Saturday, 4 March 2017

Walking the almond orchards from Calig

Dave chose our current Calig campsite, Camping l'Orangeraie, as it is further inland than our usual coastal bases which we hoped would give us different walking opportunities. Admittedly we are still less than a half hour drive away from the coast, but very few truly inland campsites are open in Spain in the winter unless they service large towns and cities. Camping l'Orangeraie opened on the 5th of February this year and is slowly filling up now we are in to our second week here. Interestingly, and perhaps because it is a French-owned site(?), there have been absolutely no Spanish people staying here. We are mostly Dutch with a few Germans, French, British and Belgians. I was surprised how happy I felt wandering into Recepcion on the spur of the moment yesterday to ask about staying longer. Not so much because we're staying another week on this beautiful campsite, but because I just knew the French phrases and responses I needed to converse. For a couple of minutes I felt fluent!!

We've now explored several hours worth of the local agricultural tracks and camis nearby. There is a nice one-hour circuit from the campsite although over half of it is along the campsite road - not particularly busy, but tarmac and with not much of a verge onto which to jump away from traffic! Dave spent time Google mapping the cami network the other day and managed to put together a rewarding three hour expedition that took us over towards the hilltop town of Cervera. There was a good view of it in the distance, but sadly just too far for my phone to cope with. Most of our walk was alongside almond orchards where the pretty pink blossoms are now giving way to new green leaves. If the trees aren't almond then they are probably orange or mandarin, many of which are dropping their crops to the ground which seems such a waste. There was a sweet scent of rotting oranges for much of our walk - actually more pleasant to experience than it sounds!

We have also resolved one of our local Questions. We find that travelling raises hundreds of Questions, usually none of which we ever manage to answer - I wonder what that is / what that word means / why this is here? However, we learned that a 'Pou' around this part of of the world is a spring or fountain. Elsewhere in Spain it is 'fuente'. We know this because instead of just seeing yet another handwritten wooden arrow pointing to a Pou, we saw the very thing itself! Pictured is Pou N'Eriol which consists of a large covered well with a lowerable bucket plus a trough alongside. There are shepherds with sheep and goats around here who must make use of these springs for their flocks daily. Several Pou are signed in the area.

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