Monday, 9 March 2015

Two pretty walks from Camping Ribamar, Alcossebre

We have had two great walks straight from our campsite already and
Dave looks back at me from a rocky beach 
we've not even been here a week yet! Camping Ribamar is on the edge of the Serra d'Irta natural park and footpaths from the back gate give the options of going to the right: along the coast into town and beyond, or to the left: uphill into pine woods.

On Saturday afternoon we struck out right on a short stroll that ended up being a four hour epic. Various paths head through the scrub towards Alcossebre and we tried to stay close to the coast but took a diverting path inland. There is a wide beach promenade all past the town with a short section of restaurants by the small marina. Most are closed at this time of year though. We continued out past the central tourist office kiosk and a few more cafes, enjoying the serene views out to sea, until we finally came to the beginning of a lengthy boardwalk. This is raised above the beach to protect the dunes and has a helpful placard explaining the flora that we might now see. Unfortunately its photographs were very faded so I'm still not sure what was rare and what was weed. We walked a little way along the boardwalk, but were already two hours from home so soon turned around. We are planning to cycle there tomorrow, perhaps even with a picnic, and to see what is further afield.

Talking of picnics, yesterday's walk included this delight! We started out
A tranquil footpath 
along the coast in the opposite direction which initially took us along more of the rough dirt road for nearly an hour. We passed a small sandy beach and were asked twice whether my rolled up picnic rug meant we were planning to sleep out on the hills. I think we must have been mistaken for backpackers! The path began to wind away from the coast, and to become narrower as fewer cars used it, eventually dwindling to a lovely tranquil footpath beneath scented pine trees. At one point we spotted another train of furry caterpillars - seventy-one together this time! Other sights were more of the flowers from my last post in varying purple shades from a deep violet colour to almost bleached pale. I am told they are irises - thanks Gemma! The pictured cactus was easily waist height and the only one of this variety that we saw.

Impressive cactus! 

We were pretty tired by the time we got home, despite the walk being 'only' just over four hours. We are blaming the heat and the two days' walking back-to-back, but I think the real reason is that we are out of practice. There are several other marked routes here for us to try before we move on so hopefully we will get the hang of it again!

Serra d'Irta routes are well signposted 

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