Day Trips in Catalonia: Exploring Spain's Delta de l'Ebre


On John's recent birthday, we made our way to the Delta de l'Ebre and explored the flatlands of Spanish rice paddies with one goal in mind: to see flamingos. If you've never considered a flamingo as one of your own birthday goals, I suggest you begin working on that.
Our first sighting of distant neon pink in the Delta de l'Ebre
We careened through the desolate expanse of soggy, never-ending flats that would soon be flooded for the rice growing season, and finally made our way to the marshes that bordered the beach. And there we found our flamingos. And there our flamingos did not want to be found (zoom, dear Nikon, zoom!).
Exploring the Delta until reaching the coast
The flamingos didn't love being photographed
Some flamingos were bright pink, and some not at all. Judging by how they walk away when we stop to look, I think the non-pink ones are a bit embarrassed  
Day trips increase in fun when someone lends you their jeep (thanks Valerie!) and when you bring snacks like farm-fresh hard boiled eggs along (one of which I'm displaying)
Afterwards, we stopped for an amazing tapas-style lunch at Bar La Bodega in the town of Sant Carles de la Rápita.
We were started off with complimentary marinara meatballs (albondigas). Free food is nice.
Hot sea snails with chorizo and garlic. Can't go wrong with that (unless you MICROWAVE it--come ON waitress!).
Worthy of mention is the local Catalonian beer that we tried (who knew Spain recognized anything other than Estrella Damn and Amstel?) called Cinteta. It was clearly artisan, with a mildly biting bitterness mixed with a fresh caramelized flavor; a combination easily found when the people making it care about every single batch. If you go to Spain, find it! Spain is only just discovering the artisan beer scene, so any support for that is good support.
The cozy and antique-y interior of La Bodega
Calamari and local calcots. Heavenly.
But best of all were a selection of rice-based liquors under the Segadors del Delta brand, made locally in the Delta, that the bartendress graciously let us "sample". We tried the sweet and pure rice liqueur, then a fig liqueur, and finally the strong, uncolored 40-proof digestive liquor made with Mediterranean herbs. Apart from being a locally-made product, it was inspiriting (pun!?) to know that one percent of the proceeds go to a land-preservation based charity, and unlike many companies that use such donations to hike up the cost of their product, these beautiful bottles were relatively affordable, selling at around 9-12 euros each.
The spread. And no, of course we didn't pay for all of those tastings. Somehow we charmed the bar wench into  providing them for our birthday celebration.

I keep having to pinch myself over the dreamy thought that here we are in the Middle of Nowhere, Spain, supposedly working for someone, and yet we've just spent all day driving around in a free loaned jeep, exploring Spanish rice paddies and gorging ourselves on amazing tapas and liqueurs.
Driving straight onto the beach for a mid-morning snack

And tomorrow, it's back to work creating a garden for Valerie and perhaps taking the goats out for a stroll...

Traveling on a budget is hard.


Stay tuned!

3 comments:

  1. Super trip, you really enjoyed your trip. Even if got chance i will also do all that what you have done in your visit...Great share...superb post!

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