A holiday does not feel complete until the photos are sorted and it’s written up, so by way of closure, I’m joining Jo’s Monday walk (as I slip away for another few days break). Costa Brava meaning wild/rough coast is indeed rugged and the holiday had a slight rocky start when walking poles did not fit in my luggage and I forgot to pack walking boots! Fortunately this area is a magnet for ramblers as well as sun-seeking swimmers and having purchased some papaya bright footwear we set off.
Rather than detail this Catalonian trek, I prefer to recall the impressions, beginning with a smug feeling of enjoying mild sunny days whilst England was having a misplaced wintry blast. The hike from La Fosca opens with a seductive climb into maritime pine forests – trees which epitomise this coast. The warm, balsamic aromas from Pinus pinasterare are ideal for the lungs (whilst the extract as Pycnogenol® is deemed to aid circulation – something I could have done with as the climbs became steeper).
The route mostly hugs the outlines from cove to cove, with opportunities to drop down into sandy bays to paddle hot feet or sit and dream on rocky outlets in turquoise waters. The only drawback of such lotus-eating is that invariably we were too late for lunch along the way, before the siesta set in.
Of course every descent meant a following incline and whilst there were one of two brief respites of flat meadowland, the landscape was effectively coastal roller coaster so that even the stopover towns were terraced and stepped.
Runners readily tackle the long ascent to Calella’s lighthouse view point. For me it was a chance to fully recover my breath and relish how far we had come (starting point beyond the furthest headland)… unforseen were a few more challenges to come.
This taste of the Catalan coast was like salt and honey with stately aloes and cacti rubbing shoulders alongside more familiar trees and shrubby herbs. (An unlikely mix which resonates in the regional politics of separatist identity whereby Spanish speaking is eschewed in favour of Catalan, French or English).
The beauty is oft-times rugged, sometimes picture postcard. There are fishing villages, stony coves, edgy ascents, rooty erosions and a final clamber over boulders to the tantalising cove of Tamariu.
Postscript: We rounded off this trek with a stopover in the historic city of Girona – where there were still more steps!
The local transport, hotels and detailed walking routes were arranged by InnTravel who were especially organised and helpful. But mostly I’m thankful to my son and walking companion for his support, which at times was quite literal!