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Ebre& kayak
The river
Caspe to Flix:  16   15  14   |   13. LakeCaspe to Mequinensa (2)  km  173.4  -  km 156   PDF   |   12 11 10

Strata rocks

Little by little I adjust to a nice paddling pace. The landscape on the right shore is of aleppo pines on white limestone strata. Quite often there are little entrance, like beaches without sand.

Geological shapes with strata

From some distance away they look like Indochine temples.
I'm paddling at a good pace. The water is still and I stop in the middle of the river just to stretch my legs. I read for a while.

Pines and white limestone on the right shore.
Vallcoma  mountain range

I'm half way of last arch and Vallcoma Serra can be seen. This means that I am approaching the dam.

Half an hour later I'm there and I stop to watch some vultures. Sometimes they are quite close but most of the time they fly away before I can take a good shot.

The dam km 160

The escape is on the right shore. I land at 16h30. Without stopping for a rest, I assemble my trailer and go upwards. The trail goes back until it meets with the Ebre long distance trail gr99. After climbing a while, it leaves the paved road that would lead to the main National road,  and goes parallel to the river until the dam. The kayak with its load is heavy and I have to stop quite often to swap the carrying hand.

Negotiating the dam
I see the dam, the part of the river behind me, the place where I'm going to embark again. In order to overcome the gap, the trail goes quite far until it meets a paved road. As there is no access here, I have to go backwards until I find a fishers area (it would be nice if the Mequinensa paddling club built an access here, but I am aware that very few people do this kind of thing). According the GPS, negotiating the dam implies 3 km on foot carrying the kayak. 
This is the place where I am going to embark again. To get there it's still 700m backwards after reaching the paved road.

km 159 A rest and to Mequinensa

Finally I get there, dissassemble the trailer and prepare the kayak. I am very tired. It took an hour to walk the 3 km carrying the kayak, so I treat myself with some relax. Despite the fatigue I appreciate the quality of the light at this hour of the day, when the sun is beginning to decline (it's 5h30 pm). Everything shows more contrast, sharpness, the colours brighter, the air more transparent. 

At 6h30 I get into the water. I'm tired and now there is some wind that makes things more difficult.


I have 5km to do still, first crossing under the bridge over the Ebre and then turning at left along the Segre. There are lots of fishermen and I have to move to the middle of the river in order to avoid the threads from the fishing rods.

 El Segre, km  156
I pass in front of the Club Nautico but it's still a couple of km to reach the ramp in front of Camping Octogesa. The ramp is quite convenient. I land at 7h25. The gate near to the river is closed.

I check in, drink a beer and it's nearly dark when I plant my tent and start cooking my dinner: cous-cous with ham and black olives. I haven't read about other people in ultralight bagpacking doing the same, but I think it's the perfect solution to get some carbohydrates. Whereas pasta or rice demand 5-10 minutes of boiling water, couscous needs only some hot water.

I'm enjoying this simple, precarious life, ephemeral, a refuge just for one night, fullfilling the bare necessities of food and drink. But propably if I'm enjoying this so much is because in some days I will have again the comfort of a good bed, a full equiped kitchen, sophisticated food, a nice wine ...
The Mequinensa that we see today is a new town built in 1960 to substitute the village that was going to be covered by the river after completing the Riba-roja dam. The novel "The towpath" by Jesús Moncada evoques the changes in the village since the times when it was an important transport center. The towpath went along the river from Tortosa to Mequinensa. It is a good reading for these days. In the council's  web there is an excellent   timeline by Jordi Estruga where, among other facts we are told, for instance, that the arabs in Mequinensa transmitted optical signals with towns as far away as Tortosa or Tudela.


CAMPING OCTOGESA Ctra N-211, Km 314 Tfno 974 464 431

Hostal RODES Calle H, 1 Tfno: 974 464 119 

Hostal Mequinenza C/ Prolongación D,7 Tfno/Fax 974 465 061 Móvil 679439522

Club Capri 

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