Thursday 14th December
Woke up to another gorgeous day so were eager to head off as soon as we filled with water and emptied the “unmentionables”. Others were waiting so we quickly moved off the service area while we entered our GPS co ordinates for our next stop for the night.
Tap, tap at the window – opened the driver’s window and heard the words “shut down your engine”. No hello, good morning or please, just this arrogant male person with a French accent insisting we turn off the engine. We had only been there for about 30 seconds.
My driver did not take kindly to this unwarranted and rude request and casually turned around to the person at the window and said “No I won’t”. His French jaw dropped considerably. He then said “You are gassing us with your engine fumes” His motorhome was at least 40-60 metres from us. My driver just ignored him.
He was the same person we saw just after we had checked in and were heading out on a beach walk, not knowing we could see him, walk over to Ziggy and do a “number plate check” – a game that is “played” at all sites in Europe so he knew for sure that we had GB plates.
We finished entering the coordinates and took off leaving this rude person just standing there. Cannot say the words in writing uttered by my best friend and driver !!…??…
We think the only people who like the French are the French people. We have heard so many comments from fellow international travellers from every country, and I am sorry to say none have anything nice to say about these people. Enough said and moving on – again!!!
We headed high up into the mountains where the countryside had very few trees, mostly shale and low scrubby bushes. Reminded us very much of the countryside whilst going through the Mohave Desert towards the Grand Canyon in the USA where absolutely nothing could grow successfully and if you ventured through it on foot, am sure you would find nothing but rattle snakes.
There are miles and miles of hothouses called “polly tunnels” (because they look like huge plastic tunnels joined together for acre after acre) and are for growing a multitude of crops in these dry arid conditions. Mostly tomatoes and orange trees but have even seen grape vines under these as well as many other crops. There are so many thousands of these that they actually spoil the scenery and many towns are actually scattered amongst the polly tunnels where every spare inch is used for agriculture.
Our campsite for tonight: Parking Cabo de Gato, Almeria
Another absolute beachfront campsite with just a short boardwalk separating us and the magnificent turquoise coloured Mediterranean Sea.
The walk down the boardwalk took us past several seafront restaurants with very few still open at this time of year. The small town consisted of really beautiful two to three storey homes and no apartments. So unspoilt by tourists compared to many towns we have seen. The homes were well maintained and it was obvious the home owners here were houseproud. Strangely we noticed that most women here were Muslims.
To the left of the campsite, small and medium sized fishing boats lazed on the beachfront and small fishing shacks were scattered amongst the boats. At the very end was a huge tower, now in ruins and adjacent to this and nestled among the fishing boats was an old seafood restaurant and bar.
The only sign of “real life” in this town was here with mostly locals in the bar. We sat and watched people come and go and after a couple of drinks asked for the menu. They do not have a menu as such and the barman took us to a window filled with fresh seafood and all we had to do was point to what we wanted and they cooked it. Just magnificent sitting here with the waves crashing only a couple of metres away.
The restaurant stayed open until sunset and then closed its doors for the day. They are open every day but closed at night.
Friday 15th December
Again we travelled along the coast and through mountains with more and more polly tunnels absolutely everywhere. They obviously work here but would hate to think of the impact of the plastic waste at the end of the day.
Chiselled mountains and desert like plains were everywhere with towns scattered in between – very interesting landscapes – rugged but picturesque.
Our campsite for tonight: Playa de los Cocedores, Aguilas
Another magic find set high above and overlooking several coves and secluded beaches. This remote and craggy site was beautiful and quiet where unique outcrops of limestone hills bordered the sea and beaches. Several caves were sculptured into the limestone rock face and some of these were more than one room each.
Obviously very popular in the summertime as there were two bars here but neither had been opened for some time. There are nature walks starting here which take you for a 2 – 3 hour round trip walk through the hills and coves and beaches and through quaint villages.
Experienced the most spectacular sunset here with shades of pink and orange and gold and purple over the deep blue sea.
Saturday 16th December
Another magic day but a little windy.
Passed by a spectacular golf resort – an oasis in the desert. Massive clubhouses and several towers of apartments in the middle of nowhere.
Avoided the motorway today and headed further inland for a short while. Added 50kms to our trip but the scenery was really worth it.
Fruit and vegetable pickers were out in full force. Felt so sorry for them as they were bending over picking what looked like cabbages. They had huge buckets strapped to their backs and these were filled to capacity and then deposited into large containers.
Campsite for tonight: Cabo de Palos
Another magic spot just below the lighthouse with views across Costa Blanca.
A 10 minute walk around the seafront took us past some majestic homes with seafront swimming pools (all with shutters and iron bars on lower windows and doors). This led to a secluded harbour full of sailing and pleasure craft. Restaurants and bars perched on the boardwalks bordering the harbour were all open and busy.
Spent a wonderful sun drenched afternoon sitting at one of these and enjoying this magic spot.