Thursday, 21 January 2016

Thursday 21 January - Los Alcazares

Where's Colin? He's parked on the road at N37 45.414 W0 49.752.

Two options were contemplated before we made a move from our lemon grove this morning: 1) to head for some hills west of Murcia, taking the direct route; or 2) to head for those same hills via the rather indirect two-sides-of-a-triangle route, taking in another chunk of coast on the way. Option 2 won and having established that our rather nice Aire was lacking in one essential amenity (namely: drinking water), off we set, stopping at a Lidl en-route to pick up an 8-litre bottle of water for 75c.

The coast was first met at Santiago de la Ribera, but the only places we could find to park there weren’t at all picturesque, so (as desperate as I was to tuck into the baked goodies which had jumped into our trolley in Lidl) we continued on to the next resort of Los Alcazares. Both places sit on the Mar Menor (the Lesser Sea), which is a big lagoon with just the smallest gap connecting it to the Mediterranean Sea. It's apparently a popular seaside destination for inland Murcians, although not in winter, based on our observations.

Parking on the seafront at Los Alcazares proved easy and having sent Mick out with the camera whilst I put the kettle on, he came back within a couple of minutes saying that there were a few other motorhomes parked just up the road and that he thought we should stay for the day & night, showing me this photo by way of justification for the proposal:

We soon relocated up to the other end of the road, to join the other motorhomes (not so much a herding instinct as the fact that we were originally parked across a number of spaces; we moved to an area of parallel parking).

Taking ourselves off out for a walk we came to realise two things:

1) this is a place which has been comprehensively taken over by motorhomes. There weren’t just the handful we had originally seen, but dozens and dozens lining the streets, not to mention 100 filling the official Aire (which we didn’t know about until we chatted to a couple of other Brits much later); and

2) this is a place which has almost no residents in winter.  You can walk along entire streets with only a couple of cars parked and with almost every house shut up.

I suspect that the two things go hand in hand. If people were in residence then objections would be made to these travelling folk who pitch up here (I wouldn’t be surprised if some of them stay for weeks at a time, and we’ve certainly seen many who are camping, not parking. Who would want that opposite their house?), but with so few people to object, it’s probably considered better for the motorhomers to be here than somewhere more inconvenient to the locals. Of course, it’s not a bad thing for the town in general, as I’m sure the bars and restaurants on the seafront would not be open and doing such a trade if it wasn’t for these visitors.

So, anyway, our walk took us all the way north along the wide and very well presented promenade, past what appears to be a huge building site, long ago abandoned after just the boundary wall and the individual plot gateways were put in. The wall now sits with the paint flaking and the gates thinking about rusting. The prom then ended, but a dirt path continued, which took us onto a walkway in a sea-swamp sort of an area:

I kept expecting the boardwalk to end, or to loop around, but it didn’t, so eventually we turned, taking a bit of a detour on the way back to pop up a viewing ‘tower’ (only one storey high, but then the rest of the land is flat hereabouts). This was the view looking down:


It was a better vista looking back the way we had just come:

After a very warm afternoon with our heads in our books, Mick repeated our earlier walk but this time at a run. I was more sedate and took a pre-sunset stroll south down the seafront towards the main bit of the town (we’re on the very edge of it here). It is all very lovely, but we’re not going to outstay our welcome, and will move on in the morning.

One of a few substantial new houses which seem to have been abandoned when nearly built. The boundary walls now stand grafittied, whilst nice neat houses sit either side.


  1. It would be great to do a coastal walk at this time of year from where you are down to Gib. Many cheap hotels, warm, good food and scenery.

  2. I think you're right - the current weather does seem to be perfect for walking.

    As it happens, we are heading down to Gib, and whilst we're not going on foot, I'm sure we'll sample some little bits of the coast as we go.