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 Walk Across Europe

2009-04-06 - Trip 15 - Leg 111

Spain, Catalunya and Barcelona

Sitges to Platja de Castelldefels

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21.7 km today.
40.6 km this trip.
2198.5 km from start.
0 metres minimum height.
472 metres maximum height.
552 metres ascent.
573 metres descent.
 Track Log: Logged.
 Travel: Train.

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Mountain and forest roads and paths. Some tarmac but not busy. Movie set.

Today we were able to get a train from Barcelona, Estació de Françia. At Sitges we headed north and were soon out of the town. After a small industrial and commercial zone which was still closed, we reached the mountain and forest gravel roads. There was no traffic. This was very pleasant. Later we went off road on a narrow but well used path. All the time we were climbing.

The path was really nice but eventually it rejoined a tarmac road. This was quiet and still pleasant. After yet more climbing, we encountered some unusual commotion. There were lots of cars and people with walkie talkies. There was no sign of an accident and no police in evidence. We headed off the road and had a tea break.

Suddenly all became clear. A recovery vehicle festooned with cameras was towing a 1960s classic American style car. We had stumbled into a movie set. The actor and actress were in the car, apparently driving but able to concentrate on the dialogue. Later back on the walk, we met another girl with a walkie talkie. She asked us if we wouldn't mind hiding for a few minutes while there was another drive past. She hid with us down a narrow path and told us it was a comedy action movie.

We might try to get the film on DVD to see if we were really hidden properly.

The rest of the walk consisted of a steep descent on tarmac to sea level. After a couple of kilometres on the sea front, we reached out target. This was a very nice day with fine views, lovely plants and a chance to avoid being an extra in a movie.

We aimed for the 7.00 train and left the flat 10 minutes earlier than planned as usual. We found our train. (The station was open today) and had a little sit in our train on platform 4. There was no one else on it. I am enjoying Ffyona's book. I now know what you have to do to count as having gone round the world. You must walk 16,000 miles and touch four continents. We may modify our route beyond the Black Sea to accommodate these requirements. We may cross Turkey and then enter Africa via Egypt. Iran and Iraq are problematic at the moment and we know what can happen if you go up the Khyber into Pakistan after seeing Barbara Windsor do it.

As there is no woo through along the beach we headed inland leaving the station by the same door as we entered it yesterday. Ffyona had a piece of chalk to mark where she got to each day. We don't do this but if you had vehicular backup you probably would need it. We soon found ourselves on the GR 5 to Montserrat, a fifteen hour walk from here. It was nice to do a part of it. And no asphalt. We saw poppies, clover – several types, lithodora two types, thyme rosemary, vinca, lentisks, bee orchid types brown and green, brown and yellow and green and yellow.

We enter the Parc National de Garraf. Here we saw daffodils, small and large, muscari, small white nettle. There are bat boxes in some of the trees. Before coming out here we arranged our burials in Colney Wood and you can have wild life boxes there. Mini has already chosen an owl box which is appropriate as she knows how to spell it - "olive" since she had her stroke. I would like a blue tit box as I have a tit which could sometimes be blue and Neil now knows he would like a bat box because he is bats. Ian hasn't chosen yet but I think, all things considered, he should have a musical box.

Note on bird names: boobies, tits and "great bastards" as pronounced by a fine German naturalist.

After a long stretch of wild track plus a short ascent on a lovely narrow path, unfortunately marked with posts with red knobs on – a track ripe for improvement - we reached a road which carried us on and up into the mountains. At our highest point we reached 470 metres which is quite a climb from sea level. Twice on this road we had to hide ourselves in the bushes as a film company was making a film and didn't want odd bodies cluttering up the set. A red Cadillac was being towed up the hill by a lorry on which were mounted the cameras for filming. The second time we were joined in the bushes by one of the crew. She told us the name of the film El Asesino a Sueldo. Later we saw a red Cadillac which may have been the one being filmed or another one also in the film. Neil took a picture and the man there told me the name of the director -Saloman Shans. The film is due to come out in November or December so we will look out for it. It sounds as though it might be quite funny. It would also be entertaining to look out for ourselves in the bushes.

We also saw juicy blue iris (barbary nuts) and at the nature reserve centre a pistachio lentiscus labeled at the Environmental Centre.

The hydraulic buffers at Barcelona Francia were made in Ipswich. The Walk was 21.7 km but stoop in parts so it felt like more.

The spina bifida yoghurt seems to working. I shall have a day off it tomorrow.

My belly is calming down – perhaps you get used to the medication after a while or maybe the twinges were caused by something quite other which is passing off. You never can tell.

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