It’s a bit depressing really as we are surrounded by hundreds and thousands of little (and some not quite so little) yellow blobs hanging off of trees in every direction we look, but we can’t make a tarte au citron as despite Mika’s comfort and array of utilities, her oven is just not quite hot enough. I wouldn’t mind, but they don’t even appear to make them in the patisseries …. suddenly Spain has gone down in my estimations 😦
Having left Tomato country we moved into Murcia – ‘the land of the Allotment’ as they call it in Spain, or ‘Europes Orchard’ in Wikipedia’s words. Murcia is one of the smallest autonomies in Spain but it is known for its food and drink… although I am guessing that they must export the lemons as from what we have seen they have more than enough to share with at least Europe, possible the rest of the world!
Our first stop in Murcia was Vera which is slightly in land from a very british and touristy coastline. The Aire (Area Auto caravanas Indalo 9 euros a night inc. elec.) was roughly 4km outside Vera itself down a dirt track, nestled in the hills looking up at the mountains – a beautiful tranquil setting which oddly, the Aire shares with a Padel and Tennis center. The town itself was far more peaceful and normal than those we had passed through on the coast and as the weather was reasonable when we arrived and we found a nice butcher we even managed to have a bar b q!
After a couple of restful nights in Vera we moved on to Categena where we stopped at an Aire (Dolores 10 euros a night inc. elec.) which was roughly 7km from the center and 1km from the nearest town which had a handful of decent bars for tapas and football….I have to remember the important things in life. Despite not arriving particularly late, we were lucky to find a space as four French motorhomes travelling together arrived just before us causing a bit of a commotion as it wasn’t a big place. In the morning, after a trip to the market to stock up on fruit and veg we headed into Cartegena and were suprisingly disappointed, perhaps we were having a bad day – although it is odd that we both felt the same – it just didn’t feel like the city had any soul.
Despite it not giving either of us any reason to want to come back, it did however have a rather spectacular roman theatre which was worth a look….
Leaving Cartegena we thought we would head towards a campsite in a natural cove south of San Pedro del Pinatar, an area that we had been told about by a couple we met in Toledo a few months ago. The cove is enormous and looked very pretty, although in parts we could see that it was very built up. As we started to get close it became evident that it wasn’t our kind of place …. the campsite was enormous with hundreds of static homes, caravans and motorhomes, so we quickly decided to bypass it and move on to Murcia.
We arrived at the Aire (Camper Park Huerta de Murcia 12 euros inc. elec.) mid afternoon and followed the same 4 French motorhomes in, yet again thankfully there was one space left for us 🙂 The Aire is roughly 9km from the center of Murcia, just outside a little town called Alquerias which has ample bars and restaurants and it also has a cycle path into the center of Murcia nearby…. most importantly it is surrounded by lemon trees. I would almost go so far as to say that they possibly had to dig up some lemon trees to squeeze the Aire in…. it isn’t a bad spot!
We jumped on the bikes on Saturday morning and headed into Murcia to find the market (what a surprise) and for a wander around. In complete contrast to Cartegena, Murcia has a lovely old town with lots of tiny streets and boutique shops. Having walked the streets of the old town and soaked up a bit of the atmosphere in one of the main squares as there was a concert/show on, we wandered over to the western side of town and found another market surrounded by lots of restaurants and bars heaving with people. Nice for a drink, but definitely a lunch / tapas stop for next time we visit – it looked great.
On Sunday, with the sun shining and the wind blowing a gale we thought we would head out to explore the lemon groves and local towns a little today falling upon a little bar where we managed to get a bottle of beer and a glass of wine for 1 euro 60 – all quite pleasant 🙂