone up there was no longer any need for it’s defences. However, there is a spiral staircase provided in 1 of the 4 corner towers, meaning that you can walk around the battlements.
We were so glad we made the effort (there were very few people doing it). We could see what we thought was a school (as there were lots and lots of children there) in the distance – further into the mountains. It actually turned out that this was an Ermitas that the children were visiting, as when we started making our way back down we could see them at the cross at the halfway point. We watched them virtually skipping down the mountain and boarding several coaches in the carpark!
I’m sure you can imagine we were tired again (I’d been out for another run in the morning!) But it’s always a good tired after such a satisfying achievement – there was a time, not so long ago, when I would have really struggled with going up the mountain. Now I can just keep plodding on and reap the rewards in terms of learning new history and seeing amazing views 🙂
The next day we moved on again towards Tarragona (campsite: Vilanova Park)