A walk around a nearby park full of natural springtime beauty and wildlife for my last early morning lockdown outing.
This is to be my last Dusk and Dawn outing as the restrictions are about to be eased once again. Allowing everyone except those in the elderly category to be out for all but 3 hours a day, including to go to the beach.
I drove to a park that lies between the neighbouring village of Vila-Seca and the coastal town of La Pineda. It was a warm, sunny morning yet I was still surprised by how many people were out walking and jogging.
I have been to this park before on a number of occasions, but not for a while and the walking paths have been extended since my last visit.
The Parc de la Torre d’en Dolça opened in 2005, it now covers 37 hectares and features various natural and historical sights.
Giving the park its name, the watchtower Torre d’en Dolça is said to be over 600 years old, used for watching the surrounding area and protecting it from pirates. The stone building has been partly restored over the years.
Other historical sites at the park include the remains of a Roman villa, the pillar of Saint Stephen and a dry-stone hut. For visitors interested in the park’s natural beauty there are various rock types, woodland areas, meadows and the artificial wetlands. The park is home to various species of birds, butterflies and other creatures alongside wildflowers and trees including olive and carob.
An equestrian track that is also used for running or cycling and the fitness equipment area make this an ideal place for sports and exercise.
As I walked around, I was amazed by how much it had changed. It was almost silent, every now and again someone would pass in the opposite direction, but they seemed few and far between. Most of the noise came from the odd bird on the pond, one in particular was being noisy, the reason unknown to me. Any other was coming from the factories that sit not far away. Being next to the Port Aventura theme park there is normally the sound of whooshing rollercoasters and screams filling the air, but nobody would be visiting there today, it remains closed and will continue to do so for the near future.
Walking through the woodland paths, wildflowers grew all around, yellow, white, pinks and purples. The butterflies fluttered around them, working, playing or whatever it is that butterflies do. Always heading further away and upwards I was extremely surprised to reach a meadow. The blanket of yellow reaching further than I thought possible for this area. I really had underestimated just how big this park is, nestled between places and roads. I didn’t want to just spend an hour or two here, I wanted to spend the full day and will probably come back to do so very soon.
For today, it was time to head back. My shoes yellow from the flowers, I crossed the wetlands and back to the car thinking about how the last few weeks have been. It seems like much longer than a few weeks since I was out on that first evening walk across the rocky path.
I’ve been out somewhere most days, often leaving my phone behind and taking the time for myself. There was the time I saw the seagull drop its catch because the fish was just too big and wriggled free, the times I watched the small boats and realised that there hadn’t been the usual large ones on the horizon travelling to and from Tarragona. The various skies and changeable weather have been nice to see and one evening if I didn’t know the mountains were in the distance, I wouldn’t have known except for the very tips of the peaks poking through the clouds that had blended in so well with the sky and clouds that they were totally unnoticeable. One night the sea was lined with fishing rods, that was when fishing and hunting had been permitted and there were more out than I have ever seen at one time.
One morning I had stood and watched the ducklings searching for their breakfast in Cambrils alongside the many small fish they shared their water with. Looking across at the mountains then they were not an evening silhouette, instead the morning sun glinted against them, almost revealing the many paths and sights amongst them.
I haven’t been to the lighthouse in Cap Salou yet but will do now that I have the afternoon to get there and back without having to think of the time.