The days are slipping by quite nicely since the weather improved, though its still not perfect.
Most days seem to start well, though its a bit chilly until the sun comes up but by mid afternoon there has been a fierce wind blowing almost every day, its pretty noisy too having several large Palm Trees right in front of the apartment. But its the gust’s that are lethal.
I got a bit stir crazy after yet another day of hiding inside, so I decided to try riding my bike, but it was impossible. I could manage the wind, even though it made cycling so hard but the sudden gusts were positively dangerous.
So Sunday as a compromise we drove down to the end of the beach and set out to walk a little path that links the Mojacar Beach with the beach at Castillo de Mascinas (which I think is a designated nudist beach). It was exactly 3.4 Kilometres there and back but it was a bit of a climb and we had to keep dodging Mountain bikers coming the other way.
When we got to the other end we flopped on the beach and watched the waves.It was really beautiful and I must admit to having a bit of a Moment thinking about My Mum and how she never really got to see too much of the world.
Her world was the Grand kids.
I would bugger off to Kenya (where I met my wife) or to Mauritius (for 5 weeks when I got divorced) but when I got home she wouldn’t even ask how I’d got on.
She would though tell me who had cut a new tooth or which of the grand kids had started walking. But I’d give anything to listen to her Blather on now.
So Monday was the first day we could really set out for a ride.
The cycle path runs a good way along the beach right from the end of the Playa outside the Hotel Best Indalo (so as far south west as the Mojacar Playa goes) looses itself a bit by the riding stables where the cycle path veers off to the left and stops at the road, whilst the pedestrian walk way keeps on going. Obviously, most cyclist stay on the pedestrian walk way at this point as its not clear till its too late that the cycle path has vanished!
Even more confusingly, there are bike racks on the side of the pedestrian walk way!
You Pick the cycle way up again proper opposite Restaurant Bellavista and it keeps going till it hits the little row of Chiringuito’s at El Patio.
Now I give you these ‘way markers’ not as total random point’s but because they are used regularly by people here. So they may well say: Let’ meet at the Commercial round about or the First Aid round about, opposite The Hotel Continental or next to Tito’s Bar.
These are all iconic land marks in the absence of anything more obvious.
El Patio bar for example is celebrating its 50th Birthday this year and will be opening Easter Weekend with a bit of a bash. We like to go there Sunday afternoons when they have live music, but its under threat as one of the last Chiringuito’s on Mojacar Playa. The town council want to extend the cycle track and put it beach side of El Patio, cutting it off from the sand so it will loose its Beach Bar Status, some thing that kind of defines it.
Tito’s bar has been part of the Mojacar Beach scene since the 1960’s. The original ‘Tito’ came here as a young man, at least when the Hippies moved in to Mojacar and though he has since passed away, his wife and daughter still run the place.
There is a great Video they play on a loop in the bar which shows still pictures of the early days and all the hippies who lived on the beach, what it looked like and how things have changed.
The cycle path is red tarmac so its easy to know what is and isn’t cycleway! Well, that is unless they change it to Red and Grey which they have in places (this is Spain after all, nothing is quite perfect).
Once the cycle path dissapears completely there is still plenty of safe cycling as there is a wide area marked on the side of the road which is classified as the cycle route and in most places there is a gravel path that can be used if you want to put even more distance between your self and the traffic. Most Spanish drivers are pretty considerate and slow right down around Cyclists plus if they over take, they go way out wide so you don’t feel intimidated. Its only the GB drivers that don’t give you any room.
We hit Garrucha which is a fishing port of some renown (about 5.5 miles cycling) and started looking at the Fish Restaurants to see which we fancied. There was plenty of choice as most Restaurants and Bars offer a pretty good selection of fish and Seafood.
The difference is venue, some are overlooking the beach or the Harbour and the prices reflect that.
Of the ones we looked at we liked Rincon del Puerto (corner of the Port) with its pretty Blue and White Light House, tables over looking the moored boats and a screened area where you are protected from the wind.
So after finishing our cycle ride at the Lagoon in Vera with a sit on the Beach we headed back to the restaurant and ordered two plates of Garrucha Red Prawns (€23 each but well worth the money) which came with bread and alioli, warm bread roll’s, a glass of white wine and 2 diet cokes.
This was our most expensive meal to date at €55 including tip but it was a one off.
The ride home wasn’t as pleasant as the wind had gotten up and it was in our faces all the way making it hard work. We were glad to get home and throw ourselves on the sun beds behind the wall where it was warm but noisy.
We ‘bowled’ Tuesday and signed up for a couple of the organised socials. The first being this Thursday, the women are having lunch in one restaurant and the men in another around the corner, so it will be the first time we’ve been separated in 3 weeks!
We’ve eaten out a bit more than we planned. Primarily because the Kitchen here in the apartment isn’t very good. It isn’t very big either and the facilities it does have are a bit basic but when the weather improves we’ll be able to cook out on the patio and then it wont matter.
Some of the meal’s we’ve had have been fairly average with nowhere (except the port at Garrucha) being particularly impressive. The local Chinese (Palacio Imperial Marina) was OK but the food was a bit bland and it was hard to know what to choose as we didn’t recognise any of the dishes.
We ate in a place called Ashur Lamb which is kind of Moroccan, yet the owner tells us he’s from Syria.
That was OK but we didn’t get to see a menu, he just brought us food which started with flat bread, Hummus covered in Oil and smoked Paprika, then deep fried Falafel Balls, followed by some thing similar that had some kind of minced meat in it and finally chicken Skewers.
It was all very nice but at €12 each it was more expensive than a 3 course meal.
Yesterday after bowling I was starving so we went to a bar that advertised 12 different menus of the day, plus and all day breakfast but when we sat down they told us they had finished serving! WE later found out we could have still had Tapas but by then it was too late. We never really got to the bottom of why they wouldn’t serve us.
So we came home and had cold meat, cheese, Tomatoes and crusty bread on the balcony.
Tuesday evening we went out instead to the local Thai restaurant ‘Sensations’ where the first person we bumped into was Russ Bennett a Fire fighter from Avon Fire Service who is retiring in 6 weeks and has bought himself a retirement home.
Small world eh?
Only that afternoon at Bowl’s we got chatting to a guy from Newark in Notts and I said my mate (Graham Stapp) lived there.
“I know Graham”. He said. “I play Golf with him”!
You can run but you just cant hide.
NB: This Blog will have to go without any of my own pictures as my I phone is no longer speaking to my Mac book Air so it isn’t possible to transfer any pictures (Unless I can resolve this soon). Sorry but thats what happens when you update the software! Thanks Apple.