Day 382 – Mazarron – 19 Mar 11

Published by billkce in the blog billkce's blog. Views: 112

Day 382 – Mazarron – 19 Mar 11
For piccies see
Hi Clo
Hope you had a good weekend in Stratford-on-Avon with the girls and that you had time to squeeze in some drinking time between all the culture!
Settled into Mazarron and the sun looks like coming out at last after 4 days of rain.

Looks like we might need to cancel Belguim at Easter if house goes through. :cry:Will be disappointed and feel sorry for Sue, but it can't be helped. Got to be around at moving time. Can't leave it ALL to Rob. Poor chap’s out house-hunting as it is!

Drove into Puerto Mazarron from the camp. About 6 kms on flat ground. Will try the bikes tomorrow for the market. Rained again yesterday and Heki is leaking again. Not much but enough to annoy. I’ve discovered the source at last. The water pools around the Heki in a dip of sorts and if the van is not distinctly nose down, it slowly seeps in. Will have to be re-fitted.

I tried to make the most of the first sunny day we have had in a while, but there were queues at the washing machine. I really should have crept out at 6.30 am and then I might have got there first. We also cycled into Mazarron for the Sunday Market which was huge, and then onto to port for a beer and plate of calamares – or rather chipitos – mini whole squids in batter. Our tried and tested snack, why change a good thing. After a stroll along the prom it was time to cycle back, unfortunately Bill’s back tyre gave up and we had to walk 2/3s of the way home. I think he will be logging 4 miles for that!! I have a feeling that might be the last of cycle rides this time around, it’s just not good if you haven’t got any confidence in that it won’t happen again, and Bill has had some bad luck when it comes to punctures. I think he needs a more heavyweight machine.

Went for a drink with Baz and Diane at their pad. Very snug and comfortable. They also wanted to know why Annie and Richard are not out here!!!!
Mazarron is not a bad site but not a patch on Cabopino. Rocky countryside and an average town. Went for a cycle and quite frankly it compares to Vilanova.

Poor old Shirl has been frightened off the Boules by the Pentanca Mafia. Campsite snobbery at it's very worst. Haven’t got the right balls – oo-er- what a crime! You can't play professionally with them darling!! What! It aint the flipping Olympics! It's a friendly game of Boules. Or rather it blooming well should be. IT'S ONLY CHUCKING A FEW BALLS INTO THE SAND!!! it aint that difficult anyway - I can play it!!.
It's a disgrace that this type of pretentious snobbery prevents someone like Shirl having a friendly game like she did at Benicassim and Cabopino. They should be ashamed of themselves – and quite frankly they can shove their Boules where the sun don’t shine. They really could have been a bit more welcoming.
My blog – I’ll say it how I see it!:Cool:

We decided to do a bit of the old touristing and it was off to Cartagena which is about 20 miles away. We went the scenic way along the coast and through the hills even though Doc Brown tried to take us inland we were having none of it!

We easily found the underground car park at the marina and low and behold on surfacing, and much to Bill’s delight, I saw a ‘hop-on-hop off’ tourist bus. I was surprised because according to the write-up in my book of books there didn’t seem that much to see. At €4.25 each we thought it a bargain and then saw there were only 4 stops, but hey ho it does save on the shoe leather and this way we could immediately get the feel of the place and familiarise ourselves with points of interest. We soon discovered that Cartagena is an important naval base with a large military arsenal within the harbour. Cartegena was initially a very important settlement when first conquered by the Carthaginians and then the Romans because of its’ natural harbour.

There seems to be a hotchpotch of architecture with a definite ‘French’ feel to it with baroque domed buildings and fancy facades and balconies overlooking one of the main thoroughfares, Calle de Major. We enjoyed a late breakfast in the Plaza de Ayenteimento next to the City Hall and then continued on our way to visit the Roman Theatre which was originally built late first century BC. There is a modern museum showing relics found in the immediate and local areas with general historic information and this gradually leads through corridors showing various historical phases discovered during the excavations work which finally opens up into the open air amphitheatre. It has been well restored and we were able to climb and walk around quite freely.

We then strolled through the old town to the Gisbert district and took the lift 45m to the top to view across the harbour and progress the work on the old bullring. At this high point we were naturally led into the park surrounding the ruins of Castillo de la Concepcion, which gave us great views across the town. It’s here you realise that there is a tremendous amount of excavation work going on, and that at one time Cartagena was heavily protected by castles which are scattered on every high point around the harbour.

We lastly visited the Civil War Air-Raid Shelter and Museum where up to 5,500 people took refuge in these excavated tunnels during devastating bombardments made by Franco’s ‘bully-boys’ the German and Italian air forces in their attempt to stop Republican supplies getting through to Madrid during the civil war.

Finally we strolled along the quayside back to our car passing the naval museum where a prototype submarine designed by Isaac Peral in 1888 is displayed, after a very satisfying time and gaining a little insight into the history of Cartagena.

Back in camp, I noticed something alarming in the gents. In fact, 3 of them, - yes – a superb record of 118 days without a bite was destroyed at 0255 when we got attacked by the first Mossie of the season. Yes, there are mosquitos in Spain…aaarrrggghhhh!!!!! The only consolation is that Shirl got bitten twice.

Once back at Mazarron we enjoyed a sunny evening met up with Bill and Linda who were at Cabopino and together went to the local bar for a Flamenco performance and a little dance. What a satisfying day!

Friday spent cleaning the van in preparation for the trip North. Can't go to Madrid in a grubby wag!

Cycled to the All You Can Eat Chinky in P de Maz. Very pleasant. Only €9.50.Loads of people and I had 11 courses. Little and often – that's my motto. Burnt some off cycling back.

BBQ today and roasties tomorrow after we have packed up ready for departure early on Monday morning. 6 hour drive to Camping Aranjuez near Madrid.

Might not be able to post again until in Blighty so speak to you then.
M and D

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