Quiet roads, orchards and fields. Paddy fields. Train decapitated a dog.
We drove for two and three quarter hours from Vinarós to Cullera. There we had a 50 minute wait for a train to Xeraco. From Xeraco, we walked back to Cullera. On our return to Cullera, we took advantage of the Eroski supermarket by the station to get supplies for the next few days. Then we drove all the way back to our accommodation near Vinarós. We had intended to stay in Valencia but Margaret's illness put a stop to that plan. During the October half term week, she was really poorly in hospital with her stroke and pneumonia and DVT complications. There were days when we were not sure if she would recover. So we are doing the October walks from the December base 100km further up the coast.
The walk was pleasant and mostly on narrow country lanes with orange orchards on both sides. We had occasional glimpses of the sea from our route 500 metres inland. Towards the end of the walk, the countryside became even lower and flatter and we entered the rice paddy zone. Much of this area was under water with depths varying from wet mud to open water with gulls and egrets swimming and wading. The December weather was very sunny and pleasantly warm from mid morning till sunset. At dawn, it was cold and close to frost. In England the first really warm spring days are comparable but rare.
One becomes somewhat hardened to seeing dead animals on the road, flattened by high speed drivers. On this leg, beside the railway tracks, we encountered a freshly severed head of a boxer dog. The body was nowhere to be seen. Presumably the poor dog had run under the train's wheels in a fit of panic.
We set off at 5.30 am in the car on the long drive to Cullera. It took us about 2 hours 30 minutes. We then had to wait for a train and do the 15 minute train journey. The walk took us through orange groves and paddy fields. We have never seen these in flood before and it was interesting to see the tractors used for ploughing with their huge additional metal mesh wheels to stop them sinking into the mud. Most of the time we follow a track parallel with the railway just diverting from time to time where we need to cross a bridge. Once in La Vila Joyosa did we share a bridge with a train and there we knew the schedule. We didn't fancy doing it here. As a reminder of the danger of trains, we see a dog’s head by the railway line but no sign of the rest of the dog. It must have been decapitated. Neil does not take photos of this kind of thing as it does not meet his website criteria. The memory is gruesome enough without a photo in any case.
Once back at Cullera, we went into Eroski to do our shopping. It is a horrible shop but it was convenient and quick once we had got past the bicycle and hardware sections. We spend 64 euros so that should keep us quiet for a few days. We then return to Vinarós and have soup and a cold supper as we are too tired to do anything else. As it includes avocado and strawberries, locally grown, and dates we are not disappointed.