Saturday, 28 January 2017

Walking from Camping Ametlla - olive trees & rocky beaches

Toucan guarding the motorway tunnel 
One of the big draws of our current campsite, Camping Ametlla just outside Ametlla de Mar, is its proximity to the Catalan GR92 hiking route which passes along the coast about 200m away from our pitch. We have now walked several 1-2 hours sections of this path in both directions and it has gorgeous scenery. The coastline is only half the story though. We also discovered pretty walks directly from the campsite by turning inland. A few days ago we again set out on foot from our caravan, but chose to start by edging through a somewhat flooded tunnel under the motorway.

Narrow agricultural roads (camis) criss-cross the land here in all directions as far as distant mountains so there are no end of routes to choose. The trick is to stick to camis that actually lead somewhere rather than picking those which peter out after a couple of miles, usually at a house guarded by a half-dozen loudly barking dogs! Fortunately Dave usually plans our wanders ahead of time by perusing Google maps. Unfortunately this was more of a spur of the minute excursion so ended up being an out and back walk rather than a loop!

Anyone recognise this flower? 
Like the Olive Gardens walk I blogged on Wednesday, most of our scenery was olive and carob trees with an occasional smattering of almond trees to ring the changes. I loved the colours of wild shrubbery along the roadsides and on unfarmed land. It is yellow-and-purple season at the moment so we saw bright yellow flowering gorse and whatever-the-pictured-plant-is interspersed with tall purple heathers and unbelievable amounts of wild rosemary with its delicate pale mauve flowers. It's a shame none of our regular meal recipes call for rosemary - there's acres of the stuff here growing as a weed! At one point, as we crossed a derelict field, we trampled thyme, releasing its beautiful scent. This might not have been the sunniest or most picturesque walk, but it was one of the more aromatic!

Eroded sandstone cliff 
We returned to Camping Ametlla after not much more than an hour so decided to extend our walk by looping down to the nearest beach, along that and returning by a tarmaced road on the other side. The walkway down to Platja de Santes Creus is sandy and passes between roped off natural spaces. We both were intrigued by this eroded sandstone cliff. The holes and caves make fabulous shadowed images against the glowing stone towards sunset.

We'd had strong winds for a few days prior to this walk so the beach was scattered with debris washed up from the sea. Much was natural including seaweed and lots of sea urchins and sponges that we hadn't seen in such numbers out of the water before. There was also a depressingly large volume of plastic items, presumably discarded from boats and on other beaches along the coast. Faded and worn, but still mostly recognisable as bottles, cigarette lighters and other common items, it was a reminder of just how much litter is swirling around our oceans and that it won't simply rot away as the seaweed will. Greenpeace have recently started a petition for a Deposit Return Scheme on plastic bottles in the UK. I think it's a great idea. For more information and to add your signature, Click Here.



6 comments:

  1. Oh, amazing what you saw there!
    xx from Bavaria/Germany, Rena
    www.dressedwithsoul.com

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    1. Thank you! It's a gorgeous part of the world :-)

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  2. ohhh your posts make me want to go to Spain so badly!!! I already ran several scenarios of our family budget and we can't this year but I hope we will in 2018. We are doing some hiking too, so I have a series of posts about hiking. Just two actually LOL! and Keeping it local for now. As soon as spring is here we'll resume. I love hiking along the coastline too! The pictures I great my favorite has to be the Eroded sandstone cliff too bad about the litter :( Thank you for starting that petition! Every effort to preserve our planet is greatly appreciate by this earthen :)

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    1. I hope you can get here! I think Catalonia is my favourite part of Spain, but there's so much to see and do all over the country. You might need a very long trip!!

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  3. think the plant might be a euphorbia but can't zoom in to see it well enough :) we have the same acid green ones in our garden but they won't be out for a few months yet!

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    1. I think you're right - I googled the name and several similar plants are pictured :-)
      Need to upgrade my phone to get a better camera!

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