18.1 km today.
273.9 km this trip.
2013 km from start.
0 metres minimum height.
19 metres maximum height.
45 metres ascent.
37 metres descent.
Track Log: Logged.
Coastal roads and paths. Short stretches on the N340 main coast road. Few orchards.
We started the walk from home so we had a lie in. Our departure time was about 08:15. The weather was dull and there were episodes of light drizzle. There was little wind so it was not cold. We found nice routes apart from a couple of very short stretches on the N340. On our coastal route, there were no orchards so we missed our copious satsuma supply.
The chief landmark was the Cemex cement factory. Less noticeable and low on the horizon was the delta of the Ebre. The delta consists of banks of silt and a large area has been reclaimed and drained for agriculture.
We caught the Tortosa to Vinarós bus, changed in Vinarós and got the Urbano back to Zona Tridor where our house is.
Today, we shall be doing our final leg. We are one stage short of our target of being on the next railway link between Tortosa and Tarragona. We blame Ryanair in part. If we had done longer walks we would have got further but if you are going to walk every day without any rest days, the walks need to be shorter. Also while I had made some effort to get fit for the October walk, spending three hours a day visiting Mini during the two months prior to the December walk took away any time I might have spent getting fit.
If I had a previous existence on another planet, I feel sure it must have had a 23 hour day. If I get up and go to bed as I want, this is what happens. I get up and go to bed an hour earlier each day.
It is raining as we get up but only spitting by the time we set off at 7.45. The London high pressure continues so we continue to get changeable weather. At our first break – no santas now so we are having half a fairbreak biscuit instead, we see a man changing into a wetsuit and getting ready to take the plunge. He has a harpoon so he must be going fishing.
We work our way along the beach and get as far as the Riu de Senia. From her on Neil has tracks on his GPS so there should be a way through. The cormorants all seem to have paired on this section of coast. At les Cases we see boats coming back from a fish farm out at sea. Two men are working on their motor which seems to have packed up. It's remarkably small for the size of boat. I wonder not for the first time why we don't farm fry to help build up fish stocks.
We have two stretches on the main road but have our third break in a wild section between a huge cement factory and the sea. While we are here we make use of the undergrowth to relieve ourselves. We are enjoying our second half fairbreak when we are approached by a Spanish family complete with numerous children and various dogs. They have probably never seen the like but would have been even more surprised if they had turned up a few minutes earlier. We have now walked 2000 km and are going to have a celebration tonight. Neil plans to get some party ticklers for our 3000 km celebration as this will mean we have done a quarter of the route. I am indebted to Neil for various parts of my education not least Nike, cherry picker (which term I have subsequently come across in an Arthur C Clarke book) and party tickler. I knew the toy, of course, but not its name. We eventually get to Sant Carles de la Rápita and having reached the central quadrangle ask some people where the bus stop is. We find it and enjoy a healthy bar there. We shall have to come here again next time using the same bus as now. Our bus does not stop on the outskirts of Vinarós so we have to go right into the town and get an Urbano back home. While we are waiting, three people, probably Moroccans ask about buses to Barcelona on a Saturday. Having spent two weeks working out Valencian timetables, we feel we are now qualified to assist and work out when they should leave and when they will arrive. It is a pity there are three of them or we could have given them a lift at least to the airport from where they could have quickly made it into Barcelona itself.
We catch our urbano at get of at Zona Triador. Now we must pack, make our made-up sandwiches and clean the apartment – not too much but just so it looks as though it needs cleaning. We telephone Mark who just says leave the keys in the basket. As he didn't take 150 euros deposit from us, we are pleased at his confidence that things will be OK.
In the cupboard, there are still 3 packets of pasta even though we have been eating it regularly during our stay. We have replaced what we have eaten with a very large number of toilet rolls. You can no longer buy one roll. You have to get twelve.