Friday, March 9, 2012

Sant Onofre

This afternoon we drove up the mountain behind us, dodging a red legged partridge in the middle of the road, past the looming monastery of St Pere de Rodas to Mas Ventos. This is an old ruin of a farmhouse with one side of it renovated to provide a huge barbecue in a covered over space. Picnic tables spread are out among the rocks, with a spectacular view over the Bay of Roses.

From here we followed a well defined, sandy path that goes around the side of the mountain to the church of St. Onofre.  The track is easy to follow and is not too rugged. It is a lovely walk high up on the mountain, approximately six hundred metres, with the mountains and the sea below and huge rocky outcrops interspersed with pine trees, rosemary and flowering juniper above.

 Finally, passing the remnants of an old metal track that provided some kind of transportation up to the church, we reached the dazzling little white church, St. Onofre, built in the 1600s. A previous church was on the site in the 1300s. St.Onofre was the church for the people of  Palau Saverdera, which lies directly below. From the lookout you have wonderful views of Roses, Empuriabrava, the Aiguamolls and the whole Emporda plain, all the places we visit. Unfortunately the church is not open but there is a festival held here in May. There are some lovely, very old black and white pictures depicting locals dancing outside the church. If you walk down to the church gardens and look back up to St. Onofre you appreciate how difficult it must have been to build the church on the huge rocky outcrop.

We are already planning our next trip here but we will take a different route and climb the path from Palau Saverdera to St.Onofre along the path to the Mas and back. This will be more challenging.

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