17th January 2017. Los Narejos, Spain.

We moved on again today, I’d enjoyed our stay at the Camping Caravanas Casablanca, the owners were so friendly and relaxed but we were looking forward to meeting up with our friends Steve and Jane.  We hadn’t seen them since Benidorm and they were wild camping half an hour from Murcia.

Our initial plan had been to meet up at Lo Pagan and cycle along the cycle path there.  My friend Debs had suggested we went to look at the mud baths and the area looked very interesting.  Unfortunately it was blowing a hoolie and as a consequence it was rather cold so we decided against the cycle ride and that we’d meet up after we’d visited the area.

We drove through Lo Pagan but we couldn’t see the windmill where the mud baths were so we carried on to do some shopping.  We’d been unable to find Lidl on the tablet so we parked at the supermarket we could find and Darren popped over the road to the garage to what he thought was a cash point, it turned out to be the place to pay for fuel but as he came back across the road he spied a Lidl a bit further along from us.  Result!

We restocked the fridge, checked the map on the tablet and discovered we were very close to the route that we would have cycled along to the marina at San Pedro del Pinatar so we drove there.

Not long after we’d started driving along the road between the saline pools we spotted flamingos in one of them, unfortunately the only place to pull in had another car there so we carried on driving between the green pools and up past the pink pools until we reached the marina where we parked overlooking the sea.

It was very stormy.  Waves were pounding the rocks and we watched a boat as it kept disappearing behind the waves as it made its way into the marina.  I don’t envy the passengers on THAT trip.  Darren peered over the edge of the sea wall and looking back up at him was a little black cat who was peeping out from his hidey hole, every so often a wave would break on the rocks near him and spray would sprinkle down on his head.  I took lots of photos of him and eventually he got cheesed off at the invasion of his privacy and flounced off along the base of the wall!

We watched a man folding up the huge kite, we’d just missed him kite surfing on the choppy sea.  Behind him we suddenly noticed what looked like mountains of snow but on closer inspection were mountains of salt!  How come it doesn’t wash away or dissolve in the heavy rain we’ve been having?

We fought our way back to the van through the wind, ate our lunch overlooking the bay and drove back to the pools where we’d seen a car park.

We wandered along the board walk, splashed through the water that was covering a bit of it and noticed an interesting looking platform in the distance where we could hear the sound of crashing waves.  We followed the board walk but although we got a tantalising view of the platform we couldn’t reach it because the board walk was under water (this time we would have had to wade through it and it was far too cold for that to be happening) so disappointed we turned around and went back to the van.  I’d love to come and visit this area more thoroughly the next time we’re in Spain.

We drove on to the pool where we’d seen the flamingos previously and this time we were able to park there.  Unfortunately they’d moved to the far side of the pool so weren’t very easy to see but as we walked back to the van Darren may the error of mentioning the flamingos that were flying to the pool on the other  side of the road.  He then jumped in the van where he watched them in comfort through his binoculars and while idiot that I am I stood on the muddy bank in the howling wind photographing them and the other little birds I saw bobbing around in the water.

After about half an hour I started walking back to the van when I saw some flamingos flying to the pool on that side of the road but as I got over there I got sidetracked by a cute little bird wading around next to piles of white foam.  I’ve no idea what he was but he had the ‘ahh’ factor!

I eventually dragged myself away from him and we drove to Los Narejos where we found our friends Jane and Steve.  It was SO lovely seeing them again.

We popped into their van for a catch up and a cuppa, went back to our van for a quick bite to eat then caught up again for a drink before we all walked up to the Irish pub in town where Steve and Darren watched the football with the barman, Darren has no interest in football but he was happy to sit with a drink and keep Steve company, Steve and the barman however both supported Ipswich who were playing a team lower in the Division, I think Ipswich was expected to win but they didn’t!  It seems it was such a dull game that the few people who had turned out to watch it left before the end and there were only the four of us keeping the barman company at the end!  Jane and I sat in comfort on a sofa in the corner and carried on talking so we had a great evening.  On our walk back Darren and Steve were telling us that the barman had been telling them he’d been living in Spain for 15 years and that a couple of years ago they’d had snow for the first time, apparently there were lots of hold ups on the roads due to the locals stopping their cars to play snowballs, I bet that was a great sight.  We had a lovely evening and we finished it with a drink back at our van while we formulated a plan for the next day.

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