Saturday, October 20, 2007

View from hotel window

Look! No mountains.

The view over my shoulder is our 1st view of the Mediterranean.

Saturday 20th Oct MaƧanet to La Jonquera 21kms

After last nights dinner with a bottle of rosado del Empordà and rugby game with 2 bottles of Catalan cava, and not a huge amount of sleep due to the church bell tower chiming every 15 minutes, this morning we took things slowly. Back to La Quadra for a big breakfast and then out into the day. After yesterdays marathon pace today went relatively leisurely. We had a hard climb toward the village of La Vajol passing by an old mine that was used during the civil war to store priceless art works from El Prado and about 50 million dollars of gold bullion. Shortly before La Vajol we came up to a high point and had our first real view of the Mediterranean. We could clearly see the Bay of Roses and the rocky hills to the north of it which were our final destination, the Cape de Creus. For us it would be another 3 days walk to reach the end as the GR11 twists around looking for all the hardest tracks to follow, while to get there in a car from where we were would only take a couple of hours. A short stop in the tiny village of La Vajol for a glass of mineral water, Vichy Catalan, and on. Lunch later in a field with views of the Med of the usual white bread (my only complaint about spanish food, most of the bread is not good), cheese, sliced sausage, sardines, biscuits. We arent going to miss the lunch menu. The walk today is fairly boring, just following gravel tracks. We finally hear the hum of traffic. La Jonquera is today a major truck stop on the main motorway from France into Spain. It is full of shops selling cheap alcohol, perfume, tobacco, etc., and the french flock here to buy stuff. Being a major truck stop means there are drivers from all over Europe and I am hoplng that there will be a bar with a tv that is showing the rugby world cup final, a big ask on a saturday night in Catalonia when Barcelona are playng as well. Sure enough every single bar had the tv tuned to football, rugby nada. I managed to convince the owner of the hotel we were in to tune the little tv in the reception area to the french channel (we were only 4 kms from the border) and we watched the Sth Africans beat the English. This time we only drank Vichy Catalan.