Week 31: Peñiscola to Cambrils – a search for flamingos.

Flamingos

On Monday, we left Peñiscola and headed up the coast to the Parque Natural Delta del Ebro, where we’d found a camperstop and heard we could see Flamingos. We’d already seen some on this trip on the road to Cadiz, but here they are supposed to be prevalent.

As we turned off the main road onto the single track road which takes you down to the Parque, we were surrounded by rice fields and birds. This looked like the ideal stop over, although there are no amenities as such – you can empty your waste water and toilet between 10:00 and 13:00 for 3 Euros, but otherwise you are on your own! There is also a restaurant at the Delta.

We found ourselves a nice pitch with a view of the mountains and the rice fields, and having heard it could get quite busy were tucked out of the way of the main camperstop. We set off to the closest Mirador (viewing platform) to have a look for flamingos – and there were some! There were also herons and storks.

The next day, we set off on our bikes towards the sea and the beach, passing more flamingos on the way – you can’t tire of seeing them, they are beautiful and various stages of colour from white to deep pink. We then headed down to Sant Carles de la Ràpita, before heading back having cycled 23 miles. The camperstop was filling up tonight and several of our neighbours asked us about the flamingos!

Wednesday, we set off again to the coastal town of Cambrils. I (Sarah) had previously been to Salou, but as none of the campsites there were open, we chose the nearby town. What a surprise it was too. We were asked to select a pitch and having duly measured one and checked the sun position, we drove in. One slight hitch was the gnarly trees, whose branches were quite low and positioning Nortia, took a bit of effort – we even had to remove the bikes to get sorted. We completed the task and are still talking!

We went for a stroll along the prom into the town, it’s about 500 metres away with lots of restaurants, bars and shops. We decided we’d stay for a few days. Thursday, we were finally able to catch up with our blogs, and set off on the bikes to Salou. There is a cycle ride along the beach, however Storm Gloria has left her mark here and we had to abandon the cycle path in places, where the sand hasn’t yet been cleared. Salou is not how I remembered it from 20 or so years ago, and Cambrils feels a lot more like the Salou I recall. Salou appears to have had a big renovation and in some ways reminded us of a mini Benidorm! We headed back along the road and looked out for a Restaurant we’d been recommended, but it’s not yet open.

We had decided that on Friday we’d go to Barcelona by train, so having heard that the train station had moved, we set off again on our bikes to find the station and the train times. We chose the 10:33, as its an hour and a half each way and set off on foot on Friday morning to the station – 30 minutes away. The train ride was pretty uneventful and we got off at Barcelona – Passeig de Gràcia, which is the closest to the Sagrada Familia. As we strolled along, we found a restaurant advertising home cooked fish and chips, so challenge accepted – Somewhere Aragó. It was as good as expected! We continued to the Sagrada Familia and joined the hoards of people in the vicinity. We opted not to go into the Church itself as there was a 20 Euro entry fee each!

We headed off from here to the home of Barcelona Football Club – Nou Camp, before heading back to Barcelona – Sants Station, to get the train home to Nortia. We strolled back through the old town, before collapsing at the Motorhome. It was one of the longest days we’d had!

Saturday, the sun was shining and the temperature was due to reach 22°C, which it did and possibly some more – as we were in direct sun. We had to keep reminding ourselves it was 1st February! We didn’t do too much except, hunt down a Chinese Restaurant in town and head back later in the evening for dinner.

Sunday, the sun was still shining and although possibly a little cooler, it was a great day. We headed out on the bikes to the old town of Cambrils. What a gem of history, this place has. In the Civil War, Catalunya resisted the Franco Regime and as such was bombed by the German and Italian air-forces, at Franco’s request. There is a trail through the town with information in English, and an air raid shelter under the street, which you visit via the Museum. We’re moving off tomorrow, hopefully up to the mountains nearby.

If you’ve ever fancied the idea of doing what we are and blogging for the Erwin Hymer Group, they are looking for couples, families and solo travellers for their 2020-2021 Blogging Team. Their request is, “If you believe you have the qualities and spirit of adventure we’re looking for, are engaging and inspiring, set the wheels in motion and get in touch today”. Email Rachel and Emma at bloggers@erwinhymergroup.co.uk

Thank you as ever for reading.

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