This land of shimmering blue mirages envelops the weary traveller. Lulling and tranquil; warm, sensual, it lies low, just out of sight of clamorous Barcelona.
The two towns of Amposta and L’Ampolla are either side of a large Delta. The delta is formed by the constant outpouring of silt by the Ebro River. Even though we have been to both towns, I had not realised that they were differently named. I honestly thought that it was one town, Amposta, spreading along a large bay. Obviously that was wrong! It is not a scooped out bay, it is a bulging delta. And the two towns? They do not share a name and are in two different places, with the delta in-between. There; I am relieved to get that off my chest. Next time I will look at the map.
Of course, being on the Mediterranean coast, it is sure to be a winner for most people and yet, luckily for us, most people were elsewhere, leaving us virtually alone to re-explore this wonderland.
Reminiscent of the famous Carmargue area in France, although without it’s beach front hippy shacks and motor homes, this is more compact. No wild horses here; but salt pans and flamingos, sand, sea and big sky abound.
Of course it is not a herd of birds! The trouble is that where Flamingos are concerned, a ‘flock’ falls flat as a collective noun. This has to be one of nature’s overwhelming spectacles, which is why it should have a name commensurate with it’s glamour. It is also a reason why we come here.
A wetland of international importance, this delta is a Mecca for birdwatchers and botanists, which was the initial draw for us. It still has a pull for us, of course, but it is the wistful beauty of the place that has mesmerised us and it might capture you too.
The Case de Fusta is very busy first thing in the morning with the local men who pop in to eat, drink and talk remarkably loudly. Intimidating at first, they have ready smiles once they know that you are not going to make a pass at them, so take a deep breath, sit down at a table and order your breakfast. The cafe is set in a rustic complex for tourists, which is always closed when we come through in the winter and early spring. Luckily the cafe and it’s Aire is open year round.
If you are bored with Barcelona and Tarragona is a gonna for you, this might be your travel stop-over choice. Stay for a few nights and perhaps a little longer. Take in L’Ampolla too as it has a very different vibe to Amposta, despite it’s long sandy beaches, Flamingos, paddy fields.
Do you, like us, have a place that draws you back, or lingers in your soul, making you soften as you remember? Tell us about it here, at the home for the misty eyed traveller. Many thanks. The Wallys XX