Monte de las Cenizas
Trip Start Oct 01, 2008
72Trip End Ongoing
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However, today the sun is having a rest and a few clouds have rolled in. A mild 16 or so degrees allows us to comfort to decide to go for a drive to see what we can find. The wind is quite strong and sitting around would be uncomfortable.
Ma and pa stop in at a local furniture shop, and we all decide we could live there. Each and every piece is stunning and of a high quality. They don’t hesitate in buying a few things for the flat; namely a lush deep rug and a unique piece of metal art work to go on the wall
We drive on down to Cablo, a small fishing port on the edge of Mar Menor. With the wind up not many people are out, and you can tell it is not the main season. A few tables and chairs scatter the fronts of the fish restaurants, but i can see that the small port would be enticing on sunny day. They recommend a lovely restaurant that i may return to. There is nothing better than fish eaten from the same bay it was caught in.
This is where the small idyllic port turns into my idea of hell as we drive along La Manga strip. A strip of land which cuts past the Mar Menor (a small salt lake a few metres deep). It is overcrowded with huge high rises of hotel and apartments, after high rise, tacky shops and supermarkets. Apparently a pull for local young Spanish in the summer months, i doubt i will ever be returning to this place if i can help it! Best forgotten!
Realizing i am not going to get my daily swim in i ask dad if he knows of any good walks. He drives on round the bays towards Union and we find a small Industrial village, with a signposted 'Playa del Lastre’
A u-turn around and dad shows me where to park to make the small climb up ‘Monte de las Cenizas’. It states on the map that it should take me 2 hours, but when i return on my own shortly after and start the hike up a rough stone track it takes me about 40 minutes to stretch my legs. On the way i am enticed by the fauna and by the views across the valley which leads you to La Manga club resort in the distance, and further again La Manga strip. On the other side i see the small village we visited earlier, with a back drop of rocky, yet green hills rolling into each other.
As you get closer to the summit of only 300m (it does weave) a bold gate marks the entrance to ‘Bateria Militar’. Used as late as 1930 it would have been where the Germans would have fired missiles at the British. The gate is a mixture of Mayan or even Chinese animals and giant bullets. Very wierd to be fair. Nothing special
As you walk through you see underground tunnels into the rocks, all neatly covered in mined stones. There are barracks set into the ground, again of a sturdy stance and i guess would have housed quite a large number of soldiers. Perhaps they were below ground level to stop them getting shot at, and to reduce impact of them being on the coast lines weather front? There a number of these barracks, and a few still have machinery inside that i can only presume were used in the manufacture of military weapons. The whole area is a little spoilt by the fact it is covered in graffiti, and there have obviously been some fires in some of the rooms.
Up on the top of the plateau you are instantly overwhelmed by the large guns. At least 30-50m in length with bases that run into the ground, they over look the coast line. Solid and unforgiving i imagine they will have caused some damage back in the day. Small outlooks behind would have allowed a young messenger to call when danger was ahead.
The irony as you sit on one of these monstrosities is that the view is so peaceful and stunning. The coast line is jagged as the waves crash into the dark rock
I return the journey as a power walk, and i have found days later that i do in fact have bum muscles! They ache in a very pleasing way. It’s been quite a while since i have done any hill walking, and this small one in Spain has given me recap into the pleasure that it is.
The day only gets better as mum, dad and i pop to our very local tapas bar. It’s literally outside our balcony, and has their opening evening tonight. We are treated as if we are the only guests, and are spoilt with various tapas and a wonderful service. Dad even practices a little Spanish which is fantastic.