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 Walk Across Europe

2009-04-05 - Trip 15 - Leg 110

Spain, Catalunya and Barcelona

Cunit to Sitges

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18.9 km today.
18.9 km this trip.
2176.8 km from start.
0 metres minimum height.
40 metres maximum height.
98 metres ascent.
131 metres descent.
 Track Log: Logged.
 Travel: Train.

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Marine parade and rocky coastal paths. Short non busy road stretch.

BuggerBuggerBuggerBuggerBuggerBuggerBuggerBugger! I have left my camera battery charger in England. Of course the batteries are non standard so there is no solution. Once it's flat, no more pictures. We are considering alternatives like disposable cameras and scanning in the snaps. Or we might just buy a very cheap digital one that Anne can take to the Congo without worrying about it.

Our alarm was set to 05:30 am. At about 06:30, we did the ten minute walk to Estació de Françia only to find the station closed for engineering works or perhaps for the festival. So we headed for the metro station nearby and traveled to Barcelona Sants station. From there we got a fastish train to Cunit. This set back did not delay us much.

The walk started along the golden mile. It was cool and there was low cloud shrouding the hills and tall chimneys. Soon after the 3 km mark, we made an unnecessary detour inland to cross a small creak. In fact there was a perfectly good bridge right on the coastal path. This did not show up on Google Earth. Perhaps we were looking at an old image.

After Cubelles, we headed inland again. This time it was because the path between the railway and the sea was blocked by a steep stony embankment. Google got this one right.

After Vilanova I la Geltrú the sea front marine parade ended and we were on stony mountain paths. This area was popular with walkers and heaving with people (by our standards). Someone was in view most of the time. This was the nicest stretch, with sea views, wild gladioli in bloom and the weather had become warm and sunny.

At Sitges, we passed the golf course and were back on marine parade paths. Here we caught the train back. We were cheerful because the signs said it was going all the way to Estació de Françia. However it terminated at Sants. We got another train to Arc de Triomf and from there the walk home was less than ten minutes. We worried because our tickets were not to Arc de Triomf but the machines let us out of the station without any trouble.

We got up at 5.30 in order to get the 6.50 train from the Estació de Francia. On the way we saw minibuses labelled Emergencia Social. We wondered what that might mean. When we arrived at the station there were a lot of security people about and one of them told us that the station was closed and there were no trains today. I expect this was because of engineering work or because of Palm Sunday processions.

Neil must be circumspect with his photographs because he has failed to bring his camera pile charging solution. I must be circumspect as I have failed to bring a change of trizers. If I get wet it will be too bad. Still it will be a good practice for May when I am bringing only a backpack as the walk from Cerbère station to our house is 3 kilometres. I also forgot to bring fierce coffee. This explains why there is a plastic food bag and a clip loose in my bag. It is a pity, once I felt well, on the Tuesday before departure that I did not bother to audit my packing. I didn't because having been slightly off colour for so long with a succession of silly viruses, I was in arrears with all my other activities. I must initiate a protocol to ensure I do this in future.

We took a metro to Passeig de Gracia (Grace's Passage) C4 where we changed and got a C2 to Barcelona Sants. From here we got a train to Cunit. We got there at about 8.30 which wasn't too bad. The sun had been up as we went along but at Cunit there was a sea fret and the huge chimney ahead of us was shrouded in mist. We made our way along the coast. It was lovely to walking without flu or a cold. As I have said, I felt well for the first time before coming on the Tuesday prior to departure. It was also great to be warm and the best thing of all was to have well walked in sandals. Bliss!

In my room I have found a book by Ffyona Campbell who does long walks at great speed but usually with back up. From this I have discovered that The Guinness Book of Records defines walking round the world as a 16,000 mile walk across four continents and ending where you started. She took ten years and she started when she was 16. She was the first woman to walk round the world. May be we could be the oldest people to do this, finishing when we are 96 or is that pushing it?.

We have discussed possible routes. At the moment, the favourite is to go to the Black Sea as planned so we can walk through Romania and on to the Crimea. Then to avoid various trouble spots we would take a ferry back across to Turkey go down to the Mediterranean coast walk across Crete and Cyprus and then take a ferry to Egypt where we would go along the Suez Canal and down the Red Sea coast (In this way we should include three continents). After that we might walk across New Zealand from north to south following the steps of the hobbits. This would make four continents but for the sake of completeness we might then go to the Galapagos and walk across a few of these, then along the Panama Canal, thereby avoiding the USA. Finally we might select a few Caribbean islands, a few of the Azores, a few of the Canaries, then Madeira, Lisbon and down through Alentejo back to Cape St Vincent where we started.

On the coast we found some yellow mezzie-type daises but with different leaves. Neil didn't take a photo because they weren't fully out because of the mist.

We saw people carrying huge elaborate palms some woven corn-dolly style but others spoiled by a silly ribbon. Still, I suppose that is suitable because the whole point of Palm Sunday is the fickleness of peoples' loyalties and emotions.

We had to leave the beach eventually because the track went right by the sea but our stretch on the road was shortened by seeing bikes coming along the side of a field so that we had the confidence to go the same way. The walk today was lovely. Rocky coves and inlets. We saw medium white cistus medium sage leaf pink cistus, large white rock rose, tiny yellow rock rose, blue rush flower, gladiolus, pink convolvulus, white campion, a few barbary nuts, small asphodel, white cabbage, fumitory, alyssum.

At lunch time I had a spina bifida yoghurt to aid digestive transit. Since Doctor Harnett changed my medication from Arimidex to Aromasin, my digestive transit has been much slowed – or am I just getting ready to enter France and have a de rigueur crise de foie.

We went along a wonderful signed path parallel with railway line. At one point we needed to cross it. I listened carefully for rumblings and the hiss in the line and heard nothing so I set off across. Immediately and with no prior warning, a train came screeching out of the tunnel and hooted at me. Having started to cross, the quickest thing seemed to be to continue crossing.

Luckily, I was not wearing high-heeled shoes so I was able to complete the trajectory without incident. The noise of the train's approach was masked by the tunnel. Can you mask a noise?

Along the second stretch, we were overtaken by a family with smallish children It was great when they decided to charge headlong down into the valley that no adult shouted after them, Stop, you'll fall, you'll cut your knees etc. Of course, they didn't fail and even if they had it would have been worth it.

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