We moved inland this morning to visit a site we had seen as an image on Facebook a few weeks ago and realised we would be passing close by. We were out with the dogs early, breakfasted, van servicing done and on the road by just after 08:30. First stop a large Carrefour supermarket for some fresh supplies. Then we spotted there was a carwash station in the same complex, so after we have done our shopping, we pulled in for a long overdue van wash. The reservoirs in Cornwall are only at 15% capacity and there has been a hosepipe ban in place for weeks before we left, so we set off with a dirty van. Add to that a couple of weeks on the road and clay mud puddles on the Aire in Lagrasse and we were looking pretty shabby. However, we went for all 5 wash types (even though I could only understand a little of what they were) and the rubber brush hose and we left gleaming ✨.
Next we were expecting a fairly local road into the hills to the relatively small towns beyond. Instead it was a full on dual carriageway with expensive new looking tunnels. There is some impressive road investment in Spain and Portugal, not sure how much of that is EU funded. It was lovely wooded countryside, with hills ahead of us, it was nice to be out of the sprawl of Costa Brava.
We actually drove by our target of Castellfollit on the way in. The town sits on a 50m / 160ft basalt crag formed by the overlying of two basalt flows. It towers over the valley below, but there is nowhere for motorhome stays. Our attempts at photos from the flyover were a little distant, so we would be back on the bikes after we have parked up.
We easily found the new free Aire at Sant Joan les Fonts, next to a waterfall on the El Fluvià river behind us, creating some lovely Feng Shui of the sound of running water. Better than the boy racer soundtrack last night 😆 The sun was shining, so after a nice espresso and a tuna salad for lunch, we set off to explore the town.
There are some lovely features, a medieval bridge and neighbouring church built into the cliff, even a castle. There are few shops but they had painted some lovely shop murals of florists etc in the empty spaces. We were visiting during siesta and it seemed very sleepy indeed. We saw about 15 stray cats congregated in the park, but luckily due to a low wall, Lola did not see them 🤫
Next we dropped the girls in van and unloaded the bikes for our Castellfollit adventure. It was only a short cycle up the road, suspiciously mostly downhill. We followed signs for the church and wound down the narrow streets to emerge at the top of the cliff. It was great view out and we took the obligatory photos, but the photo you really want is looking up from below. Guess who drew the short straw of cycling down to get that photo 🚲…. And it was not the one with the e-bike 😂
Sadly the sun was just behind the town when looking up from below, so it was difficult to get a good photo as they were all taken into the sun. However, it was a nice view up from the wooden bridge viewpoint across the river below.
When I emerged back into the town there was at least a cool beer waiting for me 😋🍺 The view from the bar at the edge of the cliff was spectacular, but you would not want to rest your glass on the windowsill!
A slight uphill all the way back helped to burn off the beer as we arrived back to the van. A few more arrivals having found their way to the Aire since we left. However, it’s a great spot for a quiet Monday night.