Day 44 Cambrils, still

I lied when i said the Olimar has a thousand rooms – the noise just makes it seem as if it has. I checked with reception, and there are only 152, but most are filled with families.  Hence the noise – I don’t mind it; it means that people are having fun; it’s just that I’ve been on my own for a few weeks, and have grown accustomed to quietude.

Down for breakfast – left the fried stuff alone; two bowls of cornflakes, two mini croissants, OJ. No coffee – it was barely drinkable yesterday.  Emily and Rosalie are still at Tomakin;  I called Emily via messenger and got the goss – they went to see Ellie, who had just received a postcard from me – posted nearly a month back. Gotta stay on the right side of the wrinklies 🙂 We had a great chat, then I packed up, got the bike in the lift, and walked it down the street to my new hotel, the Vila Mar.

It was just after 10:00am, and I pushed the bike as the one way system is fairly complex, and the streets narrow; pushing meant a straight walk down the street with a right at the end; going through the one way system would have been like following one strand in a cooked bowl of spaghetti.

I told the receptionist that I was early, but asked if I could  store the bike and panniers until the room was ready – he told me it already was – we stored the bike in the hotel garage, and I checked in. Three single beds in the room; great bathroom, all the Spanish tv I could possibly want – Big Bang Theory was on, but not an episode I’d seen – they’d got the cast voices right, except for Penny’s;  she came across as much more strident.

My camera misbehaved today – I’d not clicked the memory card in properly, so it took photos into internal memory – the camera doesn’t have bluetooth, and I don’t have the correct USB cable to fit, so no piccies 😦  I thought the “U” in USB stood for universal – but apparently there are several universes – some long and thin, some tiny, and – I’m not sure where I was going here, but you get the general direction 🙂

Cambrils is really three towns clumped together;

there’s the old port, with its collection of narrow laneways behind, and the long stretch of seashore/beaches either side of the port itself;  then the modern (well, 20th Century, anyway) set of apartments, shops, bus and train stations (it has three), and about a kilometre away from the port is the old walled town, dating back to the early 1400s. Not much of the walls left – just one gate with a short stretch of wall, and an old corner tower – inside the old town are little glimpses of what was – an old column forming part of a house wall on a corner; an old horse trough and drinking fountain, now locked away behind a metal barrier.

I wandered around, finding little plaques everywhere describing what was – the Spanish were like everyone else back in the day –  bloodthirsty and always keener to ransack a town than grow their own stuff. Cambrils has been the site of battles, sieges and wars since 1300 or so. The torrent d’en Gener flows into the Med here, and acts as a town boundary. Barely flowing currently, but it’s got a walled flood plain – must get a fair flow in early Spring.

Back to the coast, and up through the touristy shops with their recognisable sales – kiss-me-quick  hats in several languages, tawdry souvenirs, beachwear and handmade local artifacts to show you’ve been. Lunch at the Med’s edge was 25 Euro; by the time I’d walked back to my hotel, some 300 metres away, the restaurant opposite was advertising the same meals for 12:50 – and the tables were full of locals. That’s where I ate -a seafood tasting plate – mussels, sardines, shrimp, fish fillets and some bits I’m not sure of, but tasted divine 🙂 A glass af sangria and a salad, and back to my room – I’m resting my knee – remember? And It’s not so sore, though a bit hard to tell – walking is not my strong suit.

Tomorrow is supposed to be wet and stormy – that’ll cramp my style. This stretch of coast is geared to active tourism – not much in the way of museums and churches. I’ll see what It’s like when I get up; last time I’ll see this part of the world, so I’ll try to see as much of it as I can.

I’ve actually been cycling – without realising it – EV8 from Barcelona to here. The reason I’ve not realised it is that the route is still in the planning stage. I’d recommend that they do what I’ve done – use a decent mapping tool ( works fine for me) pick a start and end point, and tell it to plan a route for bicycles. It does it pretty well. All they then need to do is put in some signage; but no, they’ll waffle on through committees and sub-committees for another decade. Bureaucrats. This is my third Eurovelo route trip, and I’ve not heard a peep from them – they must look inwards, not outwards.

See you down the road.


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