Sunday, 2 March 2014

Superbly sunny Sunday in Sopalmo

We were only going to stay at Camping Sopalmo for a few days but have been over over a week because we like it so much! The drive here was a bit of a nightmare for me because both the first and last thirds of the journey involved mountain roads with scary views down into gorges or crossing high bridges. I managed but it wasn't fun. The last part between Carboneras and Mojacar, passing through Sopalmo, is narrow and full of hairpin bends as well! Both last Sunday and this morning, hordes of motorcyclists have come roaring past the campsite entrance on their way to enjoy the road. We think there were over 100 in one group alone last week. You'd like it here, Dad! It's the ALP-118 and has one of those green borders in our atlas.

The site itself is quite small but busy and a large proportion of the people here are staying on the one spot for four or five months. There's good discounts for long stays but even the over-a-week discount makes a big difference. The shower blocks are pretty good and remarkably draught free! Simon and his staff are friendly and helpful and the other campers are some of the friendliest we've encountered. They keep having afternoon parties. We've even been out to another caravan, with new friends Bob and Carol, for dinner, practically unheard of for us! Downsides are that the wifi signal is poor unless I'm sitting right outside reception. It's warm enough in the daytime, but screen reflections are irritating. I've got through loads of books in February though because of not spending all evening bumming around the internet - did you read my Month In Books reviews?!

There's lots of good walking around Sopalmo. The 'rambla' which is the dried up river bed leads up to the village and down to a cafe and the beach. Plus there are many dirt tracks going up into the hills and along ridges with fantastic views out over the sea. We did one picnic walk of over four hours where the first hour and a half was relentlessly uphill and the view from the radio masts at the top was spectacular. I'll try and get a couple of maps added to this post if I can work out how. On our last walk we encountered a goat herder with his herd of goats which must have numbered well over 200. They were all different colours from white to grey to brown and seemed to 'flow' over the hillsides. An unusual sight for us. 

Mojacar Pueblo, up on the hill nearby, is an old village where all the buildings are painted white. Dave came here before about fifteen years ago and says that the transformation has been drastic. We walked around for a morning enjoying the hidden glimpses of Moorish architecture. It's still a pretty, quaint village but now has many cafes and tat shops whereas before there were just small houses. There's a long strip of restaurants and bars along the beach at the bottom of the hill too which wasn't there before.

We think we'll probably move on from here in the middle of this week. Hopefully we can take the weather with us - or find more en route - as, apart from an unexpected gale last night, it was been gorgeously hot and sunny. Perfect lounger weather! 
And to end, in case I don't get to posting again in time, Happy Birthday Andy! 


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