On the road to Spain – hiking to the Miranda in the Llaberia mountains

We spend November 2019 in Spain. We are now in the appartment of our friends at L’Hospitalet de l’Infant. One day, the weather forecast announces blue sky and we decide to drive to the village Llaberia in the Llaberia mountains and to walk to the La Miranda peak with its great view.

Source: Googlemaps

Llaberia is a small village, located in the middle of the Llaberia mountains on 700m. It is an almost perfectly restored village with narrow streets, but now, in late autumn, it is a ghost village. It is mainly inhabitated during summer, as the leaflet tells us that we have received at the tourism office in Pratdip (Consorci de la Serra de Llaberia, La Serra d’Almos). There is a museum, only open in summer, where visitors can learn more about traditional packsaddles and transportation methods in Catalonia (Museu del Bast). Interesting, I have never thought that such a museum would attract visitors, but considering the steep mountains of Catalonia, it may be well worth remembering traditional methods of transportation. Llaberia, this now empty village, used to live from farming and their cattle grazed in the hills around the village. Today, they have installed a photovoltaic power plant that can be visited on request, as our leaflet says.

The leaflet proposes a circular walk of 6km to the La Miranda and back to the Llaberia village. Near the Romanesque church Saint John the Baptist (12/13th century) the trail starts.

As we climb higher, the view to the west opens up. This is the  Ebro valley with Móra d’Ebre, still hidden in the fog.

The Llaberia mountains have been classified as an area of national interest with their Mediterranean vegetation such as holm oaks (quercus Ilex) and pine trees. In shady places, there is a Eurosiberian vegetaion with yew groves (Eibe in German).

Our target is the radar station of La Miranda on 918m.  The metallic “ball” appears between the trees above us…

… again and again.

Now we have reached the Miranda. A plate on the side wall of the meteorologic radar explains that it has been co-financed by the EU. La Miranda is one of four weather stations of the meteorologic service of Catalonia. and belongs to the community Tivissa-Llaberia. Our leaflet says that the station is useful to give insights into the storms from south and southwest that can cause abundant rain. And, with the twinkle of an eye, the leaflet adds weather singnals that we should not forget to take note of such as “when the aunt takes earth out of its nest, fix the leak and flee from the river” or “when you see a fish jump out of the water, hang out the laundry, good weather will come.”

We look south east against the eleven o’clock sun. The Mediterranean Sea shines under the blue sky with some dispersed clouds.

The panoramic view from the La Miranda is gorgeous. To the north east we can see the small village Colldejou and the Prades mountains in the direction of Tarragona.

To the southwest are the Tivissa-Vandellós mountains and, farther away, the Parc Natural del Ports and Terra Alta…

Now the mountains to the southwest are zoomed in; Ursula is fascinated by these rows of rugged mountains – one after the next. Cumbersome to cross, going up and down and up and down. Yes, that is, what the Museu of Bast of the Llaberia village could tell us more about – traditional methods of transportation in such ruggy mountains.

In the meantime, the fog in the Ebro valley near Móra d’Ebre has almost dissipated. Just in front of the light mist we identify the flat hill range, where the Iberian village near Tivissa is located, with its strategic view of the Ebro valley. (Two days later, we walk to the Iberian village and can identify the round ball of the Miranda metereologic station from there).

We walk back to the Llaberia village. The roundwalk ends at the Romanesque church of Saint John the Baptist.

The sun warms us up. We take off our jackets at the main square with the mulberry tree.

The tree invites us to play with the sun and the shade.

We say good-bye to the Llaberia village.

We stop for lunch in La Cuina d’en Carlos at the Ermitá Santa Marina, where we have been before. I love their salad with the goat cheese and Ursula loves their cannelloni which are also a specialty of Catalonia (that once had possessions in what is Italy today).

Then we return to our cosy apartment in L’Hospitalet de l’Infant.



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