Mostly golden mile, beach paths and salinas. Much nicer than we expected.
We walked from Los Nietos Viejos station to Los Nietos station via Cabo Palos. This is the most Southeasterly point in Spain. The route was tranquil apart from the main road crossing. The salinas and the land behind them were very nice. The cape was rather built-up but still pleasant. The inland shore of the Mar Menor was tranquil and interesting. In the distance we could see the high rise resorts lining the coastal perimeter of the Mar Menor. Most of the route near Los Nietos was on dirt tracks. Near the cape, we walked on cliff top paths and beside the sea.
Today is the last walk of this holiday’s walk across Europe. I wake up at 4am with a normal migraine so things are looking up.and no gastronomic shutdown.
We set off at about 7 as usual and make or way to Los Nietos Viejos. We are good at the peaje (motorway toll) now and have our 6.80 euros at the ready. It is a lovely morning again and we find a nice parkovat in Los Nietos Viejos. Somewhat optimistically I am wearing my Rohan combined swimming dress and underwear because we shall be skirting the Mar Menor and I have undertaken to plunge into all the seas we pass. This one may have to wait until February when the weather is likely to be warmer - although the water will probably be colder.
From Los Nietos Viejos *the old grandchildren) we head along the road towards the Mar Menor. We soon pick up a track to the left. Our objective is to hit what Neil called the Atlantic shore as soon as possible and then to return along the Mar Menor side. This is because there is a sequence of rocky outcrops resembling Gibraltar all the way along this coast and he calls the western side of each the Atlantic side and the eastern side the Mediterranean side.
Neil's head is thick today. He is still recovering from the gruelling day of the walk to Carthage. By tomorrow he has a cold caught from the man in the train when he was under the weather. He also had a shower before we set off and that is a weakening thing to do so early in the morning. I am feeling good today. The migraine has gone and my feet are in good order with small to negligible blister from yesterday. We soon find a muddy track going in the correct direction and when this goes close to the sea. We keep right so that we can make our walk seem like a circular. We meet some English Affen on bikes. He asks if the route is passable. She says "Road across field good?" We say we got through all right. So they head off all confident but bear left on a completely different track. We have no idea whether they made it without getting bogged down.
We had thought today's walk would be shorter but it is turning out to be the same length as usual - around 25 km. Our route skited the salinas. There were birds and it was tranquil. Behind the salinas there was a small area of delightful woodland, full of flowers waiting for the warmer weather to bloom. Eventually we get to the spit and it is only here that we manage to get over to the western edge. We eventually arrive at a little harbour and marina and by watching a fishing boat go out establish that it is indeed on the main Mediterranean coast and not on the Mar Menor. We keep along the edge of it knowing that by doing this we shall get to the cape. We also look hopefully at the cafés and shops in case there is one selling ice creams. No luck. This is a Spanish resort and December is not the season for ice cream. We shall no doubt get them when we get to the Costa Blanca proper eg Torreviejos and Benidorm.
The cape is an exposed mound of rock and the authorities have built a wooden fence to stop people falling off it. In order to make sure we reach the point, we go under this fence and skirt the cliff. Neil wants us to touch all main corners along our route. Obviously little outcrops in between can be skirted but not the main turning pints eg Trafalgar, Gibraltar and here. Then we go down to an isolated little cove for lunch. The problem with this is that once people see people in such coves the idea spreads and we were soon joined by several Spanish families - all delightful as it happened and we were entertained by them as we ate. The main activity of the younger ones was filling empty water bottles with little stones found on the tide line. You can pay a lot of money for posting the shape toys but these little ones had sorted the activity for themselves. An older boy took off his shoes and climbed round the rocky headland either for the fun of it or to find a toilet. Our toilet as was theirs was effectively removed by our respective presences.
There was a lighthouse on a second outcrop near ours which we went past and then we headed back towards the spit now keeping to the northern coast of the cape. We then crossed back over the main road and tried to find a way back to Los Nietos round the other side of the salina. Our first effort is a dead end but provides suitable toilets. We soon join up with a little road going past a second salina and this leads us back to the shore of the Mar Menor. We now keep to the right once again to complete the circular The sea is very calm with just tiny waves lapping against the shore. There are a few sailing boats and a moored catamaran. On the beach is a little catamaran called Teddy. There is also a great big bugger with pussypillars. I say "one to me". Five minutes later Neil says one to me and then says is that why I had said it earlier. I have an apoplexy of laughing and sit on the wall. Here we have a date as I have again forgotten to take a healthy bar and I look again at the train timetable. There are slightly fewer trains on a Saturday. We decide we can make the 5.45 if we don’t have too long a break.
We carry on along the seafront getting a preview of our February route. We are now under the flightpath of Murcia (San Javier) airport. Eventually Neil's GPS tells him we are alongside the station. We head inland and sure enough, there is it is. A few other people are approaching at the same time. One is a Spanish woman who has a very loud conversation first with a man who is also joining the train and then, even louder, on her mobile. "Hello it's me". "I'm at the station." We get in the train which arrives on cue. The ticket man is starting to collect fares at the other end of the train. Then lots of people get in at Los Nietos Pescadero. It is the cheerful conductor again. We rush along the train past Mrs Noise who is still in full flood to tell the conductor we are only going to Los Nietos Viejos and can we buy our tickets now. He says we went andando and lets us off without paying so that was really good. We get back to the car and Neil drives home. It is daylight and we find the way including our concealed turnoff to Cabo Cope which cuts of a corner at the end.
Mini is surprised because we are early getting home before dark. She thinks someone else had come to see her because it couldn't have been us as we are so early. We have coffee and a caramel bell. Neil says we should eat the caramel bells first as they will travel less well than solid santas. We shall get santas at February and probably Easter as well. We have far too many. This is only fair as we have had to eat up left over Easter eggs at Christmas!
We have spaghetti bolognese for supper. On the stretch from Los Nietos Viejos to the Cabo de Palo, we saw parrots, stilts and gulls and an unknown bird flying in formation like gooses but not making a noise like a goose. Do gulls fly in formation? but it didn't look like a goose or a gull.