15 Aug Sant Carles de la Rapita to Tarragona

103km today

4860km so far
The day started farcically as there was nobody to check me out and take my payment. The cleaner called a guy and then asked me how much I was supposed to pay. He didn’t know how to use the machine for taking the payment. He kept typing 40 and then pressing ok but nothing happened. I eventually had to show him. I put in the decimal points and it worked.

After that, it was another flat day which pretty much followed the same road, the N340 all the way to Tarragona. I stopped briefly for a Napolitana (pain au chocolat) and a coffee at Amposta. The coffee was amazing. I crossed a fancy looking bridge and rode through hundreds of rice fields. I decided to ignore my GPS as it was taking me a long route and I rode past the medieval tower at Aldea. After this I was trying to keep my speed at 30kph when I saw saw an old guy in front of me stumbling. At first I thought he was drunk. He looked like he was going to fall in front of a car. I asked “¿estas bien?” but he definitely wasn’t. His knees had locked up and he couldn’t walk properly. This meant he was shuffling along in the sun and getting dehydrated and faint. Juan was going to meet his daughter at the next petrol station. I gave him some water and an energy tablet and asked him to walk while holding my handle bars. His daughter eventually pulled alongside us. She had gone out to find him after he didn’t show up on time. They said thanks and I waved goodbye.
Later I stopped in Ampolla, a little coastal town where I had done the “ironcat”, the ironman of Catalunya. It was great to see it again and I wondered if my bike time would have improved 🙂
Later I passed a place called Miami Beach. I didn’t visit that one but I did go to see the beach at Salou. There were bike paths all along the edge of the beach. There were also a million tourists. All the usual tacky shops and touristy restaurants for Brits abroad. Although if you ignore all that, the sandy beach was one of the best I have seen on Spain so far. Getting to Tarragona itself was no problem. I saw it in the distance after climbing a small hill next to PortAventura, the theme park.
That evening in Tarragona, there was a fiesta. There was a Castaller (where they climb on each other as high as they can) and a procession with giant figurines and the Correfoç, a dragon, which lets off loud fireworks. I didnt need to do sightseeing because I have been to Tarragona before. But there are some impressive roman ruins. Instead, we danced salsa in the street and I went to sleep very tired.