Thursday, 25 December 2014

Walking around Torrevieja and along the Salt Lake

I already bemoaned the lack of walking opportunities directly from
Giant shoe sculpture in Torrevieja 
Camping Florentilles, but that doesn't mean that we have been completely idle for a week. Almost, but not quite!

We spent one morning wandering Torrevieja town centre and seafront promenade where we saw a couple of interesting sculptures: the woman wsiting on the beach as pictured below and also a series of half a dozen giant shoes, all decorated in different styles. My favourite of them all was the yellow design pictured above. Otherwise we weren't too impressed with the town. Admittedly, we didn't get as far as visiting the salt museum - must remember Spanish museums shut on Mondays - and we had already seen the nativity model in the Plaza de la Constitucion. There didn't seem to be any small arty independent shops, more of the Chinese bazaar type and an overwhelming number of bars and eateries. I did enjoy a rich hot chocolate and churros in the Valor Chocolateria - just like we had in Barcelona all those years ago - otherwise all a bit meh!

Wistfully gazing out to sea
Sculpture on Torrevieja seafront 
In contrast, we had low hopes for our walk along one of the salt lakes and it turned out surprisingly well. Isn't that always the way? Although there are two huge salt lakes (Las Salinas) here, it turns out that walling is only possible along one side of one lake. On the campsite side of our nearest lake, all access has to go though orange plantations and their gates are generally securely locked against optimistic hikers. We were unable to park at the end of the lake as we had hoped because the road was closed to cars, but another road that completely encircles an neighbouring urbanizacion has access so we parked up there. Ten to fifteen minutes walking through abandoned terraced agricultural land got us to the edge of the lake. We saw the huge cactus plant below which looked dead from a distance, but was still eagerly sending forth new leaves.

Cactus by Torrevieja salt lake 
The lake shore is mostly scrubby sand with small rocks. There is a proper cycling/running/walking trail all the way along but we walked along the water's edge until it became too full of prickly heather plants. We saw two flicks of birds out on the lake. One looked like gulls and we hoped the other might be flamingos but it wasn't. Probably the wrong time of year! And probably the same wrong time for hoopoes too. At the sea end of the lake, a short stroll through a residential area took us to the Queen Mississippi restaurant where, from below it, a terraced stream led us out into a huge park and on to the sandy seashore. The park was crisscrossed with lots of brick paved paths and all looked quite new. It hadn't yet started disintegrating! We allowed ourselves to be distracted by a squirrel eating a nut. I wanted a photo but it got coy when I reached for my phone! The whole walk was a pleasant more-than-three hours and we were amazed by how quiet the whole area was. An extended family were enjoying a meal together in a dedicated picnic area and there were a few other people on the seashore and in the park, otherwise we pretty much had the lakeside to ourselves. Perfect!

¡Feliz Navidad!

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