Sunday 1st of May Tarragona to Valls

Three good reasons to be fed up: lost my walking sticks; obsessively tried to find them and now I've got seriously aching feet; and, finally Spurs got ripped of at Chelsea by dodgy officials.

Valls is not actually on the GR 172 which what the E4 is following at the moment. The ideal place to have stopped would have been Santes Creus but the only accommodation near there was full this bank holiday week. Valls is 5 kilometres down a road from Nulles which is where I left the GR172.

Getting out of Tarragona was really easy, no trouble finding the route which is very well signed. The trail wasn't at all bad just unremarkable. Initially it was a road and then increasingly turning into a forest trail, but with lots of fly tipping until you escaped the influence of Tarragona.

Subway under the motorway

Dogs were a bit of a feature. I had started to assume that the really large numbers of barking dogs was a feature of the rustic south, it was much less prevalent in Valencia than Andalucia, and would perhaps die down even more as I got into cosmopolitan Catalonia. Not a bit of it, today went through a dog alley activating, at one point, at least 10 mad frenzied dogs.

Angry dog

Perhaps the prettiest town along the route was El Cattlar, which a nice castle and a church, was hoping for coffee but all the bars were shut.

El Cattlar

After that the trail took you through a low lying pine forest very popular with mountain bikers and being a Sunday they were out in full force.

Pine forest on the way to Rebua

Then into wine country and around Renua, Nulles and Vilabella vines were wall to wall. Haven't had much cultivated countryside since Andalucia and the difference in the settlement pattern is very striking, here the villages are smaller, still very dense, but only 3 or 4 kilometres apart, a bit like England in that respect.


Then onto Valls and in time for a 4.30 finish. Have walked the 5 kilometres road from Nulles and making my way around the Valls south circular to the hotel I suddenly realise I had no sticks. Really cross with myself and of course had no one else to blame. Can't remember having them, can't remember not having them, very frustrating. Decide to retrace my steps reasoning that there are only three places where I have taken my bag of all day, the first one at Renua where I remember seeing the sticks. End up walking all the way back to Renua and of course didn't find them. A round trip of 20 kilometres making 45 for day and not back at the hotel until 8, obsessive behaviour or what.

Will have to figure out how to get some sticks, maybe there will be a shop up in the Pyrenees, really don't like walking without them. Anyway have booked at taxi in the morning to takes me straight to Santes Crues. Having visited Nulles three times I really don't need to see it again.


  1. A pity from the sticks. Also I can not walk without them. You will be able to buy another pair anywhere you like even in a small town.
    Have a nice day John and keep on walking.

  2. John, don't worry too much about those sticks. You are now one day away from Barcelona, and certainly able to buy a better pair than you ever had. Make sure they have some rope, clip or belt to attach them to your trousers.
    And take the evening train to Barcelona instead of wasting time off-route to some middle-of-nowhere to find yourself a bed.