Archive for August 28, 2006

Delta del Ebro(Delta de l’Ebre)

This past week was really something else. The football game on Tuesday, an amazing dinner at Cardamon (C/ Carders, 31) on Thursday night and a great weekend with friends at the delta. The restaurant is in the old part of Barcelona and is in a building built in 1734. That’s older than I am, wow. The food there is great and it’s not too expensive. Naomi introduced us to this place a few weekes ago.

Then on Friday, Francisca, Jackie, Sebastian, Naomi, Alex and I took the train from Barcelona to Delta del Ebro. The following description is an excerpt from the Barcelona city guide.
The Ebro Delta covers 320 square kilometres and is the second largest wetland area in the western Mediterranean, after the French Camargue.
It has many natural habitats not common to the rest of Catalonia: large lakes of salt water (such as La Tancada) or fresh water (such as L’Encanyissada), kilometres of beaches with sand dunes (El Fangar) and salt wastelands (Erms de la Tancada, Punta de la Banya), places where underground fresh water comes to the surface (Els Ullals), shallow bays (El Fangar or Els Alfacs), riverbank woods and fluvial islands that, together with the ecosystems created by man – rice fields and salt pans – constitute a unique landscape of great natural wealth.

This diversity of ecosystems and flora and fauna has led to the protection of a large part of the Delta and in 1983 it was declared a “natural park”. It is in fact an ornithological paradise where you can see more than 300 species of birds.

We rented a nice little house in Sant Carles de la Rapita and arrived Friday evening around 7:30.

Off we go to explore and walk by the sea towards Sant Carles. On the way we passed by the fishing port. Lot’s of activity there.

We found a place where we rented bicycles to go cycling the next day. Sebastian is quite the cyclist and has cycled all over the place. Places like New Zealand and in the Himalayas (almost as far up as base camp for Everest climbers). You can tell he is comfortable on the bike just by looking at his form……….but that’s a whole other story.

Sant Carles is a tourist town and very popular.The mountains on one side,

the sea on the opposite side and the delta to one end. The delta itself is very flat and a large part of it is used by farmers to grow rice. Because rice grows in water, there are many irrigation canals flow control gates in the fields.

We cycled along the dirt roads that run all over the area and went down any road that headed in the general direction we wanted to go. It was quite windy so the heat wasn’t much of a problem.

We eventually ended up in a conservation area and nature park. This was the wetlands of the area.

Lot’s of birds. As a matter of fact, the park is a very popular bird watching area so there are lots of blinds for observing the wildlife as Francisca is.

We ended up in a pueblo (small village) called Poble Nou where we stopped for lunch. The menu consisted of 6 plates. The food was amazing (as usual) but we only ordered the menu for three because we would not have been able to eat all the food that was on the menu for one. There were six of us and we still walked away stuffed.

We cycled from there to the beach at platja dels Eucaliptus which was about a 30 minute cycle from the resaurant. I must confess that my butt was becoming slightly tender. Once we got to the beach I was in the water in minutes. Floating in the salt water was soooooo relaxing. Soon, we had to start back. We had no idea how far we’d gone or how long it would take us to get back to Sant Carles. We had to have the bikes back by 8:00 or risk paying extra but you know, we were on a holiday so if we got back later, so what. We weren’t going to race back to get there on time. Ok, a confession, even if we wanted to we couldn’t race back to get there on time. All we could do was hope to get back period. The following photos were taken in the middle of the ride, please note the expressions on the faces of the cyclists, Jackie and Alex. Let me just say that we all didn’t look that fresh at this point.

We finally made it back to the shop and we were still in good spirits, tired but very happy to be back and we were on time. We calculated that we had cycled at least 50 kms that day. I know it doesn’t sound like much but it was a full day.

We started walking back towards our casa and picked up food from different shops along the way. Francisca and Sebastian were playing catch with a half full water bottle which brought looks of concern on some passers by. About a kilometre from our casa I decided it would be far easier to run than continue walking so I finished up with a short run.

That night Sebsation cooked on the barbeque and we sat, drank wine and chatted the evening away.

Sunday was a quiet day for me, too much sun the previous day. The chicas went to the beach and Sebastian and I stayed at the casa playing chess. Actually, he was playing chess, I was playing Rambo. We left for the train station at 4:30 and that was the weekend.

Alex and I had a great time.

August 28, 2006 at 10:27 am Leave a comment

August 2006

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