After about a week in Platja D'Aro I started to get itchy feet. As we drove South we saw people of all ages gathering along the sides of the road, wearing the red and yellow colours of Catalunya. They were organising themselves to form a human chain all the way to France, a distance in excess of 400km. At the border with Valencia Province there were Guardia Civil, police, camera crews, overhead helicopters, even riot police all ready for the off. The Valenciano Authorities must have been expecting emotions to run high later in the day. The Catalunians are passionate about securing a referendum for independence and this event had been staged in order to gain publicity for their cause.
Whenever we find ourselves in this neck of the woods we somehow always drive past Peñíscola . Deciding that this year would be different, our approach to the town proved very disappointing Oh dear, Mike had kept a magazine article since 2001, surely his dream wasn't going to be shattered? All we saw initially were the concrete block hotels that lined the beach and the depressing half completed urbanisations around the edge. Even if Peñíscola had been misrepresented in his article at least he could get the burgeoning pile of laundry out of the way. With this in mind we found a great campsite. Swimming pool, bar, restaurant, unlimited hot showers, all for 6 euro a night. Peñíscola turned out to be charming! What a change in fortunes. The Old Town is real, people actually live behind the ancient walls, and of course, as is so often the case in Spain, we stumbled over a festival. A very noisy fundraiser for cancer research in the port, griddled sardines on the menu there. And later a bull run. A Spanish pastime not just limited to Pamplona and as ever, we wanted to experience what appeals in the Spanish psyche. The odds were stacked against the poor bull from the start. He was released into a temporary bull ring with a metal grand stand around the edge. After being taunted by human males for several minutes the bull was scared further by a loud bang and a fanfare. He was liberated from the ring, ran down the street and onto another enclosed section on the beach. Mike ran ahead of the bull along the street between the grandstand and the beach. The bull was faster, so Mike jumped out of the way and I noted that most of the Spanish stayed behind the bull. So much for their machismo. I felt so sorry for the bull, it was a beautiful creature, with big brown eyes. He looked so sad and I couldn't help but wonder what the poor chap was thinking about us humans.
Last week we were given a new Spanish Website, called FurgoVW. It is stuffed full of overnight locations. Although intended for VW campers we found a suitable stop over at Cala de Sant Jordi, just south of Tarragona, where we stayed for one night after our departure from Platja D'Aro on our way to Peniscola.
I love travel, any type. There is always a buzz in finding & exploring a place for the first time, meeting and making new friends and if you return things are never quite the same.
Going away? Travel essentials from across Amazon
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