Having moved up the coast a bit we were now just outside Anguilas and Buzz Laika the motorhome was once again parked in paradise! Waking up by the beach at Playa de la Cola to the sound of the sea was wonderful. Opening the door or window straight on to the beach in the morning is unbeatable. It’s sometimes hard to move on when you’re parked in a scenic, natural spot but Mojacar beckoned and in just a few minutes we were there.
It’s another of Spain’s ancient white towns nestled between the Sierra Cabrera and the Mediterranean sea, its dazzling buildings doing their best to reflect back the heat of the sun on hot sunny days. Being in Almeria, the driest, hottest region of Spain with 300 days of sun a year, every little helps! The town has a history dating back 4,000 years to the bronze age and is described as one of Spain’s prettiest towns, so one not to miss as we were in the area. Throughout the town you can see the Indalo man symbol, like the huge one on the roundabout as we entered the town. It’s a depiction of a ‘magical’ prehistoric symbol found in local cave paintings and believed to offer protection and luck. Superstition says it will ward off the ‘evil eye’.
There are two parts to Mojacar, the coastal area with a 9km beach and the pueblo (town) a little inland. We headed for the pueblo, stopping partway up the hill in a rough ground car park which strangely showed up on Google satellite images as being nicely made up and marked with white lines. As we left the motorhome and walked further up the hill we came across another, better car park by the swimming pool which looked quite new so maybe they are preparing the old one for a different use. Further up the street we were surprised to find a lift to take us up to the top of the town and save us the walk. It was such a novelty that we dashed straight in taking the easy option for once and giving the calves a rest. Emerging from the lift at the top we chose a direction and rounding the corner found ourselves in a labrynth of cobbled streets leading this way and that.
Little towns like this are really enjoyable to explore because they’re small enough to have a really good look around and there are always surprises around every corner. Boldly painted doorways stand out against the whitewashed walls and dazzling bougainvillea and brightly blossomed plants tumble down walls and spill out of pots and baskets creating a colourful vision as you walk by. There is also always a sleepy town cat, lazily sprawled out in the sunniest spot who stares at you as you walk by with its sly eyes. We love looking at the charming little buildings, tiny cafes and restaurants full of character and most of all the views you get from high on the hilltops. The Plaza Nueva is the best place for the view and is a big modern viewpoint with terrace restaurant and a panorama out over the countryside. We liked this place a lot, but being small it only takes a couple of hours to visit.
Next up was Mazarron, another town with a coastal part and an an inland part. This time we were headed for the coast at Puerto del Mazarron and the Ruta del Tapa. We’d been on a Tapas Trail before a couple of years ago and it was great fun so we decided to give this one a go. Basically participating bars offer a tapa and a drink for 2.50 euros and armed with a leaflet from the Tourist Office you make your way around as many bars as you like getting a stamp for every one you visit. At the end of the day you can then vote for your favourite. We enjoyed a couple of mini burgers, a weird stacked chip construction with egg in the middle and an egg and courgette on toast tapa. All very nice if a little unusual.
Mazarron is a reasonably small town but very spread out and it seemed that the bars were miles apart. Possibly not a bad thing to let things go down while walking from one to the other but it seemed to take forever! Also as Julian doesn’t like seafood that immediately ruled out about 5 of the bars who were offering some form of fish. There are some pretty places in the town like the bright blue painted market place the Plaza de Abastos. There was a separate event going in there with Heineken sponsored tapas stands, each offering a selection of tasty titbits, again with plenty of octopus, squid, and other fishy bits!
It was an enjoyable few hours though and the good part was that while searching for the bars we also got a good look around. There were a few other activities going on as part of a fiesta and hearing music we headed over to a small tented area where we were just in time to see the end of a bit of a singalong with the town’s men and ladies all dressed up in their finery. There’s a pleasant promenade and beach here, most just lined with restaurants and small shops and a small marina with a few classy looking yachts in. The one below particularly caught our eye!
After 4 small tapas and drinks we decided a cup of coffee was in order. Back at the marina we found a place in the sun which had just about decided to stay out for a few minutes and ordered a special of the day, coffee and cake. A hot milky coffee and a piece of chocolate cake followed, nicely rounding off our visit to Puerto de Mazarron.
In the morning we had one last thing to do visit the sandstone erosions at Bolnuevo, these amazing sandstone sculptures are incredible created over millions of years by wind erosion. They are a mix incredible and complex shapes all naturally formed. You can park your motorhome on the sandy area alongside but it is now restricted to a maximum of 4 hours, which is plenty of time anyway. We’re glad we stopped by here, it’s such a weird and unusual sight as they are totally isolated and unexpected. Another Spanish surprise and well worth a visit!