Slept under mosquito nets for the first time last night. Kept cool, in fact, too cool. Packed away after boiled eggs breakfast stuffed into a roll. Just as we were about to leave, Charlie the Belgian asked if we would like to join him for a cup of coffee. We accepted and wandered into the tent on his caravan. He was very chatty and we talked about Spanish food, whisky, tea, coffee and music. He had been a professional musician before retiring and played the trumpet, double bass and saxophone. Jazz was his forte. Charlie was greying, had a big belly, a strawberry nose and was very friendly. He spoke Flemish primarily, and also French, English, Spanish and German.
Time was pressing because we had to leave the site by midday so we thanked him, said our goodbyes and left, paying on the way out. Charlie turned out to be a very nice chap. When we first arrived, we thought he was a bit odd and maybe a hermit! But he was not like that at all.
Off we went to Mazarrón, the bikes feeling brand new after their servicing. The gears were sliding into place with ease, gliding along with a new lease of life. We stopped briefly in Mazarron for money and supplies then stopped a few kilometres along the road towards Águilas. Both of us felt very giddy and thought it must have been the coffee Charlie had given us. After a good lunch, we came to bottom of a long, narrow valley. Hard work! That hill went on and on, with my legs feeling like lead and my lungs the size of golf balls.
After the long sweat to the top, we cruised all the way down into Águilas, stopping for a coke only. Aguilas was an awful place and we left soon after buying supper. We carried on along the coast towards Vera, coming into Andalucía, at last.
We did not like the look of any of the campsites but we found what looked like an excellent place further along. It was an area that had been bulldozed for houses but had nothing on it. At the far end, there was a hedge about 15 feet wide with a few small saplings on which to hook our nets.
We got supper going but, half way through, Dan noticed tow blokes looking very suspicious below us near the sea. They noticed us and left. I went to see what they had been looking at and, on turning around, saw a car, which Dan had indicated. It was on the beach below the bikes with its lights on (It was now dusk). It drove up a ramp, stopped, switched its lights off for 30 seconds and then started off again.
That was it. We thought that was quite enough. (The reality was probably more like these two men were perhaps gay and looking for a private spot for some sex, whereas we thought they might be drug runners.) We packed and left. Back on the road again! No lights apart from Dan’s torch. We had to keep getting off the road as cars came up behind us. Eventually, we saw a sign for a camp site. But, the signs did not tie up and it turned out to be a ‘wild goose chase’.
We ended up back on the main road and Dan spotted a camp site. We went in. No one about. Not even campers. There was a brightly lit, modern hotel at the far end of the site, near the beach. So, we piled into the area, set up our nets, cleaned our teeth and got into our beds. It was hot, sticky and we were sweating hard after our extra kilometres. I woke up a few times with previous mosquito bites irritating me. What a mad world.
Distance 84.87kms Average speed 11.4 kmh Time 7 hrs 19 plus later on 21. 14 kms Average speed 8.2 kmh Time 2 hrs
Will Hawkins lives in Lincolnshire with his family, works in a technology company in London and does as many micro-adventures as he can.
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