Camping Riudarenes, Catalonia, Spain 11/13

January 10, 2014

Leaving Barcelona, we headed east. It was getting late and we really needed to take a couple of days to reorganize, sort slides, answer emails, etc., so when we spotted an off the beaten track campground, we turned left. Soon we arrived at Camping Riudarenes, a quiet RV park in the woods. There were many stationary campers whose owners live in Barcelona and they use it as a weekend retreat. It wasn’t busy this late in the season but there were a few hardy souls on this rainy weekend. Of course our truck attracted everyone’s attention and in particular Antonio, a mechanic. We patiently answered all his questions and gave the whole family a tour.

On Sunday early afternoon, he knocked on the door and invited us to a traditional Catalan fall barbecue called a Calçotada. Calçots are a particular type of green onions that are grown like leek. They are basically scorched in a brush fire and served with an interesting sauce (called Salsa Calçots) made from tomatoes, almonds, chili and who knows what. It’s quite tricky to eat these onions properly. You pull the inner leaves out, dip them in the sauce and feed them into your mouth. Antonio also barbecued some local chorizo and blood sausage.

Once the weekenders had left, we were busy in The Turtle, taking advantage of the good Wi-Fi connection. During a break in the rain, we took a short walk and the owner of the campground, Quirze Clopes, spotted us on his video surveillance monitor. Quirze graciously invited us into his cave/workshop/kitchen, and soon we found ourselves eating bread, local cheese and sausage and drinking his homemade barrel wine. His wife Isabel Masjuan joined us and it was another party.

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