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Matorral and beach

It being Wednesday we went out on a jaunt. En route we had a puncture. Oddly, I notice that the car last punctured a tyre on 25 November 2008; twelve months ago to the day. It may say something about the different living costs in Salamanca and Murcia that last year's repair was 7.95€ whilst this year's cost 15€. Or it may just be that Murcianos are so much more used to dealing with Brits and have no scruples about overcharging.

But, as usual, I digress. After lunch we were going to go to one of the local Natural parks, Calblanque by name. We didn't know much about the place before we got there.

As we turned off the main road there was a good view over to the high rise hotels and holiday flats on La Manga strip so the contrast with the untouched Mediterranean landscape all around us as we bumped down the unmade track was quite marked. The young woman in the Visitors Centre was pleased to see us. The place wasn't exactly overwhelmed with other day trippers and she seemed keen to describe the park to us for a few moments.

The puncture had held us up a while so there were the first signs of the evening drawing in as we parked up in the totally deserted car park - we wouldn't have much time to explore. Wooden walkways led across low sand dunes to the completely empty beach and the Med was being unusually frisky with white crested waves whipped up by a Scarborough strength breeze. The low hills that hemmed in the beach had taken on that purple shadow that comes a little before sunset. Some way along the beach a few kitesurfers were taking advantage of the conditions. I was really taken with the place and I wondered how it had survived. Had some far sighted person protected this little spot long before the developers took over the rest of the Mediterranean coastline or was it that Murcia got in on the tourist game late and the place hung on long enough for a bit of original landscape to be a more valuable tourist asset than yet another hotel?

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