We left Archena a bit late as we walked in to town to go to shopping at Mercadona to stock up first. We knew there would be little retail opportunity at the seaside aire we were going to. It was a bit further to Mercadona than we had expected and also rather more uphill. We came back a different way to avoid the noisy traffic on the main road and came through the old town and along the river path. All in all we were out well over an hour! Anyway well stocked now with bread, veg and sangria – all the essentials of life!

Our journey today was less than 100kms and mainly on main road and motorway. We fueled up at at service station on the outskirts of Molina del Segura which offered a great rate of €1.122 per litre (96p per litre!!). That is our second fill up at that rate – long may it continue.

The main feature of the journey was the poor visibility. This is quite a built up and industrial area and I wonder if the haze was actually smog rather than mist. The last 10kms in to the aire was on quite a narrow road through ranks and ranks of what look just like huge tents made of fine fleece. On occasion we got glimpses through the mesh and could see that these were full of quite large tomato plants densely packed. Occasionally there are small villages that seemed to be entirely dedicated to supporting the agricultural enterprises.

Driving through the fleece tents protecting the crops of tomatos and other vegetables

Our destination is the Taray Camper Park at Puntas del Calnegre. This is quite basic being little more than a large gravel car park marked out into 50 good sized plots with a water/loo drop point on one side. The site is managed by a dutch chap who also lives in a motorhome on site. There is no electricity at all and no wifi and no extras like hot showers or washing machines. At €7 per night inclusive of water etc this is quite cheap but what really makes it so good is that fact that it is right on the beach. The site is just off the little lane that runs along the edge of the beach and the sound of the surf lulls us to sleep at night.

Evening view from just outside the aire looking back toward Cartagena

The beach itself is nothing special being a mix of coarse sand and pebbles and is also quite dirty. There is an occasional river beside the site – completely dry now but clearly has water in it at times of heavy rain as there is quite a bit of rubbish on the beach which has washed down from inland.

The dry river bed beside the site

The small village of Puntas del Calnegre is a few minutes walk along the beach but has little to recommend it beyond some rather scruffy bars which we are assured offer good value food and drink – we do not fancy trying any of them! Every day a baker calls with fresh bread but this is mainly white baquettes. On Tuesday and Thursday another van calls with a gorgeous selection of home made cakes and some more interesting bread. This is run by a German lady and she is clearly here to supply the long term, mainly German residents of the site most of whom she knows by name and also knows what they want! She did speak English and we chose some Apple and Walnut cake and some Cherry Flan (note the German influence just thinking about it – I am capitalizing all my nouns suddenly).

There have been some rather nice sunsets

It has been nice to chill out for a few days and we have chatted to the other Brits on the site (one couple on the first night and another couple who arrived yesterday). There are between 20 and 30 vans on site but the bulk are Germans who are here for the long term and mostly in HUGE vans. It is quite nice here but I can’t see the attraction for more than a few days.

Taray Camper Park

Tomorrow we will move on and find a better aire with power, hot showers and a washing machine although not sure where yet – we will decide that later today. It will be nice to have better internet too as the mobile signal here is a bit flaky.

Looking across the bay toward Puerto de Mazzaron
Puntas del Calnegre
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