October 25, 2018 L’Ampolla SP

We finally did some serious back country driving today.  Rather than take the freeways back to the coast we decided to cut across the mountains of Aragon to the coast.  The drive was up and down and for about 35 km’s on a pretty rough one and a half lane road.  The good news was that the roads were not busy at all and most of the time we could take our time traversing the many switch backs and curves.  While it was a lot of work we were rewarded with some incredible views and the most remote terrain we have seen anywhere in Europe.  We saw a great town right out of the movies called Morella which had an immense hilltop castle with a walled town under it.  The castle was originally built by the Knights Templar to defend against the Moslem kingdom in Andalusia.  While it was beautiful and remote it was obviously poorer than the areas we have been traveling in with none of the modern homes and apartments we have seen everywhere else.

We are not sure of the name of this town, but we eventually passed thru it on the road near the top left of the photo.  Miles and miles of the hills also had the terraces you see on the lower left side. We are not sure what crop they grow there.
We also saw our first fall colors in Spain.  The mountains were full of cottonwoods.

Tonight we are parked in the town of Ampolla which is adjacent to one of the largest estuaries in Spain.  After the long drive we took some time to rest before going out to explore the local area.  Adjacent to the campsite is the estuary which is one of the major rice producing areas for Spain.  It is also a wildlife sanctuary hosting a wide variety of birds including flamingos even though we did not see any.

After dinner we walked along the boardwalk into town.  It is a pleasant little seaside resort, which was largely abandoned during off season.  We continue to be very impressed with how the Spanish set their towns up to make walking a pleasure with wide sidewalks.

Sunset on the Mediterranean.

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