Riudecols hiking tour with the TNL

A few members of the Tarragona Nature Lovers Whatsapp group got together for a short hike from Riudecols west of Reus. In all there were 6 of us with 2 dogs, Polly and Luna, who got on well at a polite distance. We started at 09:30 from the bridge on the main road and headed out past the industrial estate. We headed along the rough field road as it wound it’s way up the hillside towards the col above and south of the town. We paused briefly at the col before following the track which led us westwards and up towards the ridge proper.

The agricultural track snaked through the woods and, after a false detour helped by some dubiously placed track cairns, we found ourselves zig-zagging through the thickening undergrowth on a half-sign-posted trail. Arriving at the rocky summit of Puig Voltor, the views fell away on both sides of the ridge. To the south, the plains following the Mediterranean coastline, and to the north, the higher wooded hills of the Prades range.

You wouldn’t think you could get lost on a ridge, but a couple of times I missed the path. I won’t make excuses but we did find the correct trail and continued until we found a convenient stopping place for a short lunch break. It was good to get out of the surprisingly cold biting wind under a beautiful and deceptively blue sky. Amelia almost lost her car keys which, as they were luckily found immediately by Marcella, caused some light relief as it wouldn’t have been fun to try to relocate them amidst all that undergrowth and wild bush later on.

We pressed on and over the final part of the Cresta del Croix, the end of the ridge being destroyed by a disappointing quarry. Descending the scree-like broken ground was unpleasant but at least we had a clear route. We followed the quarry track until we turned off to follow the pylons along a tight and nasty path which rejoined the quarry track again. It was a slightly confusing route in places.

As we reached the small town Les Irles at the base of the valley, we tried to turn in to follow the stream bed back up to Riudecols. Unfortunately an unsympathetic farmer turned us around off the rough field track and we were forced to follow the busy main back to the town. This was a bit of a sad end to an otherwise very pleasant hike over a Tarragonan ridge. Once we got back to Riudecols we stopped at the cafĂ© for a drink. Amelia’s knee injury was hurting, but her spirits were lifted by the discovery of a cute 6-week-old puppy which was looking for a home at the shop opposite. 6 became 7 and we all made our own ways home. We’d taken approximately 4 hours on our short tour and had a fine day of hiking to boot.