100km Cambrils – St Carles de la Rapita
A bit of overenthusiasm to see the rice fields of Spain led us to one of our longest days in quite a while.
After an enjoyable morning winding our way through olive groves on a quiet road with hardly any traffic (we finally found an alternative to the busy highway we’ve been following lately), we decided to meandre further onto the Delta de L’Ebre.
Rice growing is the main pursuit here and for miles around all you can see are the flooded fields. We enjoyed seeing how they grow the rice, the irrigation systems they use, fields full of birds, so much so that we got a bit further out on the Delta than we’d realised and were then stuck for a place to camp with the light fading quickly on us.
We decided to make for the nearest town, hoping to see a camping spot en route, but with every field waterlogged it was nearly as impossible to find a place to pitch our tent as on the developed beaches elsewhere on the coast. And despite finding campsites open further north, we have not seen much the last few days. We should have stopped at a beach we saw earlier in the afternoon but chose to carry on instead. The local youth hostel was also closed.
By the time we got to St Carles de la Rapita it was really dark – the perils of cycling in the winter! You don’t have the option to carry on later into the evening. By 6pm your time is pretty much up. We once again took advantage of the local two star hotel, which in its favour gave us a room with a large balcony so we could fire up our stove and cook our own supper.
Staying in hotels really blows the budget quickly and we don’t like to do it too often but whether it’s a lack of experience or just bad luck in not finding camping spots, we have found the winter tough for that.