Cabo de Gata: snow, the pastor and the lighthouse keeper

For: Javier Brandoli (text and photos)


There are two places that are the ones I draw attention: sea ​​and desert. In Spain, in the southeast corner, There is even a small natural gem, Cabo de Gata. It is the southernmost desert in Europe; is the place where the driest continent; is one of the few Mediterranean coastal areas where the cement has not won the battle over the sand.

But there are many Cabo de Gata, depending on the time of year you visit. Outside the holiday period, especially from October to May, here suffers from temporary forgetfulness of all the sights. It is not easy to get used to walk through a lively site months ago and which now bars and restaurants have drawn bars and beaches and the streets are empty. A holiday sites generally do not feel well the loneliness, but I find that difference in the pleasure of feeling a chosen. As February was strolling along the famous beach of the Genoese all alone. I remember that for almost 30 minutes nobody came. Impatient because I almost did not end that privilege of having the sand just for me. Then, in the distance, I saw a couple who came on and invading my privacy. As if that beautiful space I had belonged for a few minutes.

A holiday sites generally do not feel well the loneliness

But for all occasions and seasons I've been to Cabo de Gata going to tell me the most marked. (Warn, yes, in the tab above find a very detailed and thorough practice of the park tab to sleep, eating and bathing). It was five years ago to devise a story for the newspaper was to compare the life of the place that it was raining with the least rain in Spain. My companion touched Ernesto go to a town in Navarre that the Meteorological Institute said the most rainy and I had a perfect excuse to return to my favorite corner of Spain.

In those days I remember a conversation with elderly, in the very neighborhood of Cabo de Gata, beginning of the Park, in which I had fondly the day I saw snow. I tried to recover that text to know the exact date and I have not found, but I remember talking in the early 1930. "We've never seen her, but it is something that we forget ", I said a couple by the tight.

I remember chatting with elderly, in the very neighborhood of Cabo de Gata, beginning of the Park, in which I had fondly the day I saw snow

Under the guise of that story also went for the first time in the old lighthouse which is almost on my favorite creek (Raja Creek, cover photo). The lighthouse was built in 1863 and stood in the courtyard of the castle of San Francisco de Paula, raised in the early eighteenth century by Felipe V always threatened to defend the coast. For there, in that solitude almost perennial, lived a couple and their children. They taught me their house giant light bulb, tricks to hold the stalled, wind and cold and I explained the sentence is for them a night of smoke. "The worst are the nights of fog in which we have set the alarm sounds and the unbearable noise does not let us sleep". You never planet when it is under something as romantic as a lighthouse fog is risk to ships and insomnia for the lighthouse keeper.

The worst are the nights of mist in which we have set the alarm sounds and the noise unbearable not let us sleep

Another curious story I met with a pastor. Man, and increased, walked that park with his flock of goats and the growing sense that soon the animals will have to learn to peel shrimp if you want to eat. "I do many miles, but it must be found so they can feed green ", me dice. The truth is that mtell merededor and some bushes were fresh, but no one knows how fast the goats eat. "Climate change is killing us", me dice. "Before ittell me very little, but now is nothing ". He was a genial who asked if he had ever come out of that place and he said no more than Almeria. He said without that change the voice, with the feeling of not having lost anything beyond their land and animals.

Finally, I met with farmers who owned these greenhouses that make Almería from the plane seems wrapped in plastic. Many others have much money and the lack of water drowning. The price of desalinated water is expensive to grow and the rest is waiting for the huge reservoir of Cuevas de Almanzora is full. Utopia, as explained to me that enormous work that has never been filled 20 percent. Was sad to see a puddle in the middle of a vast dry sand. Speaking with them for a few hours saw the passion with which he spoke of diversions, hydraulic and desalination. Their land turn their backs to the natural park and leave, or left, million.

Was sad to see a puddle in the middle of a vast dry sand

Suddenly, when he returned to Madrid, I understood that was going to that park for years but never understood until then life of the place. Nothing other than its beautiful beaches, empty coves and nights of dinners and drinks by the sea. I go to Cabo de Gata with its beauty and tranquility, not find the keeper or shepherd, but from that report that place I see something different. Yes, I published the article with all my affection, conscious , wanting to help overcome the problem of lack of water and the first thing I found was a blog on the Internet that began saying something: "The journalist Javier Brandoli is one of those guys who come here believing that we are a group of rednecks that we have not developed ...". Maybe I did not understand both the place.

Best Beaches, hotels and restaurants

My Cabo de Gata ranges from the Beach of the Dead, just south of Carboneras, to Cala Raja, near the lighthouse of Castillo de San Francisco de Paula, in the neighborhood of Cabo de Gata.

The best beachwith

Cala Raja is my favorite. Little Creek, must leave the car up and down a hill paved with 300 meters leads to a small beach that sometimes you can enjoy alone.
Genoese and Mónsul. They are probably the two classics of the Park. In summer are full of people (all the beaches are filled in this area that has nothing to do with the rest of the Mediterranean coast). If you go on weekdays of the months not summer, it boasts two stunning beaches.
The Rodalquilar Playazo. Rodalquilar, despite not being glued to the sea, is my favorite town with The Black. The beach, limited to two kilometers, is immense and quieter. I like the option of taking a long walk along the shore.
San Pedro Creek. Access is by boat from Las Negras or by a short walk of about an hour (depending on the rate). Environment something hippy, similar to The Black, but the place has charm.
Playa de los Muertos. It's down a steep hill from the car park a mile. Then, Turning to the right and passed a stone arch where there is a beautiful and wild cove. Is known and in summer can be people. Nudism is.

Where to eat

My favorite is winter or summer The Tasquilla, in Rodalquilar. I like the decor, the fire in cold weather and summer terrace with candles. But of course I also like the food, traditional and sophisticated mix, and wine. Wells anchovies, cheese fillings, are a weakness.
Park is a classic "The Wave", Isleta del Moro in. Open all year round and offer fresh fish and rice as a specialty. The outdoor terrace overlooks the small harbor and the sea almost touching. Good views.
Beach Restaurant, in Almeria. Is on the beautiful beach of this pretty little town. I've tried paella and fish quality rather, what it does not have a clear view on the kitchen (a few years since I), but the views are relaxing. Telephone: 0034 950 13 81 67

Where to stay

My favorite hotel is a point of luxe, I confess. I like going to Hotel Cala Chica, Las Negras, and book one of the two-room suite with a huge jacuzzi on the terrace. You get a bottle of champagne and spend the night playing with painting with water colors lights, drinking, looking at the starry sky and listening to the sound of the sea. The other rooms are cheaper and are very well. Give good dinners.
When the budget was not so splendid, Also in The Black, I went to a hostel. Reef, of a star and in very good condition. Clean and close to the beach. It is very good option. 0034 950 388 140
Hotel de Naturaleza Rodalquilar. Simply spectacular. Spa, exhibition hall, tranquil, good rooms ... It is a safe option. I love it.
In the Hotel Cortijo del Sotillo I stayed one winter. It is an old farmhouse, typical of the area, good restaurant and rooms with whitewashed. Tad cold then, has good facilities and very careful. At the entrance of the most populous town in the area, San Jose, which gives some comfort. The same chain has hotels in the village, as Dona Pakyta, but I have not slept in it.

Research conducted:

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Comments (6)

  • Ann


    The typical journalist… :-)
    Approaching a, even if many times and repeatedly, not going to stop doing a journalist who goes to Madrid driest corner of the country.. So!
    What a wonderful, Cabo de Gata… (As Almeriense say the rest of the province, but that deserves another post, in?)


  • Javier Brandoli


    And so it was. Almeria and publish a post here of the Indalo Cave and the next will be on a temple…cap: !the virgin girl! Thanks Ana


  • Maria jose


    Hi Javier, aunque leo esto despues de tanto tiempo, a veces ocurre.., he de decirte como almeriense y ademas como nijareña, municipio en el que se encuentra este maravilloso Parque que me enorgullece leer eso que escribes con tanta delicadeza y emocion. Pues la misma es la que me has transmitido al leerlo. Me alegra que descubrieras cosas q aun te quedaban por descubrir. Esas son las que te hacen enamorarte del lugar y sobre todo conocerlo en su profundidad. Or rather, Vivirlo!!!, asi que te doy la enhorabuena por ello y por supuesto espero que nos sigas visitando para reflejar lo mas bonito de esta tierra y que lo plasmes con tanta delicadeza que nos haga emocionarnos a los que lo leemos. THANKS !


  • Javier Brandoli


    Muchísimas gracias María José, me apasiona tu tierra y la plasmé con los sentimientos que tuve en esta singular ´visita. GRACIAS A TI!


  • Maria Jose


    Esta es tu casa!!


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