Pantà de Siurana reservoirJanuary 28, 2018 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 12 °C
It is always difficult to plan a route around a country as vast and varied as Spain. While we are incredibly fortunate to be able to spend so much time travelling, we can't visit everywhere and the more places we try to visit, the less quality time we get to spend in each. With long, relatively thin countries such as Italy we tend to take a route around the coast or border, dipping into the interior when a nature reserve or interesting town piques our curiosity. With wide countries such as Spain, we find it more difficult. What parts do we most want to see? Is the most efficient way of getting to them going to be the most rewarding? Will we like them when we get there? Will there be enchanting places along the way that beg us to stay longer? The freedom of vanlife is a wonderful thing but we've found it is best to be flexible! (Vicky is slowly improving at this lifeskill!) We haven't fixed a definite route for Spain yet, but today we began heading inland towards the capital city, Madrid. We plan to slowly make our way there over the hills.
The catalonian mountains turned out to be beautiful! The well maintained road wound its way back and forth along steep terraced terrain. It felt great to get away from the concrete and commercialism of the city and into the countryside. The ground was scantily clad in faded, dried grasses that often parted to expose sandy, orange earth, caked hard by the heat and drought. Lines of vines and trees striped the slopes and we occasionally saw a lone famer tending their plantation. As well as almonds, there were large numbers of trees laden with catkins, that we think are hazel.
Will had found a peaceful spot in a gravel car park close to a reservoir dam. We couldn't see the water when we arrived but a short walk revealed it to be at a very low level, so low in places that you could see the bed. From where we parked there was a good view of far off, almost vertical clifftops, their rocky striations held in high contrast by the bright sunlight.
At sunset we stood on the dam and looked down the valley, watching the colours change as the sun sank over the distant hills. We'd thought the clouds might be illuminated pink, but the hilly horizon was so high, the hues stayed golden as the light faded.
It was a clear, cold night with a waxing gibbus moon, that meant only the brightest stars were visible. Being high up, there was a patchy groundfrost and Vicky wrapped up well when she took a morning walk. Pockets of mist slowly lifted and as we drove away, we saw dew rising like smoke from tree branches and patches of grass, as they first became exposed to the the strong sun. What a great way to start the day!Read more