We’ve crossed the border from Lleida into Tarragona to enter the Sierra de Prades. Only about 100 km to the south of where we’ve spent the last couple of weeks, but significantly further from the Pyrenees and nearer the coast.
Not surprisingly, things warmed up a fair bit, and we repeated our “choosing the wrong crag orientation” error from the previous day – this time melting in direct sun in low 20s C temperatures. We’ll never learn!
First port of call was Margalef (not to be confused with Magaluf, though there are similarities). Another conglomerate area, but the complete opposite of Riglos in that instead of climbing on sticking out pebbles, you are climbing on pockets (presumably where pebbles used to be? I’m no geologist but maybe the rounder, smoother pebbles fell out. …) Anyway, this makes for hard work for the first joints of the middle two fingers!
The other big difference is the crowds! This is clearly THE IN PLACE, as there must be 100 plus climbers hanging out in this small village – more than we’ve seen in the last 6 weeks combined. The thoughtfully provided free camping is certainly a draw (though with inherent biological problems – see below) and the climbing is quite unique, but the polished rock and crowds were a far cry from some of the great places we’ve been. After a couple of days we’re off to explore the rest of the Prades.