Today, I want to know something from you, dear readers. How do you treat yourself when you have accomplished a big life project of yours? Your life dream even? The glorious end of my #WritersRetreat in #LaBelleFrance, crafting the essence of “The Creative Traveler’s Handbook“, my first ever book soon to appear on the market of international travel literature ..?
Well. I guess you just continue doing what you love: A sea tapas tasting trip kayaking #InCostaBrava! Never heard of that? Neither did I. Until I fell in love with a sweet little place called Llançà …
Llançà, about an hour south of Perpignan in northern Cataluña’s Costa Brava region, is a small seaside town with all the classic charm of a typical Mediterranean holiday destination: Sunshine, beach life, tapas, siesta, sailing boats, sea breeze and the beautiful backdrop of the Pyrenees mountains to the Northwest. I thought: What better place to come to and relax after learning more about the shared food, culture & language identity embracing France to the south and Spain to the north – Catalan & Cataluña, that is?
“L’Alberg Costa Brava“, one in four top youth hostels in the Northern Costa Brava region, has optimum connections with one of the most outstanding creative foodie travel experiences I have ever done: Learning how to taste algae while kayaking on the Mediterranean Sea!
“Elena, you must talk with Pau … He is amazing at what he does. Always on the lookout for new opportunities, and ever so helpful. I am sure you two would get along really well!” That’s my dear friend Marc, of Alberg Costa Brava speaking: His friend Pau, it turns out, runs a company called SK Kayak and is indeed happy for me to try out their newest invention – a seaside love affair with kayaks and … algae.
Tasting local plants and algae in an attempt to understand more about the native Cap de Creus & Costa Brava flora, all the way to their use in Celler de Can Roca, the world’s leading restaurant in Girona? Yes please! Evarist March, a local botanist turned nature guide, lives to tell the tale and joins us on our kayak trip.
Being the naturally curious, foodlover traveller I am, I find myself all ears in front of Evarist’s and Pau’s fascinating knowledge. What an exciting way to explore northern Costa Brava in an activity called “Herbokayak Tapas Marinas” – tasting our way through land and sea on kayaks just out of Llançà.
The algae tasting that marks the highlight of our kayak excursion is nothing short of extraordinary. After a comfortable stroll on the beach and some two hours spent kayaking, we find ourselves in a tiny little bay that Evarist deems perfect for … diving for algae. Two more volunteers of our group eagerly join him, all helping to prepare a seafood platter of a kind. Welcoming the wait in my kayak, I find myself gently balanced by the tidal waves hugging the bay on this northern stretch of the Costa Brava coast. It is peaceful here; no other tourists are around. Once again, I am reminded that spending your time with the local people is just the best way to go in order to explore the world around us.
Disclaimer: I have been invited by SK Kayak for a taste of their Herbokayak Tapas Marinas trip. All opinions are my own.