Airport perimeter. Small town. Wonderful nature reserve most of the way.
We caught a bus from Aguadulce to Almería. We left the Intermodal Station (bus and train) and walked for a few minutes to the stop where the airport bus departs. This is almost integrated transport! At the airport, we headed north and soon east to clear the runway perimeter. After the airport, apart from one short golden mile at Retamar, the route became wild and free all the way to Cabo de Gata.
We get up at 6am and have breakfast at a reasonable pace. We get to the bus stop soon after 7.00 and get the Alsina Graells to Almeria. Then we locate the airport bus. There are no signs to it from the Intermodal station which I think is a pity and a surprise. Once at the bus stop, I see a number 20 and make haste to board. Neil tries to stop me saying it may not be a 20 but it is because I've already seen the number on the back.
Once on the airport bus we monitor the route and it stops at the Mercadona roundabout which is quite near the intermodal station. If we use that route again we can save a little time and effort. It is quite amusing going to the airport without having to catch a plane.
The bus went past the university which is fairly empty as it is the Easter holiday. Opposite the campus there was some litter suggesting there had been a student party. One discarded beer bottle is unsightly. Five bottles are offensive. 10,000 discarded bottles are hilarious. It must have been quite a party! Neil is reminded of his mis-spent youth.
We get off the bus and carry on beyond the airport. We see a little Focker from Air Nostrum land as we approach El Alquilan. At the far end of this village is a lovely zona recreativa bordering the airport where we have a little break and Neil photographs the plane coming in. I relieve myself behind a prickly bush and hope the pilot of the plane is concentrating on his landing.
Now our walk is back to our heart's desire. The track is unmade and there are plants to the left and right. The sea is close by on our right as it will be all the way to Turkey. Once we enter the parque Natural de Cabo de Gata, the route loses some of its charm because the tracks have been fenced - very discretely with wooden posts and palings but fenced nonetheless. Still, it's very quiet as only authorised vehicles are aloud in there. We think some cars come in any way but not many.
One vehicle came in from the university to do water testing. We had our lunch near a torre which was a mistake because lots of people came to look at it while we were there. By lots I mean half a dozen.
Beyond us a man and woman were gigging vigorously for shellfish or lugworms - we don't know which. Neil saw a pink thing in a bush and went to investigate. It was nothing more than a plastic bag but in the process he put up a hare which was nice to see. Nearer to Cabo de Gata village there was salting with moorhens on it and gulls. Swifts were feeding overhead - on their way back from Congo I expect.
We saw swallows yesterday also in transit. In Cabo de Gata I tried to locate Mary's house but failed. We made our way to the far end of the village and sat down to wait for the bus which was due in about an hour and a quarter. It came at about 3.45 and was heading to Las Salinas. We decided to go on for the ride. If we had known the bus went on beyond we could have done the 4 extra kilometres to reduce tomorrows walk to San Jose which will be longer.
It was a lovely wild ride with the sea breaking on one side and the salinas with flamencos on the other. We will enjoy walking it tomorrow. The bus fare back to Almeria was 4.45 euros so Mary can't have stayed in Cabo de Gata after all. She must have been in El Alquian to get a ticket for 90 cents. We are followed back from Retamar onwards by a number 20 bus. So much for the woman I talked to about renting a house there who said there were no buses. The airport bus is extremely frequent and the Cabo de Gata one goes the other way. After that you would always have to go via Almeria as we do now but it would have been a lovely place to stay.
In the Intermodal station we look up bus times for tomorrow. We need to be in Almeria by 8.00 and will catch the 7.30 bus back from San Jose in the evening. It will be a full day out. Once in San Jose we'll see what we need to do to get through the rest of the pussy.
Back in Aguadulce we make a small shopping as we shan't be able to do one mañana. Even by Spanish time we are late.