Yesterday morning, Sebo and Harley were dragged away from their comfortable resting places to hit the road southwesterly once again.
Our destination? Calella – or, more accurately, Pineda De Mar, marginally east of Calella since this is where there’s a decent Aire. As always, Team Sebo have opted for the more difficult route – the coastal road, as opposed to “the big road”. It has a reputation for being very winding and uphill/down dale so it should be a tad more interesting -and certainly more scenic -than merely shooting down the more inland dual carriageway. It certainly proved to be so- the spectacular views being made all the more so in the brilliant sunshine we enjoyed enroute. Believe me, folks, the pictures in no way do it justice! A steep winding road, hugging the coastline, with intermittent “panorama” pull-ins. Awesome is really the only word to describe it!
A couple of hours later, after a bit of faffing around in one-way streets, we managed to pull into AreaPineda – surprisingly, it’s slapbang in the middle of town, surrounded by hotels and apartments! But, since it’s only one block from the beach, and an easy walk into Calella – and only €10 for overnight parking, including services- we were in! We parked up, had a bite to eat, then headed off down the beach towards Calella. The sun was still shining and we were in lightweight walking trousers and tops – spot the tourists!!! The locals are all wrapped-up in puffa jackets, scarves, winter boots etc! Hilarious! An air temperature of 20C is a warm day to us……to them, it would appear to be positively ‘Baltic’!
We walked along the beach for a while to let Harley have a good run though he wasn’t too keen on swimming today – maybe the Atlantic-style rollers don’t entice him? We were the only ones on the beach – obviously the locals prefer to walk or cycle on the boardwalk here. I can’t say I blame them – the sand is so soft that it’s torture on the limbs after a while! It was interesting to see the pairs of gym machines – cross trainers, exercise bikes etc- thoughtfully installed by the local council along the promenade ( and not vandalised!!!). What a great idea! We later discovered that Calella is the”Sports Town of Europe 2016″ – maybe the gym kit is linked to this? Not only this but they have also made various walking trails, which they call “Health Trails” – graded on their length and difficulty, ranging from 1.5km to 10km-around the town and surrounding countryside. Having perused the map, we decided to stay here an extra night and do the 10km hillside trail tomorrow.
We wandered back to Sebo through the old town of Calella – away from the high rise 1970’s hotels, tacky shops and McDonalds ( which, strangely, was closed!), the old town has narrow back streets with a good selection of less touristy bars and shops. Spotlessly clean and with a good vibe – and tapas bars with more realistic prices!
Harley was delighted to get back to Sebo after a long afternoon of walking – he was even more delighted when he realised we were going out to explore Pineda De Mar and his company wasn’t required. We could see the relief on his face as he disappeared into his bed to curl up and sleep!
Pineda De Mar is a lovely town – nice old houses, with a pretty town square currently sporting an ice rink for Christmas. We slaked our thirsts with a pint of Estrella each(€2.60, lads!) before heading back to Sebo for dinner. There appears to be a large resident population here rather than it just being a summer holiday resort. At 6pm – well after dark-the town square was full of small children and their parents enjoying the play park! Great buzz about the place.
We resisted the temptation to eat out here – on the grounds that we had food in the fridge-so back to Sebo we went, cooked dinner and lashed into a Lidl “brick” of Vino Tinto – as you do when it’s only 62 cent a litre!
As is becoming the norm here, we slept in until after 9am! Well after 9am, in fact! I cannot believe how quickly we’ve both lost the habit of waking at 7am to get up for work! Happy days! When we finally managed to get up out of bed, it was a case of get dressed, eat breakfast, throw together a packed lunch and a flask of coffee and hit the promenade towards Calella again for our “Big Walk”. On reaching the map board in Calella, we decided to combine two of the walks so as to incorporate the lighthouse and the hillside walk, thus extending it’s duration. Absolutely fabulous walk – with amazing views.
Luckily, the forecasted showers held off until we were almost back to Sebo. Both of us know we’ve done a good walk – first time in a long time that we’ve walked 16km+ Poor Harley has done even more with his running on the beach and up and down the hillside! Safe to say he is flaked out in his bed for the night now!
We’ve decided to give Barcelona a miss this time around on the grounds of the horrendous crime rate, the equally horrendous price of overnight parking (€30!!) and the fact that we’d have to leave Harley in Sebo for more than just a couple of hours. Personally, there’s nothing I’m desperate to see there and Roy has been before. There’s much more that I’d rather see in other parts of Spain to be honest.
Tomorrow, we’re going to head for a Cava vineyard just North West of Barcelona – ArtCava– it looks interesting, up in the Montserrat mountain area and they have gone to the trouble of providing a free Aire! We may even fork out for the tour of the vineyard and maybe even a bottle of Cava for Christmas….watch this space!