Over the mountain to Cadaquès

With its olive trees and white-washed buildings trimmed with blue shutters, Cadaquès seems more like a Greek fishing village than a Spanish one. But my story today is not about the town. It’s about the journey there. To get to Cadaquès, which is situated on the Cap de Creus peninsula quite close to the French border, you have to cross over a mountain. Fifteen kilometres of hairpin turns, steep drops, oncoming buses and no shoulder on either side. Get the picture? It’s bad enough by car but imagine if you are on a bike? No, that wasn’t me! But I did see many cyclists do the climb. Often sandwiched between a car and a wall of rock or cactus — these guys go straight up the mountain. It’s probably something they have done all their lives but for me this seems like the hardest feat imaginable. The worst situation I saw was one guy doing the climb on a very narrow pass, inhaling fumes from the bus in front of him and a car only a few feet behind him. Makes Montreal’s Mount Royal look like a speed bump.


19 Comments on “Over the mountain to Cadaquès”

  1. Alison says:

    Great story. And enchanting depiction of this town – wonderful sense of the place. Wonderful blue in the sea!

  2. Pedro Cabral says:

    Beautiful !
    And real mediterranean colours. Stunning blues.

  3. Ross says:

    Looks great… can’t wait to see the scan.
    Isn’t this just the perfect watercolourist’s subject… dark background and white buildings in front, with a good light direction to create shadows for modeling?

  4. pegjuanita says:

    Another stunning winner!! So classic yet still fresh! You are “on!”

  5. Jen Appel says:

    Eek! Perfect training for bike messengers.

    Love all the details you nested in the green of the mountains just by using a darker shade.

    • Yes, it was an eek kind of trip over that mountain. Especially when a man with a wheelbarrow came around the corner just inches from the car.

      As for the mountain, I wanted to just suggest the terraces olive trees without painting each one.

  6. Lee Kline says:

    A good story, and how beautifully you caught the scene, Shari.

  7. Isa says:

    Ce dessin est vraiment magnifique, bravo ! 😉

  8. Shari,
    You went to all the places we intended to but didn’t because of time. Nice seeing it through your eyes. It was great meeting you. Look forward to seeing you in Seattle sometime.

  9. I’d love to be riding up one of those mountains (you should see the French-Canadian pro cyclist David Veilleux of Team Europcar climb; he killed the opening stage of the Criterium de Dauphine up the mountains, and punched his ticket to ride the Tour de France!) Love this sketch; the bathers in the water below the glistening white town below the massif of the mountain behind it.

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