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Ebre & kayak
The river
Caspe to Flix: 16  15  14  13   12. Mequinensa to Riba-roja (1)  km 156.4 -  km 136   PDF   |   11   10

To the Matarranya

Today's layout after leaving the Segre will consists in a big "m" until a long straight line is reached. I lasts up to Matarranya river and the old village of Faiķ. After that, another straight section to Badia Tucana point and Riba-roja camping.

There are 38.1 km, 11 of them corresponding to the Matarranya river section, 2 to the Segre and 25 to the Ebre. The Matarranya section could be skipped and that leaves you with a 27 km stage. Another option for doing the Matarranya woul be spending the night in Faiķ's camping, doing only a 24 km etap, and wait for the next day to do the Matarranya, overcome the dam and finishing in Riba-roja or even in Flix.

Up at 5h30, toilet, packing the tent, some tea and biscuits, packing the baggage and into the water at 7h35. At this hour the Segre is still and I am almost recovered from yesterday's fatigue. I have a blister and at the beginning it hurts a little. But soon I'm enjoying paddling even if there is a breeze upcurrent.

I see a wall half submerged and I wonder whether I'm paddling over the old houses of Mequinensa described in Jesus's Moncada book.

I reach the Ebre and leave behind the castle of Mequinensa. I think about the time when this was a frontier area in the XIIth century, like the castle of Miravet.

Soon the breeze that curled the water's surface disappears and the clouds are reflected on it. On the right shore there reedbeds, on the left a pine forest.

The river is still and quiet again. I feel again like paddling with the sky under me.

A little beach for a rest if one feels like it., km 152

Reeds and crops

I don't feel any wind but if I stop paddling the kayak goes backwards. Strange.

I stop for a rest half the way of the "m". It's 10h and I've done 10 km. I don't land, I tie up the kayak to a trunk, stretch my legs, have breakfast, and read for a while. Paddling again at 10h44 until 14h35. Perhaps I should have stopped more often.

Lots of places to stop.

On the right, some wharfs and a hills with a pyramid shape.

Just finishing the "m", I get to the longest straight section I've found until now. At the end, the shape from Faiķ church can be seen on the top of a hill.

The submerged chimeney of an old factory, km 141.4

1.5 km later there is like a small bay, shallow, still waters, dead tree's trunks emerging in some places, algae. I spend some minutes there. It could have been a place to locate John Evertt Millais's Ophelia. Some fishes can be seen through the green golden algae. I try to catch a snapshot with my underwater camera, but I'm not sucessful.

 Ophelia, John Everett Millais, Tate Gallery


The bell tower of the old Faiķ church, with a clock signaling near 2 pm. I wonder if it's still working as ritgh now it's 2h05 pm.

For a while I've been experiencing a breeze that pushes me backwards, at 1 m/s. When the Matarranya river meets the Ebre, there is an abandoned building that once logged the Renfe workers that built the rail line between Zaragoza and Barcelona.

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