Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Out and About

Sadly, today we said 'Good-bye' to our visitors and they should be arriving safely back home round about now. But we have had a lovely week with them, and have taken the opportunity to not only show them some of our favourite local beautispots, but also to explore new ground as well.
Of course, we started by walking round the village, and then taking them to El Calón so they could see the flat, and the coastline around there. We also visited San Juan and the beaches at Garrucha and Mojacar. We were quite lucky with the weather, and every day we were able to sit outside, chatting or eating! We all caught the sun a bit, and we managed to walk around in shorts or skirts most of the time. There has been some strong winds during the week, so at times we have been glad of an extra layer, but it didn't stop us doing what we wanted to.
We didn't go too far over the holiday weekend as we wanted to enjoy the Easter processions, which we went to Turre to see, except for Maundy Thursday when we just went to the little one in our village. It started at 10.00 at night so the pictures of that are not good. But it was quite an experience, and well worth going to. In between the processions we visited several other places. We did manage to get up the hill to Mojacar Pueblo at last. This is an old Moorish village with narrow streets, and terraces of white houses reaching up the slopes. The view from the top is amazing. One way you can see all the agricultural land, and you can just about see our village from there, and the other way there are views of Mojacar Playa (beach).
Jenny wanted to see the dessert so another day we drove as far as Tabernas, the only area in Europe classified as dessert. It is where they filmed the spaghetti westerns, but the film sets are now a sort of theme park. On the way we stopped at a little village called Sorbas, and then we went on to Carbonares and from there followed the winding, cliff-hugging road that leads back to Mojacar. We chose to get to Carbonares using a narrow mountain road, and on the way we passed a huge solar 'farm' with fields of solar panels. Some were waved to follow the contours of the land and they looked quite attractive.
Yesterday we drove almost to Almeria and then cut down to the coast of the natural park called Cabo de Gata. There is a large salt lake there which is sometimes home to a flock of flamingos, but we couldn't see any yesterday. There were also lots of lovely flowers. We saw some ground-hugging yellow daisies with what we thought was a red line around their centres, but on closer inspection, this turned out to be tiny red spider mites! There are loads of daisies around which are a bright flourescent pink, both growing wild and free, and cultivated in containers, . We drove to the bottom tip of the Cabo to a faro (light house), and a mirrador (view point), from where, on a good day, I am told you can see the coast of Africa. It was not clear enough for that yesterday, but the views were still very fine; lots of jagged rocks and what was probably coral breaking the waves in a wide arc between them. The natural park extends quite a distance into the sea. Next we drove on to one of our favourite beach villages called San José and ate our picnic on the sand. This little village is a popular holiday resort for both the Spanish and foreigners, and during July and August it's normal population of 300 rockets to 3,000, so we only go there 'off-season'.
There is tiny peninsular of white houses known as Isleta de Moro that is mentioned in all the guide books so I wanted to see that. It was reminiscent of a small Cornish fishing village, with lots of small boats pulled up the sand dunes. Finally we drove on to Los Negros, another sea-side resort/fishing village. We last went there two years ago, and it had grown a lot since then. We sat on a sunny terrace and drank cups of tea while we watched some hardy children play in the sea. The cliff that edged the bay looked like the head of a girl with her hair streaming behind her. Well I thought so anyway! The others weren't convinced. Look at my gallery and see what you think. That was John and Jenny's last full day, so they took us out for a very nice meal in the evening.
Today we just had time to wander round the market in the village, and have some lunch on the porch, and then it was time for them to pack. All in all it has been a really good week and we made the most of every day.

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