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 Walk Across Europe

2007-04-09 - Trip 9 - Leg 62

Spain, Andalucia and Almeria

La Isleta del Moro to Las Negras

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11.1 km today.
96.3 km this trip.
1181.8 km from start.
2 metres minimum height.
133 metres maximum height.
440 metres ascent.
444 metres descent.
 Track Log: Logged.
 Travel: Hire car.

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Coast road in driving headwind rain.

We drove to Las Isleta de Moro. It was raining hard and windy too. This was all morning English rain - not the quick downpour more usual in southern Spain. We slogged into the headwind and driving rain all the way to Las Negras. At about noon, the rain stopped and the day improved. The late afternoon was hot and sunny. Our outward route was along the coast roads avoiding slippery cliff paths. The route back to the car was much nicer with a coastal cliff path and a track through farm land in the Rodalquilar Valley. At Las Isleta, we walked through a stereotypical oasis with palm and other trees looking idylic after the scrubby hillsides more common in the region.

As we set off for La Isleta this morning it was tipping it down. If we had known before we got up would we have bothered. Probably because we need to finish the Pussy before the end of the holiday to be ready for Aguilas. On the basis of "rain before seven will be gone by eleven", we decided it should be easing off by the time we arrived. It is paradoxical that we should be having the coolest wettest Easter we have had for a long time in the hottest driest part of Spain. Such is weather.

It was still raining quite hard when we reached La Isleta and Neil tried three parking spaces before he was satisfied that the car would not be washed away a la Boscastle. We wanted to be uphill a bit and not in the river bed. We wondered whether we would wait for the rain to ease off but in the end set off as usual. I set up my mustang in dry-bag mode as it leaks like a sieve and once this was done, we set off. The first thing I saw on leaving the car was a letter box and I had written my card to Daphne, a neighbour of well over 90 who used to walk a great deal and still does as much as she can e.g. by doing the some of the Suffolk Churches bike ride on foot. I couldn't face posting it as it was inside all that weather protection. It would have to be another time.

There were two ways to Las Negras and in view of the weather, we decided to go along the road. River clay and waterfalls on the mountain route were not a good idea. There were few cars and most kindly avoided spraying us. We headed up towards the mirador above La Isleta and used it for a toilet break. Then we went back downhill towards Rodalquilar of the famous restaurant. Just before we reached it we turned right down towards the sea and Las Negras.

Hortichuelas was on our left and looked remarkably unchanged. We will go through it with Mini on her Pussy tour. In the meantime, the restaurant remains where we each thought it was. It was 11.1 km to Las Negras and we were there soon after 11.00 The rain had abated a bit on and off but never properly stopped. We realised that with summer time, we would need to wait until 12.00. On the way down to Las Negras we pass the river in the bed of which we had so much enjoyed our barbecue lunch. No dispute about the location of this.

One or two police cars passed us on the road but our true surveillance team today were Mr and Mrs Bum-bag (Deuter). Mrs Bumbag had a huge bumbag made by Deuter which might be worth looking into. Carrying a mustang over one should is OK in the morning but by the afternoon, even though it is lighter by then you begin to feel strangled by it. We pause for lunch on a windy outcrop above Las Negras beach and have lunch. By now it is no longer raining, just dull and windy. Having greeted Mr and Mrs Bumbag in the village they now overtake us and head along the track we hope to take later. Mrs Bumbag has two walking poles so she looks the part.

We have just half our lunch in the dry and then carry on along the coastal road.

There is now a campsite where we had our Christmas bar-b-que and we can't ever have got as far as the beach because it is magnificent and we should have remembered it. Just past the campsite, the path, classified as medium, starts with a steep but not very long ascent. You then skirt the coast on a track which is narrow at times considering the drop below but nothing to induce terror. The camber is wrong for me since I broke my femur and I had not expected incorrect cambers going to Turkey. This was the east to west bit of our half leg. The sun came out along this stretch and we had a break to dry our things and eat an orange basking in the warmth near a wild bridge.

We came down at La Caleta, the cove at the end of the Rodalquilar valley. Beyond the beach, we head back towards the road along a track which is river clay in places. We get high heeled sandals but can always clear them before the next bit. We are just wondering whether we need to join the road again when we come upon Mr and Mrs Bumbag again. The previous time she looked sorry for me for some reason. I can't think why. I was no wetter than she was. This time she just said Hola. They carried on ahead of us quite purposefully and we decided to follow them. The surveillance going the other way for a change. They pursued this path until it came to an end, crossed a river bed and carried on along a field.

We paused for a breather having had virtually no stops all morning and they got well ahead. We didn't see them again until we were veering towards the main road just 500m before the La Isleta Mirador. We were having a last toilet break before re-entering habitation and Neil spotted them on top of a the volcano opposite us. They wanted a really good vantage point from which to watch us or else were peak baggers. They must have had a wonderful view from up there. All we had to do now was our 500m ascent to the La Isleta mirador and then it was downhill all the way. Instead of staying on the road, we rounded the main tureen and then set off downhill into the valley before La Isleta.

This led through a beautiful oasis of date palms. The sun was now hot and the shade was welcome. Beyond the oasis was a carpark with three campervans in it and then the village. I post my postcard as I was able to reinstate my normal packing arrangements at the last break. I suspended the drybag from my mustang to let the air get to it as it had condensation on the inside after its damp morning. The Kia Picanto was still there not washed away. I had my extra drink hidden under the seat and we headed back to Aguadulce.

By now it was scorching. The front which passed over may be the herald of normal Easter weather. The walk to Agua Amarga may be a stark contrast to today's. We need it to be dry because the road alternative is so long we'd need two days to get it done and we haven't got two days spare.

Once back home, we have supper. We are spoilt having Mini make us things to eat in the evenings. We wash up but get by far the best of the deal.

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