I think I must be solar-powered and my batteries are knackered, they don’t hold their charge. After a few days without the sun my energy just drains away and I’m in danger of going completely flat.
There’s no way I’d survive a UK winter now. Week after week of grey sunless skies. I’d probably just stay in bed.
Some might say we’ve had a bad winter here. In comparison to previous years in Cartagena that’s probably true. I’ve already blogged about the stats and broken records. But a bad winter here is nothing when compared to the UK.
A week ago it was snowing and very cold. We all hibernated below decks.
Yesterday a dozen of us went for a long walk around the coast. I was in T-shirt, shorts and sandals. We had a picnic lunch on the beach. We only have to hibernate for a few days here before the sunshine returns.
The squiggly yellow line on the map above shows where we went. The Parque Regional de Calblanque covers a large area Northeast of Cartagena right up to Cabo de Palos. It’s the same park we walked in a few weeks ago when we circumnavigated Cabezo de la Fuente.
It’s a fascinating place. A unique mixture of natural and man-made landscapes sliding down into the Mediterranean.
This area has been mined for thousands of years. The Carthaginians found vast amounts of silver in these hills. That wealth was used to fund Hannibal and his elephant army. Silver was one of the reasons the Romans were so determined to conquer Qart Hadasht. Once they took possession and for 600 years afterwards, Carthago Nova became wealthy because of those mines.
In the late 19th century Cartagena was again awash with money from mining. Iron, lead and zinc had replaced silver but still made people rich. Many of the beautiful modernist buildings in the city are roofed with zinc from the Calblanque mines.
The walk we did yesterday would have been heaven for a geologist. They would have known what they were looking at. I had no idea, all I can say is that it makes for some interesting and varied landscapes.
For the most part the walk was on decent tracks. Care was needed though. The recent heavy rains had loosened rocks and cut channels down the hillsides. In the nanny state UK Health and Safety authorities would have closed the path. Here they put up a sign and leave it to folks to look after themselves. I like that.
There was one short section where the path had all but fallen away into the sea. They’d fixed a rope into the rock to hang onto as you crossed. I say fixed. It was in some places.
Halfway round the route we dropped back down to a flattish area of dunes and scrubland behind the beach.
There was a fabulous view looking along the coast towards Cabezo de la Fuente.
Down on the beach I cooled my feet off in the sea before tucking into my packed lunch .
Sitting in the warm sunshine I could feel my batteries recharging beautifully.
There was plenty of time to stroll on to Los Belones to catch the bus back to Cartagena. We stopped by the nature reserve. The resident flamingoes were sleeping on the far side of the lake. With the camera on maximum zoom I could see they had their long necks tucked down into their feathers.
Goldfinches flitted back and forth amongst the shrubs. I managed to snatch a decent photo.
We made it back to Los Belones with time in hand. We waited for the bus sat outside one of the many roadside bars. Una caña (draught beer) slid down very nicely.
It’d been a good day.