Montagut (Catalonia), Spain July 2021

Day 15 of our Tour saw us visit Besalu and then move on to a very quiet campsite just 13 miles away near Montagut i Oix on the edge of the Garrotxa Volcanic Zone National Park. There is very little of any interest in the area (unless you enjoy walking rough woodland trails up and down hills) but that suited us fine because we had booked in for two days with a view to simply chilling. We did that alright and enjoyed ourselves so much we stayed for a third night.

One absolute must during our stay was to watch the European Championship Semi-Final match between England and Denmark and that was achieved despite the camp having only very weak 3G and seriously poor Wifi. Vanya managed to stream the match on to two different I-pads (don’t ask me how) and while the I-pads took turns freezing one at least would work sufficiently well for us to follow most of the match. It wasn’t ideal but it worked and of course England won!

About 400 metres from our campsite alongside the road to Tortella is a narrow 28 metre high single arch 14th century bridge which crosses the River Llierca. Would you believe, Vanya actually made it to the top of the bridge? It was the river flowing very slowly under the bridge which most impressed the dogs. It became their private swimming pool with Beanie in particular loving the daily swim.

Of course, I cannot sit and do nothing even on chill days and so on two of our three days at Montagut I wandered off into the Garrotxa Park on short walks. They weren’t brilliant walks because (a) many of the trails are indistinct and (b) the tree line in this part of the world is so high that it is virtually impossible to get decent views but they kept me occupied.

My first walk was along part of Spain’s GR1 route and it took me from the Pont de Llierca up to and well beyond the Oratori de Plansalloses which chapel is popularly known as the ‘Saints Bodies’ after a legend that tells of the small bodies of numerous children being found there.

My second walk, the next day, was a longer route which took me in the opposite direction from the Pont de Llierca up to Montsiposit and then on to la Creu de la Ripolla. Absolute waste of time. The Santa Creu cross at the top of Montsiposit was more of a disappointment than the Oratori de Plansalloses. I had to fight may through a mass of thorns which cover the Montsiposit summit only to discover it the Santa Creu is little more than a small trig point with a cross on it. If that wasn’t bad enough, La Creu de la Ripolla proved to be nothing more than a yellow signpost pointing the way back to my start point and various other destinations.

Leaving the walks aside, we still enjoyed our stay in Montagut.

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