Monday, October 23, 2017

Spanish Pyrenees Walk 12: Cadaqués and Cap de

Dali house terrace

Our final day has arrived. The sun gleamed off the whitewashed buildings of Cadaqués as we ate breakfast and planned what to do for the day. Inntravel had a couple of suggested walks and we knew we were not going to tackle the 18km trek. The 15km, out-and-back, hike to the lighthouse atop Cap de Creus seemed much more doable especially if we took a taxi to the lighthouse and walked back. We decided to spend the morning in Cadaqués and the afternoon would be given over to the walk with a possible lunch at the resturaunt at the lighthouse.

Cadaqués began to grow on us. Our apprehension, if that is what it was, of the afternoon before eased. It is a resort town but it has character for all that and certainly places worth checking out. If you spend any time here it is well worth your time to visit Salvador Dali’s home. He and his wife Gala lived there for several decades. It is a remarkable place for its size, intricate passageways, unusual outside cascades and interesting design.  You will certainly find things to admire even if you aren’t particularly interested in Dali’s artwork itself. We spent well over an hour exploring the house and surprisingly substantial grounds. It sits at the base of a small cove and you can see how the cove could inspire someone of an artistic bent.  
bedroom of the Dali house

an egg and the sea

Christ in rubbish

mom and Ken on lips

By the time  we were done it was time for late-morning coffee. This is a hit or miss thing for us. While we have generally enjoyed the pastries, coffees have been so-so. Sometimes exceedingly tiny, barely more than a shot or two, of coffee even if you get an Americano.  It’s just not satisfying sometimes.  We worked our way through the twisting sometimes steep paved and cobblestones (well like cobblestones) streets to a grocery to get supplies for lunch. We had come to suspect that although the lighthouse resturaunt might be excellent that it would also eat up more time than we wanted to give it and not have small lunch-like meals anyway. 

We were able to get a taxi to drive us to the lighthouse. An open-topped Jeep pulled up and we tossed our packs and trekking poles in the back and got in. If you think of something like the Pink Jeep Tours of Sedona, AZ you should have a notion of what our vehicle was like. We zoomed off and up the twisting two-lane  paved road that takes you past multi-million dollar homes nestled in coves before rising steadily through rock and scrub filled slopes to Cap de Creus lighthouse which sits on the easternmost tip of Spain and has provided navigational aid to sailors since the mid-19th century. It was a ride well worth the 10 euros per person. I think the walk was nice enough but it is an out-and-back 15km walk that could seem dull if you go both ways so splurge and do it one way. Since getting a taxi from Cadaqués is almost certainly always going to be easier I suggest doing what we did and ride to the lighthouse and walk back.
parents on top of Cap de Creus - Spain’s easternmost bit of land.

ken and Dad

lighthouse on Cap de Creus

looking towards Cadaqués

If my GPS is to be believed the lighthouse is on a headland that’s about 240 feet (73m) above sea level. It looks higher than that. Your walk starts on the road but within 750 meters you join a trail that takes you into the rocks and scrub and gradually winds down and sometimes very close to the road. Now and then you climb up and over a knoll of rocks and through a denser section of prickly scrub. This is a harsh landscape. We actually would mess up a bit and lose the path and be forced onto the road sooner than we should have been. That speeds up the walking but probably doesn’t change the views much. You actually don’t get many views of the coves below as you descend. The main feeling is that you are walking through a tough to live on land.

The road certainly has traffic but it isn’t moving that fast so you don’t feel too nervous even if walking on the road. We enjoyed the descent and within 2 hours we were passing by the cove of the Dali home. Not long after that we made one last climb and steep descent before returning to the hotel. Even with a break for our sandwiches and later oranges we completed the walk in about 3 hours and I think enjoyed it quite a bit even though we had more road walk than we had wanted (some by design to avoid a tougher stretch on rocky path down into and then back out of a valley the road curled around).

Dinner at La Sirena was decent but pricy. Far more pricy than Casa Nun the night before and I would recommend Casa Nun far more highly than Sirena.  We suffered sticker shock when we saw the price for the sangria (23 euros).  But even with that we have enjoyed our time in Cadaqués.

Distance of walk: 7.8km
Moving time: 2 hours 22 minutes
Stopped Time: 24 minutes
I am not sure I trust the ascent and descent numbers. While we had some ups mixed in with descent the reported number just seem wrong (ascent:122m; descent 185m). 
Sunny skies with a  high just about 80F.

1. The whitewashed stone wall and an egg as seen from a terrace in the house Salvador Dali and his wife Gala lived in for decades.

2. The Dali bedroom. Photo by Judy.

3. A view from the top of a tower, I think called Pots Tower, of the Dali house.

4. From the uppermost point of the Dali house looking down on “Christ in Rubbish”- a construction from the fertile imagination of Dali.

5. Mom and Ken on lips by the lap pool of the Dali by Jonathan

6. Mom and Dad at Cap de Creus lighthouse.

7. Dad and Ken in the same spot as the previous photo. Photo by Judy.

8. The lightouse at Cap de Creus. This is the easternmost tip of Spain.

9. Looking towards the invisible Cadaqués. The town is in a farther away cove than you can see here.

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