It's warm, what feels like 25 degrees. The gentle ringing of the cowbells makes us think of Switzerland, the pervasive smell of fishmeal reminds us of the North Sea coast. And yet - we are right in the heart of Catalonia. Every October 'The Land Rover Party' takes place here in Les Comes, not far from Barcelona. The largest off-road event for Land Rover 4x4s of this kind in Spain.
W e have registered by email and are already expected by Ricard. The organizers are staying in an old natural stone property from the 16th century. The lavishly renovated main building is on the slope with a magnificent view of the landscape and is used as an event center . On Saturday there were already over 300 Land Rovers and over 400 vehicles in total! We have start number 457! Crazy. The Spaniards are totally crazy about this event, which is being held for the fourth time this year.
Fun for the whole family
The amusement arena is located around the building. There is a small exhibition for the adults, and of course physical well-being is provided. For the kids there is a huge fun area with a bouncy castle , Climbing wall et c. The undisputed highlight, however, is a small climbing tour that ends with the fact that you let yourself slip on your rope over the driving area and have to bridge a good 500 meters at a height of about 30 m. Adults like to use that too!
The area extends over 450 hectares through typical Spanish hinterland. Around 80 kilometers of route are offered for all participants. The green one is for beginners - or, as we are told with a wink, for freelanderers. The red route is suitable for the 'normal' Land Rover and then there is also black. The difficult stretches of the route are built into the red route and are often visible, so that you can decide on the spot whether you dare to do it or not For 'normal' driving there is a driving school for beginners. There is also a speed course and a tour where you have to find pictures.
We decide to try the red route. Since we are on the road with our Discovery I without barriers and cages and ultimately have to go back to Germany, we are not as daring as usual.
We are quickly on the route and the first few meters on the road. The paths are signposted and we can find our way around easily.Only the direction of travel is often interpreted somewhat casually.
The traffic jam is just stupid at the back
After a few minutes' drive we are at the first point where a 'special' is going on. We leave the disco and see the place on foot A Defender is already hanging there and is pulling a line of 5 vehicles behind it. Traffic jam is just stupid at the back. The boys have a lot of fun and try to conquer the streambed. One succeeds better, the other less. Slight tin crunch followed of rough curses (as far as our Spanish is enough) does happen, but nobody really gets angry here.
Plenty of landscape and kilometers of trails
After a few nice photos, we continue . We still have a few kilometers ahead of us! It's really fun to drive along the route and look out over the sunny landscape. Again and again we meet other vehicles and we often get out and look at the difficult sections of the route.
After we heard a loud 'pfaff' vernom men, we stop the brand-new Freelander 2, which is just daring to descend a steep slope and inform the driver that her tire is 'roto'. She slashed the good part a little further up and the tire had to give way to the stone. She didn't notice. We'll lend a hand when changing tires. Land Rover can't really mean the jack on such an expensive vehicle. But it's useless, there is nobody else there and ours is buried under the luggage.
After three hours up and down in the area, we decide that it is time for our 'menu del Dia'. Hungry, we go to the refreshment tent and are also surprised here. Extensive selection, delicious food, good prices. Everything is good.
It seems impossible to drive all the routes
After dinner we venture into another section of the site. The whole area is so large that we won't be able to to drive all routes. We just drive as much as we can and have fun at the event.
After we are back at the camp, we are interviewed by a television team - with 1300 km we are the participants after all with the longest journey. Happy and satisfied, we then set off on our actual vacation in a totally dusty car! beautiful surroundings, for us an event that gets a placeholder in the calendar. If only the journey wasn't that far ..
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