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March so far in the Forces-of-Nature Diaries
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Owner: squiz

Member#: 6644
Registered: 27-05-2007
Diary Entries: 1671

5th March 2018
Hiking - Walking: Los Narejos
Wind Direction:
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Sea Temperature:
Weather: ainly cloudy with some sun, rainbows plus thunder and lightning!
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Sunday 4th March – windsurf (well rigged) travel and walk *** cloudy start but sunny later and very windy:(

I think the trip is heading downhill fast :( after all the disasters with break-ins, hitting the van, windsurf breakages etc now we have had enough of the weather! Started OK with a reasonable night on litter/roaming dog beach even if there were some strange goings on with cars moving around and alarms going off at 2 a.m.!! Even saw a sunrise which disappeared as soon as Mag went for a walk along the beach, again she was not impressed with all the rubbish and dog pooh! Compared to last year we have definitely seen a different side of Spain this time – we must have had a charmed life last time and only seen the good and had good weather!! Light rain and cool today but supposed to be a bit of a breeze and after yesterday’s no wind flounder it would be nice to get on the water as things on the windsurfing front have been crap too! I went for a walk checking on the wind then noticed a couple out at Mar Azul but not planing. Toyed with the idea of sailing from where we’re parked but thought it would be safer with others so drove around to the windsurfing centre by the Mar Azul restaurant. A learner had just given up and there was a slalom board on the beach with 7m but not enough. Spoke to someone who said that the sun was due out and that the wind was going to build, happy days. The palm trees started to shake and a freestyler turned up and was soon on the water with 5m. I didn’t think he was going so took all the gear off the roof and rigged 6.5 by which time the freestyler was hurrying back to his van to change to 4m!!! With my wetsuit now on I walked over to the beach and it was gusting onshore to 42 mph, I do hate this place:( Nothing too much too much!! Sat and watched for a while. The freestyler soon gave up and appeared furious!! So, I went back to the van, took my suit off and had soup, at least the sun was out. Managed to tie everything back on the van as it was sheltered. Had one last look at the wave sailors out with 4/5 m having fun. Perhaps I will have to try and improve my small board/sails skills and bring some smaller kit if we ever come again???? This being the fourth day of 40 mph plus winds and pretty miserable weather we think we will have to change our plan. We were going to return to the Sierra Nevada’s to walk and ski as we did last year but as the forecast is dire and we are not even able to see the tops of the Sierra Nevada mountains. So, we have decided to return the way we have come and go North to the Pyrenees and hope to get some skiing in on the way through. With at least the sun out for a change and not raining we didn’t want to drive too far but you had to get through Roquetas de Mar which just goes on and on! Then as the apartments finished we spotted some campers on the beach in what looked like a reasonably sheltered place so headed down. As usual we didn’t want to park with the huge white elephants so continued onto the beach past the no campervan sign! We found a long derelict building on the beach to park with some shelter as the winds were now gusting cross off here to nearly 50 mph:( After a cuppa and cake and feeling decidedly grumpy it’s time for a good wash but first we go for a walk as lots of people are out braving the wind walking through the small Natural Park featuring some etangs. There was a wooden viewing platform and walkways across the water and we saw some Stilts and a Green Finch. We walked the whole length and then had to battle into a head wind back to the van past another dreadlocked van community also parked illegally on the beach. Several laddos on quad bikes, trial bikes and hatchbacks doing handbrake turns and the equivalent on the sand managed to spoil the peace and quiet for a while but we were then entertained by a large red salvage boat out to sea with a helicopter hovering over it for an hour, some of the time with a man dangling on a line in 50mph winds!!! We thought it must be an exercise as they kept lowering him into the sea and taking him out again!! It was top helicopter flying to keep it still in such strong winds. Had a good wash and feel a bit better about things and even the wind has eased a little:)

Monday 5th March – travel + walks **** mainly cloudy with some sun, rainbows plus thunder and lightning!

Yet another wet and windy night out on the beach behind a derelict building at Roquetas de Mar. Woke to a brief spell of sun followed by rainbows and showers when Mag went for her walk first thing! Then couldn’t wait to start off back up North. Took the scenic route to the salubrious Almeria and like the last visit it was raining when we went to Lidl:( We actually had a light-hearted moment, because of our credit card trouble we have to pay everything with cash so Mag took in 50 Euros and we were getting worried at the checkout as it passed 47 but we breathed a sigh of relief when the cashier stopped at 49.91 Euros and we both broke out laughing:) We then avoided the pay coast motorway and took the red route which takes you inland to Lorca. It is a very pretty mountainous area with crops and fruit trees but no unsightly plastic greenhouses. Shame the weather wasn’t more appealing as the mountain tops were shrouded in cloud including the lovely Sierra Espuna where we got snowed on last year then got into trouble for spending the night at the top in a National Parque! We by passed Cartagena and ended up by the Mar Menor at Los Urritias where it was breezy but dead offshore. It is supposed to be windy over the next few days but not from my favourite NE direction so spent some time looking for somewhere to sail in a SW? Made it through the maze that is Los Alcazares and then found some kiters out at Los Narejos which is just before the airport. The water looked wild covered in white water and froth, we parked up to watch. They had had their foil boards out earlier so I think the wind had only just picked up to 25+ mph. A windsurfer also went out just up the way on 87 lt and a 4.7 but because the wind is coming down from the mountains it is gusty and he didn’t plane all the time! As it was 3.30 and we had just driven 180 miles I decided to give it a miss and hope we get some tomorrow? I had a word with one of the kiters who told me where the obstructions were including a fish trap and rock breakwater! After a late lunch and with the sun actually out we decided to take a walk along the very nice prom back towards Los Alcazares by which time several windsurfers had turned up in a whirl and wind gauges out and frantic rigging! We reached a large sailing centre with a frothy jetty and decided to turn as a threatening black cloud was fast approaching! It started to lightly rain just at the windsurfers were ready, then thunder and lightning with torrential downpour just as we reached the van which killed the wind so no more action on the water, it was really lucky I didn’t rig! Back at the van we had to change out of our wet clothes before driving just along to find a sheltered spot up a dead-end road near the beach for the night. The water was running down the road like a river as we had our cuppa and cake. After reading and dozing and with the rain cleared we went for a sunset walk towards the airport. We past the windsurfing hire shop and made it to the end of the prom and the block paving turned into a wooden walkway through a natural area of tall reeds with a hunting Marsh Harrier. It was one of the longest wooden walkways we had been on and eventually came out on a small beach by a closed campsite as the sun disappeared behind the mountains. Back at the van for corned beef and patatus and fingers crossed we get a sunny, warm day with a nice breeze, not the mental wind of late so I can actually have a good sail and explore the huge Mar Menor!

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