Just hop on a plane to Spain and you will find lots of beautiful trails to enjoy. I’ve been walking the GR7 now for a few years – doing a few weeks at a time. The trail goes through the mountains from Tarifa in the SW to Andorra, about 2000K.
This last week have been walking between Morella and Tivissa in Catalonia.
Unable to blog from my phone [technophobic] I’m catching up from home.
Two of us [my cousin The Pieman has been drafted in for a trip] flew into Reus with your friendly airline, jumped a taxi to Tarragona railway station to catch a train down the coast to a place called Vinaros. But at the last minute found out from Tourist Information that there are no buses from there to Morella, our intended destination in the hills. A quick change of plan found us on a slow train to Castellon where there may be a bus. Don’t know why after two and a half hours I decide to go to the loo just as the train slows down for the next station. Panic sets in when the train stops and I suspect this is Castellon. A quick sprint back down several coaches finds Pieman staring out of the windows unable to see a station name. Grabbing everything we jump out of the train just as the doors close and it speeds off to Valencia – that was close!
After a coffee to calm down we go in search of the bus to Morella – the general consensus of the locals is that there is one later in the afternoon. The journey takes over two hours through unknown villages and a spectacular hairpin road up to Morella.
We are the only ones to survive this far and wander off into the labyrinth of lanes to find a place to stay. We stumble across the Fonda Moreno and get a room. It’s been a long day so we go in search of a beer and find an authentic looking local bar. I don’t know what it is but we always seem to attract either the local nutter or a well-drunken stranger. This time it was the latter, speaking rapid Spanish, and it took us some time to extricate ourselves.
Superb supper and a long night’s sleep found us refreshed the next morning to locate the GR7 way-marks [red and white flashes]
This is what we had come for – blue skies and warm days. Spent the morning walking up a dry barranca until stopped by cliffs.
Climbing out brought us onto a large limestone ridge which we followed for an hour or so. There were superb views back to the castellated hill town of Morella.
A graded descent on an ancient mule track eventually brought us into the small isolated village of Vallibona surrounded by spectacular cliffs, it had taken us 6hrs. We found a very friendly cheap hostale for the night, enjoyed another tasty supper and quiet night’s sleep. This is how it is in these Spanish mountain villages. Only a few dozen people live permanently in this village although a lot of the houses have been renovated as weekend retreats from Barcelona etc.
I lkie that quotation.
From your description that sounds like a remote and attractive wilderness GR.
Were you tenting – that looks like a big pack?
I think the way he is standing makes it look big. Only weighed about 6kg. [Granite Gear Vapour Trail.] We did however have bivi sacs and sleeping bags for some of the places to come…….
Hi John, have you done the bit of GR7 through Sierra Nevada. I cant find it on you blog if you have, but that may be my search!
Yes, that was in fact the first area I explored and came across the GR7 signs. That was before I started blogging and my pics are on slides, keep meaning to scan them.
The Alpujarras is a wonderful area, more like Nepal than Spain, I am surprised you haven’t been. Let me know if there is any particular query.
Ok. Thanks. I am putting together options for a group and have shared your blogs in Tenerife. Wondered if you had similar stories about the Sierra Nevada.
Yes I have great stories about the Sierra Nevada, would take me some time to organise a post.