Wednesday, January 9, 2013

A walk along the beach to Sant Marti d'Empuries

We haven't really taken advantage of the warm weather we have had this last week. Once again it was twenty-four degrees celsius but very windy. The last time we were at St. Pere Pescador it was still beach weather. Today the big, long, wide beach was nearly deserted. We set off battling the wind with no real plan on how far we would walk. I'm glad we weren't swimming today as the white capped waves were huge. After about fifteen minutes we were into the rhythm of the walk and we ignored the strong wind blowing in our faces. We walked and walked finally spotting a campground, with flags flying, that from a distance looked liked it was open. Coffee perhaps? We crossed the beach, walked up the path only to find out that like everything else, it was closed. We saw one man then another. They were looking to go into the dunes, which they eventually did. Then another head popped up, resembling a meerkat. This is a gay cruising area.

By now we could clearly see the village of Sant Marti d'Empuries, a spot we have visited before. We continued along the beach, crossed a little bridge and stopped at the first hotel, closed. The path we followed is the same popular one that passes the Greek and Roman ruins at Empuries on the other side of Sant Marti. In fact the first Greeks settled here in the sixth century BC before they moved along the beach to Empuries. We kept walking along the path into the narrow laneways of the village passing the ruins of old medieval stone buildings and the blocked village well. Finally, we rounded a corner to discover a couple of restaurants that were open. We were glad to sit down after trudging up the beach for an hour and a half. Even better, the server obviously seeing that we were in need of sustenance brought us a dessert menu. We ordered cortados - espresso with a little milk - a huge bottle of water and two crepes. My grand marnier crepe came with heated liqueur that was flambéed over the crepe. Seamus had a mermelada crepe of very tasty apricot jam. We switched halfway through. Now revived we could appreciate the view across the square of the ancient parish church of St. Marti de'Empuries, dating back to 834.

Leaving the restaurant we crossed the square to the church, which looks out over the sea. Sitting on a plinth in front of the church, I prepared for the return trip by removing a great amount of sand that had accumulated in my shoes. Back on the beach, the sun was now much lower in the sky causing us to pick up our pace. Once again we were the only people on the beach except for a couple of people walking their dogs in the far distance. The wind was still very strong but now at least it was at our backs pushing us along. Finally, just as the huge, orange sun was starting to disappear behind the dunes we reached the car. Once again I emptied the beach from my shoes and socks. This was the perfect walk, sun, sand, sea and a lovely snack break at the halfway point.

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