Towards France

We are quite eager to get away from the big city and back to nature, so after waving good-bye to Dan, we return to Emma and leave Barcelona going up north-east, ducking out under a large black cloud that threatens to come down on the city in a heavy thunderstorm.

We find a place by the sea, a beautiful little cove called Platja de Castell, down a forgotten path. On a large car park, we only have one neighbour, a vivacious Australian woman called Gemma, a seasoned traveller who is in love with China and shows us some beautiful jewellery she has brought over from there… I can’t resist a well-crafted pair of ear rings!

The sea is gloriously clean and calm, so we go for a swim in the setting sun. Walking back up from the beach, we stop to listen to the nightingales. They are projectile ventriloquists – able to choose their singing spots to make their song resonate in such a way that you cannot place where it comes from. It is notoriously difficult to actually see a nightingale.

That night, proper rain catches up with us too, drumming on the roof and washing off all the city dirt.

The next morning, we set off early so as to avoid being caught on a narrow road in the steady counterflow of day visitors to the beach.

We set on our travels with the intention of finding a quiet place, somewhere near the sea, where we are welcome and where there is a space to practice dancing. Places that have been recommended to us turn out to be far too touristic for our liking, with car parks charging by the minute and hordes of foreigners flooding large supermarkets. Just as we are about to give up and turn inland, we get ‘lost’ down a little road that takes us past Sant Pere Kites, a restaurant and surf/paddle school about 3 minutes bike ride from the beach. What catches my attention is actually a newly built skateboard half-pipe that looks like a perfect place to practice Tango on! We stop and reverse into their parking lot. We meet Dani and Anna, the proprietors, and Pau and various other workers, all busy to get the place ready for the season. Dani is happy for us to practice Tango, and not only that, but welcomes us to stay the night. This is the perfect place for us, and we end up staying a few days. We can sleep in the van with the doors open at night, we practice Tango every morning and I get time to put several hours of bandoneon practice in while Frank lends a hand with the work that needs to be done in time for the ‘grand opening’. In the mornings and evenings, we hop on our bikes to go down to the beach for a swim. There are quite a number of tourists around here too, but as the beach is huge, they are quite spread out and all seems very chilled. At night, we are usually the only ones there – a good opportunity to skinny-dip!

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The crew at Sant Pere Kite is super friendly to us, and we admire their hard work to transform the place. It’s a real boy-zone, with possibilities for play everywhere: a pool table, a halfpipe to practice your skating skills (or your Tango J), a bike stand, a wooden platform for a boogie, a chillout corner with a sound system, and the restaurant has a wood-fired pizza oven.

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The publicity says they are ‘Open every f*** day from 11am – 2am’  – slightly shocking advertising to our ears, but I guess aimed at the young surfing crowd.

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They are also a creative lot – one day, Anna shows us photos of her art work on her mobile phone – very strong, colourful images – and as she tells us her thoughts behind the images, she really comes alive, her eyes shine bright with a passion and love for her work. She also works at an architect’s firm in Barcelona: quite a schedule…

 

As we are about to leave, we also meet the owner of this little piece of land, an Englishman called Mike. We share a meal and some travelling stories… he’s just driven all the way to and from Venice, a 3000 km round trip, to help someone move their furniture!

 

For  photos, go to Flikr


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