At 10pm, the night is dark, cold, mute. Only the delicate and persistent symphony made by a great number of insects, little mammals and birds that inhabit the area remind us that, despite the lack of light, the forest is full of life.
Once a month, and coinciding with the arrival of full moon, kids and adults can enjoy the so-called ‘Parc Eco-històric del Pont del Diable’ (Pont del Diable’s eco-historical park) thanks to a unique experience called ‘Nights of full moon’ set by the company Limonium. The lack of light forces visitors to jump back in time in order to imagine something their eyes can barely see.
Once there, the hosts for this night tour, Agustí Buisán and Sebastiano Alba, are already waiting for us at the entrance for a little briefing. The tour, about ninety minutes long, is divided into 3 parts: the English garden, the forest and, of course, the Pont del Diable.
The English garden was designed, over 100 years ago, by the Puig i Valls brothers, particularly by Rafael, a forest engineer and natural environment supporter. The key to the project was, undoubtedly, the ability of adapting the British concept to both the Mediterranean geography and climatology, since the shortage of water and the actual inexistence of a number of species required of an ingenious combination of imagination and sustainability. Unfortunately, wisdom that erected the original project was obscured by carelessness, which took this beautiful garden to oblivion. Luckily, years and a change in social mentality have led to its recovery, performed by the Societat de Actuacions Ambientals Limonium. Their managers believed it was necessary to bring back the original project by means of both cleaning and preservation, and truth be told, they have done a very good job. The flowerbeds trace paths full of surprises, like a snail made with a sort of bush labyrinth, in the middle of which we come across some holly, unseen near the coastline.
We leave the garden behind and head towards the forest. To do that, we walk across an avenue bounded by cypresses, one of the most symbolic trees existing. Once surrounded by nature, Agustí tells us about the second big pillar upon which the Eco-historical Park is built: biodiversity. Mastic tree, black hawthorn, rosemary, thyme… the whole area is full of plants and bushes that went through a process of adaptation, which implied smaller thinner leafs that should prevent them from drying up in hot climates such as the Mediterranean. Thanks to some pictures and a mobile phone app, Agustí tells us now about the little mammals and birds that inhabit the woods. Owls, nightjars and mustelids become the main actors of the nights at the Eco-historical Park.
Finally, and following the original water path used by the Romans, we make it to the north end of Aqüeducte de les Ferreres: Pont del Diable. This 217m long and 27 high construction, was one of the most important works by the Roman Emperor Augustus built in the old capital city of the Hispania Citerior. In fact, this is the very first aqueduct to have superimposed arcades. At last, and after being hidden for more than an hour due to the embarrassment the unexpected visitors created, the full moon is finally unveiled above us. The gleam and ivory tones of its light splash, just as water did over 2,000 years ago, every single stone in this magnificent construction.
It is weird how the absence of light has revealed the most important secrets of a park loaded with history. History presented to us like a sweet melody. A melody that, thanks to the great number of insects, little mammals and birds, becomes every night, underneath the gracious gaze of the moon, a delicious symphony.
Managers: Eduardo Soler and Sebastiano Alba
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Pont-del-Diable-Tarragona/851809374833533?fref=ts
Phone numbers: +34 977 342 069 / +34 655 603 021
Email address: email@example.com
Price of the activity: 10€/adults ; 5€/up to 12 yo.