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Treasure Island beach walk

21 May

Last weekend we wanted to do a morning walk before the weather really gets too hot to even think about walking – so our friends Mike and Gill, who are very keen walkers – told us about one particular route they had done which gave you two options.  The first one is a much more challenging walk over quite big hills above the beaches beyond Mojacar; the second is a coastal walk, but along a decent, flat track for the less ambitious. Both start from the tower at Macenas beach as you head for Carboneras.

Meeting point at Macenas tower

We didn’t have to start too early, although the forecast was for the high eighties on the Saturday that we went.  But anyhow, we agreed to meet at an acceptable 10.30 and promised Gill that we would be on time as we always seem to be 10 or 15 minutes late when going to theirs for lunch!  So, we set off extra early, and they still beat us to it.

Signposted all of the way

We were hoping to be 6 or 8 but everyone else cried off for various reasons, so with it just being the four of us, Mike gave us the option to either do the more difficult, over the hills walk (I hasten to add there was a promise of a beautiful beach and tapas lunch in the chiringuito at the end of the two hours that it would take to get there!) or to do the easier coastal walk to the same point, but which would only take an hour or so.  I thought as it wasn’t too hot, that even I would brave the hills.

The sea view

Shelters on top of the hill

This is where someone having done the route already pays off, as Gill kind of kept me up to date with what to expect; it was tricky here, steep there, over the worst bit – that kind of thing!  Not being much of a walker myself, it all helps to keep you going.  There were several gorgeous natural stops on the way where the council have put up seating areas and little cabins to get a bit of shade while you catch your breath and have a glug of water (which obviously is essential to take with you).

Keep going!

The way down.

It was as challenging a walk as I would like –  a few quite hairy bits going down some steep slopes with nothing to hold on to,  but nothing that phased our 70 something companions!  They are quite amazing and remained undaunted, but seriously, if you are of a certain age and not used to walking, then take the coastal route which is just lovely too.

The beach before Treasure Island beach

2 hours later we arrived at Treasure Island beach (yes really they shot the Orson Wells version here in 1972).  It is just lovely, unspoilt and with just one chiringuito, Manaca,  to have drinks, tapas or lunch.  You could quite happily spend the whole afternoon here – and the good thing is that it can be reached by car too, so you could pack everything up and come for the whole day, away from the more popular beaches in Mojacar.  You need brollies and something to lie on though as it really is a natural beach with no other facilities apart from the beach bar.

Treasure Island beach

Chiringuito Manaca

He was a bit thinner then

We arrived for lunch and of course a much needed drink, tinto verano in my case (summer wine a bit like sangria) – just lovely.  Then the owner came out with the menus and a chameleon – (see the picture!) who live naturally here in the trees.  He was very friendly and unphased by being handled by us (the chameleon, not the owner).

Karma, karma, karma, karma, karma etc.

The walk back to Chiringuito Macenas is a about 40 minutes long and passes past the old lookout point. Very dramatic scenery here.

 

The walk back

The old lookout point

Walkers delight – Chiringuito Macenas

So maybe from now on, if you do want to try this walk, you would need to start by 9 in the morning at this time of year, a little earlier as we go through to July, or even go when the sun is setting and have a swim and a sun-downer atTreasure Island beach.

Life doesn’t get much better than that.

 

 

 

 

 

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Walking in Almeria

16 Apr

We are very lucky living where we do – we have mountains, countryside and beach all within 20 minutes of each other.  There are lots of walking groups too which definitely have advantages.  For a start there are lots of “off the beaten track” walks, which not only would you have difficulty finding, but can be dangerous too if you don’t know the area.  Mick and I did such a walk the other week with our friends Heidi and John.  We decided to take Digby, our Jack Russell, with us as he is very good on a lead – Kevin the Pointer unfortunately is a bit more tricky!

So we met up early on a beautiful Sunday morning in the direction of Sorbas.  There were at least 30 or us, all of different nationalities.  We pulled off the road and parked all the cars and waited for our guide.  He is a local guy, very friendly and knowledgeable and warned us all to stay together on the walk; apparently it is an area with lots of massive deep holes which you can’t really see!  This was borne out when we saw a load of pot-holers!  With this in mind, Digby was kept firmly on his lead.

Anyhow, we kept to the track and enjoyed the scenery – lovely spring flowers in the meadows and mountains in the background. We walked for around 5 kms – unheard of for me!  But made all the more enjoyable by all the chatting as we went along.  We ended up in a tiny little hamlet of deserted houses and sat under the trees and had a little picnic of hamburgers, juice and fruit provided by our guide – all for the princely sum of 3 euros.

If you like walking and being in nature, you really could do worse than to join a walking group – it is fun, safe and you will get to see places that you didn’t know existed – and good for you too!

 

 

Walking in Almeria

3 Feb

At this time of year, when the days can be beautifully sunny and warm, a great way to spend the day is to join in on one of the organised walks here.  Anyone can join the Mojacar Walk Group on Tuesdays and Thursdays – they can be quite challenging but the walks are graded – Green denotes that it is suitable for everyone and then they are graded upwards to Red very strenuous and only suitable for very experienced walkers.  They range in length from around 3-4 hours and often include a stop for lunch.  Usually they start from 15 minutes away to a maximum of 30 minutes drive from the Cortijo.

 

It is important that all walkers are honest about their ability as some of them are really quite hairy so our friends Mike and Jill Colyer tell us.  They go regularly, are in their 70’s (well Jill is only JUST 70!) and come back full of where they have been – from Cortijo Grande up in the mountains, to the beautiful Serena Valley.  It really is the best way to take in the stunning scenery around here and is perfect for people who don’t want to spend ALL their time on the beach.  From now until early summer is the best time to go – the weather is just perfect for it, not being too hot, and as we only have around 30 days of rain per year, you are pretty much guaranteed to be able to go for at least one momentous walk!