Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Llafranc and Timariu


We are staying with our friend Maggie in the delightful resort of Llafranc. We left Maggie's apartment to begin the coast path (cami de ronda) at the top of the steps which lead up from the north end of Llafranc's lovely sandy beach. Mysterious works are underway involving moving sand from one end of the beach to the other. 

The coast path here is all along the road, but we made it more interesting by reviewing every new house as we went along. Most seemed to have serious faults: tasteless shiny blue ceramic tiles, wood veneer that was already starting to age, that sort of thing.

At the top of the climb there is a great view back down the coast, with Llafranc in the foreground and Callella round the next headland.

The key landmark is the San Sebastia lighthouse, with to our eyes, a very unusual design involving a rather lovely rectangular building of 1867 as the base for the light.

Next up is the San Sebastia hotel and behind it, new since we were last here in 2008 is the site of a village of the Iberian people, dating from somewhere between the 6th century BC and the Roman conquest early in the first century.

 Following, as we thought, the direction of a finger post, we passed inland of the hotel and were entranced by a beautiful iris by the roadside.

Perhaps for this reason, we headed blindly on down the road, despite a nagging feeling that we should be nearer the coast. We soon found a track, then another section of road and a further track (a local rather than long distance path) all signposted to Timariu. The last section of track involved a steep and rather exciting descent through woodland with cork oaks among the various trees. This ended in a suburban housing estate from which we found our way down into Timariu. Although this had been the wrong route, we had enjoyed a profusion of flowers especially Cistus (both pink and white) and Mimosa, plus wild lavender and rosemary among many others. 

After lunch, which enabled us to avoid some rain, we headed back along the coast path. The view back gave the best impression of Timariu: a village built inside a rocky cove with a lovely sandy beach.

Just round the headland we crossed a fabulous rocky area, skipping like mountain goats across the uneven surface. Such fun!

The next cove offered an appealing view, although we couldn't identify the dark yellow flower in the foreground.

Soon, after a steep and twisting descent, we reached Cala Pedrosa, a narrow rocky beach where our previous attempt to do this walk had floundered, resulting in a very short walk indeed. 

A steep climb brought us to a high path which led us past fields and through woodland to the 15th century watchtower at the back of the hotel.

We now climbed quite steeply and emerged into the Iberian village site. It was a bit frustrating to see how close we had been to the correct path.

Conditions: a bit of everything, cloudy and cool at first, hot and sunny, wet, dull and mild.

Distance: about seven miles.

Rating: Four stars, an excellent walk. Our walk book (Costa Brava by Roger Budeler, published by Rother) calls this one of the most beautiful coastal areas of the Costa Brava). It describes a walk which goes inland from Llafranc and then follows much of our erroneous route to Timariu and back along the coast. Rather droll really.

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