This week started with a note. A note to Maria thanking her for hosting us for the last three months. I don’t think we could have landed in a better place to weather the storm of COVID-19 in Spain. It was more difficult to leave than we imagined. Of course we wanted to continue with our travels, however we had to say goodbye to a wonderful friend and her three boys.
Monday, 22 June
Our mules felt heavy as we pushed them from the garage where they spent most of their last three months. Because we only did day trips in Murcia, we kept them light. This morning they each had an extra 60 pounds of stuff: camping gear, all of our clothings, spare parts, and spare fuel/water tanks.
Although it was just mid-morning, the sun was already beating down on us and driving temperatures up to 29°C (84°F). After suiting up in our motorcycle gear, we checked over the mules, inserted the start key, and pushed the start button…
…except that Chantil’s mule wouldn’t start. Ugh! Not a great “start” to our new found freedom. We pushed her mule into the shade and began the 15-minute process of finding the jumper battery pack, removing the tail bag, popping the seat latch, and gaining access to the battery terminals. Fortunately her mule started up with the jumper pack but we still didn’t know why her battery was dead to begin with. We would find out later that day…
Our first destination was also our last picture of the region of Murcia. We wanted to visit the Mirador de La Muela and enjoy the Mountain view’s of the Sierra Espuña. It was going well until Chantil yelled that her mule had just shut down. Fortunately, she was able to coast it to the side of the road and a parking area wasn’t too far away.
We tried to jumpstart her mule once again but it ended up depleting the jumper battery pack. We decided to leave her bike and ride to the observation point together. During the ride, we could charge the jumper battery pack using my mule.
The observation point gave us a break from worrying about her bike and provided some wonderful views of the valley and the town of Alhama de Murcia below. Her mule is down there somewhere.
With a fully charged battery pack, we returned and attempted to jump start the battery. We even attempted to push start her mule but it wouldn’t turn over. In the end, we decided to purchase a new battery, reinstall it, and be on our way. Fortunately, the town of Alhama has a lead acid battery in stock for €30! It took just a short time to install the battery and we were heading south to the providence of Almaría. Finally!
Within 90 minutes we had reached…
…this beautiful town on a hill, near the Mediterranean sea – Mojácar!
We decided to reserve an Airbnb for our first post COVID-19 lockdown adventure since we suspected that camping wouldn’t be open until tourists were allowed into Spain starting in July. Our host, Philippe, did a great job of making us feel at home in the beautiful town of Mojácar. It turns out that he was from New York and moved here to get away from the rat-race of America. I think he enjoyed talking with other Americans as well.
Once we unpacked, we decided to take a short tour of the town and find something to eat.
All the buildings are white, except for the few that are natural colored.
The entire town is built on a large hill so walkways can be steep.
Hardly anyone was walking among the streets at 8 PM.
The Indalo is the symbol of the Almaría region and dates back to 2500 BC. Many say it represents a ghost that can hold and carry a rainbow in his hands.
Walking the many stairs throughout the town.
Small planters hang from white-washed walls throughout town.
A cat enjoys the warm tiles heated by the afternoon sun.
Sunset over the valley to the west.
Tuesday, 23 June
Sunrise over the Mediterranean Sea to the east.
I’m not normally a morning person, but I woke up early enough to catch the sunrise…
…and capture some pictures of the town bathed in golden morning light.
Later that afternoon we decided to take Philippe’s two dogs, Juan Carlos and Carmen, for a walk.
Hanging out with Juan Carlos and Carmen.
We walked up to the top of the hill…
…with great views of the town below.
After returning to the Airbnb, we enjoyed a short siesta nap, and then walked from the town down to the beach, where we found a fun restaurant called Hola Ola!
Chantil’s is super hungry for the…
… swordfish that was deliciously prepared. ¡Muy bien!
It was a bit after sunset before we returned to the gorgeous town of Mojácar!
Tuesday, 23 June
Although our time in Mojácar was very relaxing, we felt the need to move along and experience more of the providence of Almería. Thanks to our Airbnb host, Philippe, for his hospitality during our short stay!
Playa de los Muertos
Beach of the Dead!
We enjoyed a short hike to a overlook of the beach below.
Playa del Embarcadero
40km further south brought us to the picturesque Playa del Embarcadero.
The mules enjoying the beach breeze.
Playa del Embarcadero
Citroën HY78 Camper Van. So cool!
We ended up finding a great campsite with lots of spots available at Camping Los Escullos. After we set up camp, we hopped on the mules and rode our way to our next destination…
Why does a large silhouette of a gunslinger welcome visitors to this small remote village?
Why are the streets named after US movie actors?
This area of Spain was made famous by the spaghetti western films of the 1960s and 70s.
Some of the most famous were The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, A Fistful of Dollars and For a Few Dollars More.
Although much of the buildings for the movie are long gone, there are a few remaining.
Honestly, I though the village of Los Albaricoques was a bust. There are a few signs and a rundown building but nothing more. Time to move on…
Cabo de Gata
This section of beach had kilometers of warm sand, a few restaurants, and lots fishing vessels weathering the Spanish heat on the beach.
Most of the fishing vessels were in need of some tender loving care.
A few fishing huts were littered between the beached boats. Based on how much junk was outside the huts, I can only imagine what the insides looked like.
Further south along the beach brought us to the overlook…
… and the famous jagged rocks of Cabo de Gata.
We enjoyed the last minutes of sunset before making our way back to camp to grab some sleep for a full day of riding to the next providence – Granada. More to come…
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