Photo by Hudin

There comes a time in everyone’s life where Google Maps will, in one form or another, fuck you. In truth, this fucking is often at the behest of some degree of human error and it was this that saw myself and Lo Casal resident, Cesc on the TV-3023 road. This is not a road of much glory and on a map displayed on a mobile phone, it appears that it does a fine job of providing a bridge across the Ebre river when you’ve taken a wrong turn and ended up in Miravet. While there is a lovely castle and ceramic makers in this village, there is sadly, no bridge.

As you come to the fact that there is no bridge a sign appears showing if you were to keep going, you would indeed drive in to the water, but lo and behold, there is the strangest of boat ferries waiting at a dock instead. This boat, for a mere 3€ runs most days of the year will take you across the Ebre River and thus save the 25km detour you would need to take in order to go back up to Mora de Ebre to cross.

The boat is indeed bizarre as it has no motor, yet it seems as if it could fit two cars on what appears to be two large boat hulls. There, if you are one, you can drive on and the ferry master will then release this ferry of sorts (although in Catalan, it is still called a “barca”) and it will drift along two tether lines with only the current of the Ebre pushing against the rudders and making the gradual 5-10 minute crossing of the river.

The ferry master will need to push in a couple of spots where you hit the shallow ends on the eastern side, but beyond that, it is an easy traversal of this river that essentially ran red with blood during the Spanish Civil War given that it was the front line for months on end. It may belittle the historical significance, but it sure beats the hell out of backtracking for a half hour although ultimately, taking the C-12 the first time around is a much better option.