30th January 2017. Las Negras, Spain.

We had a very early start to the morning, Darren had reset the alarm clock only he’d done it incorrectly and set it an hour early.  We had intended getting up at 8 a.m. he was rather surprised to see how dark it was outside when he opened the blinds but then it would be dark at 7 a.m!

I used the time to get a bit further with the blog so I was happy.

Today’s plan was to walk along the coastal path in the opposite direction to yesterday.

It was a gorgeous day and the views from the road to the next bay were glorious.  The sea was a patchwork of different shades of blue and the cliffs were decorated with veins of red rock running through the sandstone.

We did a lot of van watching along the way, there are some great, unique vans staying here, one was painted orange and had a great painting of three decorated elephants on the side of it, the van behind us has a dragon painted on the back of it.

The road we were following ran uphill and as we turned a corner at the next bay we looked down at a campsite that was situated in a quiet and remote position.  We followed the windy road down to the bay and sat there for a while watching the waves breaking on a lump of rock at the tideline.

We watched a number of people during that time as they climbed up the narrow footpath to a building up on the hill.  We thought it might be the remains of castle walls but couldn’t see from the beach.  We were impressed when we saw an elderly lady picking her way up the side of the hill.

Steve decided that his vertigo would go into overdrive if he tried to climb up there (this started another conspiracy theory that he didn’t actually suffer from vertigo but as they hadn’t managed to make their escape the previous day it was too good an opportunity to miss and that we’d see them sprinting for their van once we’d reached the top of the hill and could do nothing to stop them!).  He and Jane told us they were going to go back to Las Negras and find a sheltered spot on the beach where they could sit and read while we went up to the ‘castle’.

We left them sitting on the beach and went to find the beginning of the footpath, we spent 10 minutes walking round the campsite before it became obvious that the start of the path wasn’t there!  We sneaked out of the gate, hoping that Jane and Steve wouldn’t notice our ineptitude and eventually found the path a bit further along.  It was a bit of a clamber up a narrow rock strewn path to get to the buildings and we were quite amazed that the elderly lady had done it (we discovered on the way back down that the path we’d come up wasn’t in fact the path!)

On closer inspection the building we could see was a ruin with graffiti sprayed on the walls so we carried along the path so we could look at the next bay.  Darren then decided that he wanted to walk right to the top of the mound that was there so he scrabbled up the steep slope while I took photos of him from the safety of the path.

We sat and ate pistachios while we watched sand martins (?) swooping above our heads and down into the valley, then took a moment to Whats App our family with a photo of the view from our vantage point (OK so we were showing off) but that was immediately ‘one upped’ by Austyn who pinged back a photo of him holding a new born turtle in Australia where he was part of a group of people helping the young turtles to get safely into the sea!  Who could compete with that!

We sent a message to Jane and Steve saying we were on our way down and did they fancy joining us in the bar for a drink and menu del dais.  We assumed it would take us a good hour to walk back to Las Negras but as we went down on the correct path this time we were with them in 20 minutes.

As they were still ensconced in their books we went off for a beer and they came and joined us a short while later for lunch.

After lunch we went back to the vans and sat outside reading in the afternoon sun.  In the evening we did a bit of star gazing and Steve and Jane came back to our van for hot chocolate.  We’d made the decision to move on the following day, we felt that Jane and Steve deserved a break from us, they certainly deserved a medal for putting up with my dithering for so long and for remaining so patient.  We knew we would be leaving late because Darren had a video conference booked in but we had decided to visit the gold mine that the Villaricos security guard had told us about.

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