Carboneras, Garrucha, Vera, Mojacar Peublo and Aguilas
All gorgeous coastal towns, with stunning beaches, which were no more than an hours drive from us. Quite a common theme running through them all and certainly seeing them during the peak of summer meant they were mostly heaving with tourists. The golden sand beaches were always packed with colorful umbrellas and skimply clad bodies of varying shapes and sizes. All as close to the water as they could get, as there was usually a lovely sea breeze about two metres from the waters edge and everyone was doing their best to enjoy it.
Carboneras is the furthest south and lays claim to being the setting for the "Laurence of Arabia" film, among others. As you enter the city from the northern side you are greeted by this huge "white elephant" of a hotel. The partially built Algarrobico Hotel was deemed illegal, because it was being built too close to the shoreline and has nothing done to it since 2007. The massive 20 floor structure with its 400 rooms was 90% complete when construct stopped and the wrangle as to whether to demolish or finish still continues.
Along the beachfront we found the Pensioners Gym - the aim is to encourage the oldies to get up and get off it. So various pieces of gym equipment are placed underneath the palm trees, free for anybody to use any time of the day or night. Not sure if it's working but seems a fabulous idea. Spent a fun afternoon strolling and telling stories with Francis and Janet, while David tried out the equipment.
Next up the coast is Mojacar Playa, a thriving tourist beach resort which is very popular with the Brits and local Spaniards for music and night life.
Then behind this is the magical Mojacar Peublo -a striking sight of small white houses wrapped around a harsh outcrop of rock. We parked down on the beach and wandered the couple of kilometers up the hill. Probably not the best bet in forty degrees heat but we surely sweated out any lingering alcohol or foreign bodies we'd taken in over last few days.
Scooters are the way to go as you get the easy ride up, enjoy some air and wonderful view
It's a classic picture postcard town, an ancient hill village, which seems to just rise up out of the flat plains and is really more about atmosphere than sights.
Wandering the narrow streets and enjoying the balconies overflowing with flowers and the cascading bougainvillea was a treat.
Just around the corner are another couple of lovely spots, Garrucha and Vera Playa, the later being responsible for one of the worlds best naturists resorts, not that managed to find it.
Garrucha is a charming, character filled fishing town, a full marina but not too many tourists. Renowned for its lively fish markets and fabulous seafood restaurants. Also a super efficient post office!!
Then about thirty minutes up the coast is one of our most favorite places, Aguilas, a delightful city, originally a Roman fishing port. Although a classic tourist spot because of its glorious beaches it has more of a city feel to it, based on its principal business of exporting locally grown fruit and vegetables.
The central town Plaza is lined with lined bars and restaurants, in the middle palm trees, pigeons and statues. One of those glorious spots you could kick back enjoy either a long coffee or few glasses of the local wine, at a very reasonable price, and enjoy watching the people.
The local Churreria served up Churros and delicious Hot Chocolate, almost thick enough you could stand your spoon up in, just like I'd read about. We had to try that - Churros is deep fried dough, not unlike a donut, that certainly improves when accompanied by the hot chocolate. But in 40oC heat it probably wasn't at its best