GR7 Spain.”Tourists don’t know where they’ve been, travelers don’t know where they’re going.” – Paul Theroux

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.

MapasenderoGR-7.png

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.

Approaching 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]

Don’t believe the times!

This is what we had come for – blue skies and warm days. Spent the morning walking up a dry barranca until stopped by cliffs.

Dry barranca.

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.

Morella in the distance.

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.

Vallibona

Some of the locals.

6 thoughts on “GR7 Spain.”Tourists don’t know where they’ve been, travelers don’t know where they’re going.” – Paul Theroux

    1. bowlandclimber Post author

      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…….

      Reply
    1. bowlandclimber Post author

      Tony,
      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.
      John.

      Reply

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