Thursday, 26 May 2011

Waiting for the weather in Almerimar ….. May 2011

15 – 23 May 2011P5150001
The days just seem to pass by as we stayed tied up in the marina at Almerimar.  For the first few days the wind just kept howling out of the north east, bringing with it cloudy skies and even some rain.  The Costa del Sol (Coast of Sun) was certainly not living up to its name. 

After working every day on boat jobs in Cartagena we now felt somewhat idle, but that feeling doesn’t last too long until you kick back and enjoy the leisure time.  Almerimar is situated on a long pebbly beach, going for miles and miles, the shoreline has been developed over the years with a huge range of accommodation for the Northern European sun seekers.  There are some  upmarket apartment complexes with manicured grounds, swimming pools and tennis courts,  then there are blocks that have certainly seen better days with most of the paint flaking off and the buildings crumbling at the corners.  In addition there are developments that have clearly run out of money and stand unfinished, scaring the landscape, and amazingly even more developments still with building underway – just who they are expecting to sell these to when there are so many empty properties on the Spanish coastline is beyond us. 

We got plenty of exercise P5200006 and walked everyday, covering a fair few miles in all directions.  One afternoon we explored the neighbouring Puntas Entinas Nature Reserve in search of the pink flamingos and white headed ducks that have found that these wetlands are one of the few places where they can reproduce successfully, thereby avoiding extinction.  It was an interesting walk through the sand dunes and into the wetlands, but maybe we shouldn’t have gone at siesta time as not a feather was spotted!! 

At last the strong winds eased, but of course then there was no wind.  The weekend was coming so we decided to stay put for a couple more days so Mark could catch up with all the sport including the Spanish F1 Grand Prix and I could join the local walking group and hike off into the mountains.  Sunday morning dawned clear and warm so off I went. 

There was a small group of 7 of us, we drove off inland and upwards into the Sierra Nevada foothills for about an hour then embarked on a 13 kilometre walk.  Part of the walk was following an ancient water canal system first built by Moorish settlers hundreds of years ago.  It was used until quite recent times when the steep heavily terraced land was still planted but now lies overgrown and decaying, most the land is no longer used.  P5210032 
However there were still a few pockets of farmed land, some small vineyards, horses grazing, wild flowers waving in the gentle breeze, streams cutting through the rocks and even some waterfalls.  It was an enjoyable walk, great to get back inland and up into the hills, everywhere was still green after winter but I suspect the hot sun will having it all looking rather dry in no time at all.

Meanwhile Skipper had enjoyed his sports fix, having had the added bonus of English commentaries on television.  Due to the large expat community living both in and around the marina there is a selection of English/Irish establishments to while away a few hours with a pint, and perhaps even some fish n chips!!P5210039

We enjoyed our time in Almerimar, even throughout the period of strong winds there were boats coming and going all the time so always new neighbours to talk to.  All of them were heading east, into the Med and into the headwinds and big seas.  None of them were enjoying it much, but the ones that kept going were all crewed boats and the owners wanted the boat in a particular place, by a specific time – and it was the crews job to get it there.  We value having the time and flexibility that our cruising life allows us so we can minimize the unpleasant passages we have.  P5210022

Monday was forecast to be 10 – 15 knots from the east, clear skies and slight seas.  It was time to say goodbye to all our new friends and move forever westward.   

Cruising info for Almerimar Marina is on the previous posting.

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