Our first stop in Spain – loving the discoveries of the partially completed Castello de Montgris and the Castello Dali (bought by Dali for his wife, and restored for her).
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….)
The day that we came across the border from France into Spain was, it’s fair to say, a bit stressful…
Firstly we were affected, twice, by the fuel protests happening all over France. First as we tried to leave Narbonne, and then as we tried to get onto the motorway at Perpignan. I simply cannot imagine anyone getting away with protests like these at home – making a point and then letting people through, fair enough; burning tyres at the side of the road and not letting anyone through (as happened to us on Saturday) would not be tolerated. On Sunday they were holding everything up for about 15 minutes and then letting a few vehicles through – I guess thereby keeping the police off their backs. We were probably held up for a total of about 1 1/2 hours.
Then, once in Spain, we had heavy rain (yay, welcome to Spain!!) and started noticing increasingly bad floods in the fields alongside the road. As we neared our chosen site we suddenly came across a road closed sign (no diversion or anything…), so we stopped to find a new route, only to have the same thing happen again. It was due to flooded roads and this time we were sent off on a diversion by the police manning the closure. A very interesting diversion it has to be said (it was a road, but not really if you see what I mean!) – anyway we made it through and stayed 1 night at a different site (which was actually very nice – Mas Patoxes, Pals) before heading to L’Estartit and our chosen site, les Medes, in the morning.
Approacing l’Estartit via Toerella de Montgris we could see a castle sitting high atop the mountain – every time we passed it over the next couple of days we would look at each other and say – ‘We’re going up there!’ (and we did 🙂 )
But before we did we visited Empuries at L’Escala, a little way up the coast, cycled around l’Estartit – through the floods and getting waylaid by a little bar open outside the marina (oops) and also took in Dali’s castle in Pubol.
This is a really interesting site – it is, in fact, 2 ancient cities that have been unearthed (this is actually on-going) – 1 Greek (this came 1st) and the other Roman (bigger, but only 20% so far unearthed).
For just 5.50 Euros each we spent a couple of hours wandering the 2 cities and learning of their history, via the audio guide included in the price; visiting the museum and also having a quick drink in the cafe (2 drinks and 2 cakes for about 6 Euros). We would probably have stayed longer but our feet were aching!
This had been a particularly busy day of exercise for me as I had been out for my 1st run in over 3 weeks that morning, surprising myself with how much I enjoyed it! I had also taken advantage of the indoor pool at the campsite the afternoon before – so I was feeling very smug with myself.