Saturday, 14 July 2012

Vinaròs sur and Vinaròs bridges

It's been somewhat cooler and cloudy today, with a fresh breeze off the sea. With domestic chores finished, I rode into Vinaròs centre, and then out the other side on the coast road to the town's south side boundary, marked by the barranco Aiguadoliva. This is where a nature trail begins that goes inland up the wide dried up river bed for a couple of kilometres, before  turning north, and crossing over to the trail that runs back down the riu Cervol riverbed to the sea. I decided to keep to do with family next week, and concentrated instead on taking photographs of the foreshore as I rode back into town.

The sea was wilder today than I've seen it since I've been here, due to the wind, and waves came crashing in spectacularly on rocks at the root of cliffs only a few metres from the road in places. In some places sea erosion is a looming problem for nearby home owners, In others, work has begun on importing huge limestone boulders quarried inland and shipped in to provide a start on coastal defences. The beaches on this southern stretch are fewer than on the north side of town, equally well looked after, but because of small differences in local geology, not as people friendly - especially on rough days like today.

Being on the bike meant that when I'd re-crossed town I could ride up and the banks of the riu Cervol, and get some pictures of all four of its road crossings, and the interesting environment of the ravine the river has carved out over millennia. The oldest bridge of all is apparently of mediaeval origin, though it has had some work done to re-enforce it with a steel girder more recently

It retains its cobble stone surface, and is still in constant use - and not just by me and my bike!

The last of the road crossings doesn't figure yet on Google maps, as it serves a new commercial development area. Beyond it lies the viaduct which carries the railway from Barcelona to Valencia. This zone is an intriguing patchwork of warehouses, olive groves, orchards, and feeder roads, running along the west side of the N340, and marking the Vinaròs inland boundary - very much a project still in the making. Are the agriculturalists waiting to be bought out by the developers, I wondered, or are they regarded as a vital part of a mixed economy? Learning to read what's going on from the environment of a new town is one of the pleasures travel gives me.

With another ten miles of cycling behind me, I was certainly ready for supper when I got home.

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