Lots of BEACH WALKING – Platja de Sant Pere Pescador & Les Dunes to L’Escala in Catalonia | GR92 – Day 10
We had a big plan for the day to do 20kms and get to the village L’Escala. It shouldn’t have taken us much effort as the route was going practically flat all the way through. But we knew that we were going to deviate from the GR trail and walk closer to the beach instead so we couldn’t be sure about how long it was going to take us. And also it was depending a lot on the weather.
We got up at 8am that day after having a quiet night in the camping La Laguna. As usual we had our breakfast – a meal that was left from the day before cous cous with tomatoes. Then wrapped up everything and packed the tent. We didn’t rush much and got a bit lazy so were able to start the day only at 11am.
From the start of the day which was already almost midday in reality, the sky was clear and the sun was shining very strong on our heads. We began walking through the open fields with little to no shade and could feel the power of it. All the first half of the trail we were to walk through the Natural Park Aiguamolls de Emporda where due to the internet info we could meet lots of water birds including migratory in the right season as well as nutrias and some mammals as well. So we were very excited about it.
The same as the day before we met a lot of cyclists that day too and not much hikers at all, no one with a big backpack. We spotted several small airplanes and then lots of parachutes appearing on the sky all at once doing expert tricks.
As we walked in the fields we saw the sunflower, apple and corn plantations. Also there were several major mansions deep in the gardens most of them seemed very neglected and half ruined and only one was in a good condition. We learnt that they were the property of the major agricultors of 19th century as there were many rice plantations in these places at that time.
The sun was getting very hot and thus didn’t contribute to a faster pace. Soon we entered to a protected area of the park which had the info center at the entrance. There we followed a nice shaded path along the river channels for some time. But unfortunately we could see barely any water. There were several spots with little ponds and still water but no big lakes or flowing streams. Maybe we were there at the wrong season and in winter, there could be more water, we didn’t know it for sure.
We had to walk through the path all the way until the beach. And when we came we began feeling dizzy as the air was suffocating and it was hard to breathe in addition to the sun hitting our heads. So we stopped for a minute in a shade and washed our faces and neck with the water from the beach showers. It helped to refresh us a bit.
At this point, we were to cross the river to the other side of the beach and we didn’t know whether it would be possible or not. We made a decision to follow the coastline on our own rather than following the GR92 that was waving further in the fields. But as there was no bridge over the river we were concerned about how deep it would be and how hard it was going to be to cross it.
When we saw a river, it wasn’t too wide but we had yet to check its depth. Some man on the other side kindly helped us pointing to the lowest part of the river where it was perfectly possibly to cross just wetting the feet and legs to the level of the knees.
We hoped to encounter some shaded path along the coast in a way of embankment but it wasn’t the case. In reality, we had to walk in the sun practically all the time which on such day was a torture. Again we saw how these routes were made more for the cycling than walking as you could get faster through them. So it was quite tedious and boring to get through these parts going in a straight line.
But then we had to walk right through the sand at the side of the beach and it was definitely a highlight of the trail for that day. Surprisingly it wasn’t that hard to walk on it as in the places with few people passing the sand was quite rigid. There going in the line was a fenced protected area of the beach for the sea birds to be able to make their nests and also for the fauna restoring.
We got a fresh cool breeze in the faces and spectacular views of the coastline in front. There were quite a lot of people at the beach for this low season but we thought one of the main reasons was the Saturday afternoon which was a weekend. A lot of people were wind surfing and kite surfing in the water and it was a treat to see such a variety of sports on the beach. We saw many spots where to rent the equipment or take lessons right at the place. Of course we got plenty of sand in our shoes but still it was worth it.
We were very tired at some point and wanted to have a break in the shade that was so hard to find. Finally, we found a big pitch with green grass and a little shade from the palm tree where we put our mat and could rest a bit. It definitely felt like the heat already stroke us in the heads and we felt quite lazy and weak because of that.
So this way we passed through enormous long beaches Platja de Sant Pere Pescador and Platja de les Dunes and saw endless raw of campgrounds extending all the way along the beaches.
Then we came to an interesting site an attraction – Greek Roman Ruins of Empuries that was an ancient Greek city built in the 6th century BC. Where by 195 BC the Romans were building their own city nearby. It is believed to be one of the most important archeological sites in Catalonia and even the whole Spain. We were just passing by it of course but it is possible to visit also for a small fee if you have time.
We continued on walking at the sea front of L’escala town and getting through many people being on an evening stroll. It was a typical white town for this area with a pronounced Arabic influence in details of architecture. The old part was located on a hill with an ancient church in the center. We got through the narrow streets and entered more modern part where was located our campground.
It had a proper name L´Escala and turned out to be a budget friendly camping with the new facilities and great mosaic tiles in the shower area made for kids. It was spacious and green enough and had few people probably because it was closing the next day. It was a pity because we would definitely stay there for an extra night as we really liked it and also felt like having a break for the muscles.
So we had only 2 hours of daylight left and before sleep. All we wanted was to take a shower badly after sweating so much that day and it was a treat especially with a powerful massage shower faucet as we called it. Then we had our dinner and very soon went to sleep.