04 January 2018 – 12th February 2018
As we left for the coast David said ‘shall we go the coastal route or through the mountains ?’ I said ‘through the mountains’. Something I did consider was a big mistake as we set off on the journey to Cabo de Gata, the only dessert in all of Europe apparently. Not 30 minutes into our drive on the A92 we passed through Parque Natural del a Sierra de Hunter and as we were nearly 2000 metres above sea level it started to rain and the rain soon turned to snow and then a blizzard. As the temperature dropped to 2 degrees and with my heated seat warming my bum, I turned to David and said, this wasn’t such a good idea, was it, shall we turn round ? Luckily my panic moment was short lived as I saw more snow ploughs on this small stretch of road than I have seen in all my lifetime in the UK and felt slightly rest assured. As we descended, the snow eased as quickly as it appeared and then it was gone. We passed through the edge of the Sierra Nevada National Park and to our home for the next week, near Cabo de Gata, the Sierra del Cabo de Gala. As we parked I looked out over the mountains with no road noise, or barking dogs, with the birds singing in the olive tree above me. I turned to David and said, this is what l love best, David agreed. We love the open spaces and greenery of this world. The next day we took a short walk to the beach and there are miles and miles of tracks taking you up and over the mountains, to the beaches and through the small rugged coastline. There are an abundance of birds fluttering by the cliffs and in the shrub land and so many plants flowering in all their glory.
Three days in, we were running out of provisions and the nearest little supermarket was 30 minutes cycle ride and a 10.5 mile round trip. No Tesco Express here ! So, leaving Chloe to guard the van we set of with our rucksack and pannions on our bikes. We arrived in San Jose and tracked down the little supermarket and stocked up on provisions, I think that they shut after we left ! After a tapas lunch and a beer we headed back, David cycling all they way and me putting my bike into turbo mode and taking it easy !
We also spent a day walking through the mountains, well we thought they were mountains but it turns out that they are extinct volcanos ! You can tell we have read up a lot about where we are. Lunch stop was David sitting on the edge of a cliff looking out to sea and me, some metres back with Chloe. It was a beautiful day and Chloe is like one of the mountain goats that we saw on the side of the volcano face, just minus a bell around her neck.
Sunday we walked to the next village along the coastal path which was up and down several ravens and arrived at La Isleta, a tiny village with afew bobbing fishing boats moored in the bay. The two restaurants that were open were packed with local customers, the traditional Sunday outing. We decided to try and walk along the beach on the way back, but came up against the sea, the tide is going out David said, how long will that be I asked, 3 hours he said. David decided to embark on taking his shoes and sock off to see if we could walk around the rock, to the beach the other side. I could just see disaster looming and so we decided to play mountain goats and up the cliff face we went to try and find the coastal path again. Do other people do this or is it just us ?
As usual we stayed longer than we anticipated and decided it was time to venture North along the coast, when our next door neighbour left. George with his gorgeous Labrador named Jack. Jack is 13 years old and has been with George since he was 5 weeks old, they make a great team. We are hoping to meet up again in Spain or Greece. Fingers crossed.
Cabo de Gata is the most wonderful place, we absolutely loved it, it is beautiful. The mountains and the beach all in one place. It is rural but you can walk and cycle for miles or just spend time on the beach. A hidden gem in Spain.