Playas de Monsul y Barronal

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Monsul Beach

This morning we  went for a walk around Monsul beach and across the dunes to Barronal beach enjoying the Spring sunshine. Not many people on the beach but across the sea small yachts were passing by. In this photo the large piece of driftwood makes an interesting foreground in front of Monsul’s iconic rock and the boats in the distance sailing past.

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Daisy and Bobby on Monsul beach

Daisy loves it here and was showing her son, Bobby, how to play in the sand and sea.

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Looking  down on Monsul from the dunes

Walking up the dunes and looking back we had this good view of the beach, headland and the boats.

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Barronal beach

We walked across the dunes and down the path to the more remote Playa de Barronal. Nobody else on this beach but the clocks did go forward this morning.

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Cliffs behind Barronal

The rock formations here are fascinating.

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EFascinating geology

We are not geologists but anybody can see the volcanic origins of the Cabo de Gata in the cliffs behind the beach.

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Beach and cliffs

We took these photos to show the different colours, minerals and strata of the cliffs and background here.

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The headland at Barronal

A final photo of the headland at Barronal.

 

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Torre De Los Lobos

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Torre de Los Lobos

Yesterday, we walked up from the Valle de Rodalquilar to the Torre de Los Lobos. This 18th Century tower was built as a lookout for Berber Pirates but is now used as a Lighthouse.

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The coast towards La Isleta and the twin volcanic peaks

It was was a beautiful spring morning for a walk and along the route there are fabulous views of the coast and inland towards the mountains.

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Haplophyllum rosemarifolium

The wild flowers along the route are very abundant this spring. We found examples of Haplophyllum rosemarifolium, a rare plant on the ‘red list’ of plants in danger of extinction.

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Wild flowers at the Torre

Blazes of colour everywhere.

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Riders on the road

Because of the new horse riding stables in El Valle, every time we walk around here we encounter groups of riders.

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Looking back towards Rodalquilar

They certainly add colour, life and interest to the photos.

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Looking north

The coastal views on the way up take in La Isleta and the twin volcanic peaks but when you reach the Torre there are great views looking along the coast northwards towards Las Negras and San Pedro.

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From the Torre towards the Sierra Nevada

Looking inland from here we could just make out the snow covered peaks of the Sierra Nevada in the distance.

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Spring Flowers

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Asphodels and cysts above Cortijo del Fraile

Glorious spring weather this week and the countryside, after a wetter than normal winter, is bursting with colour thanks to the abundance of wild flowers in bloom this year. The photo above shows asphodels and pink cistus on the hillside above Cortijo del Fraile.

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Fields of wild flowers with Ermita del Fraile in the distance

These photos, taken on two walks on Wednesday, illustrate this. First, in the morning, we walked through the fields and hillsides above Cortijo del Fraile.

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La Ermita del Fraile

We were pleased to find that some restoration work to preserve the old Ermita has been done by the owners. The bell tower is no longer about to collapse. There has been a battle going on for some years between the Junta de Andalucia and the Ayuntamiento de Nijar against the large agricultural corporation who own the land and the cortijo, about whom should pay for the restoration of this historic building which was the location of the real-life double murder that inspired Lorca to write ‘Blood Wedding’.

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Pink cistus

Pink cistus flourishes everywhere in the Parque Natural.

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Sawfly orchid

We found this lovely specimen of a sawfly orchid.

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Adonis

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Hypecoum imberbe

In fields which have been ploughed it’s possible to find all kinds of interesting arable weeds such as these pretty yellow pheasant’s eye (Adonis) and Hypecoum imberbe, with its strangely shaped flowers.

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Ravine covered with daisies and other wild flowers

In the afternoon we walked through the rambla and barrancos close to our home. During the heavy rains of January, the water cascaded down this ravine and now there is a cascade of white daisies and a multitude of other flowers.

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Gladiolus

Here we saw the first gladiolus of spring, a lovely flower which is found all over the Cabo de Gata.

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Irises

These exquisite little irises can be seen in abundance this spring and it’s difficult to avoid treading on them.

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Irises and lavender

Another photo of them in the long grasses with the ubiquitous blue lavender.

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Towards the sea

Looking down past our house to the sea with a foreground of daisies.

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Bobby in the campo

Bobby, now nine weeks old, accompanied us on both walks, and showed true Bodeguero stamina, by keeping up with us and his mother on both walks.

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Bobby amongst Bermuda buttercups

He looked cute among the wild flowers.

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El Rastrillo de Fernán Pérez

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Shoppers enjoying some refreshment outside the bar in the square

On the first Sunday of the month, a small market, El Rastrillo de Fernán Pérez, is held in the pretty square of the village.

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Home made cakes

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Colourful fabrics

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Beer and wine

Arts and crafts, bread and cakes, beer and wine, books, bric-a-brac and antiques. You will find them all here.

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Live entertainment

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Singing while winding her organ

Yesterday, live entertainment was provided by this singer who accompanied herself with this old, mechanical organ.

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Craft jewellery

 

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Liquors  and pottery

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More crafts

We hope these photos from yesterday capture the atmosphere of the market.

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Riders in the Valley

Riders passing the old castle in El Valle de Rodalquilar

Riders passing the old castle in El Valle de Rodalquilar

After a windy week when the light has been obscured by dust from the Sahara we have enjoyed a couple of mild, soft days. They have been sunny and warm but the light has been muted due to the humidity.

Riders in the valley

Riders in the valley

Ideal weather for walking and riding in the campo and these two on horseback passed us this morning as we walked from the old castle down to El Playazo in El Valle de Rodalquilar.

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A perfect morning for riding and walking

There are new riding stables on the outskirts of Rodalquilar, where these two must have come from, and to see people on horseback enjoying the Parque Natural is now a common sight. Sometimes in the mornings we have seen groups on horseback riding up the ramblas of Las Negras.

Palm trees om the spring

Palm trees om the spring

After the winter rains and because of the extra humidity the countryside is still lush and green. The photo above illustrates this well showing the Bermuda buttercups and green grasses below the palm trees of El Valle.

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Wild Flowers Around Las Negras

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Asphodels in the hills

Here are some photos and descriptions of the beautiful wild flowers we have seen on our walks during the last week. Because of the wetter-than-normal winter, the hills and ramblas around our village are covered with flowers, some common but others quite unusual.

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Asphodels

Last year, after a dry winter, the asphodels did not do well, but this spring they have flourished and cover the mountainsides, their tall spikes and white flowers set against the blue sky.

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Spurgula Fallax

On the hills beyond our house this tiny white flower, Spurgula fallax is abundant.

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Spurgula fallax

It is a wild plant that is often overlooked because it is so small but this spring it is flowering in profusion, despite its rarity.

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Dipcadi

Above is a photo of a lovely example of a dipcadi. It looks similar to a bluebell but has brown flowers.

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Helianthemum

Helianthemum, which is found all over the Cabo de Gata, is in abundance.

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Bermuda buttercups along the rambla 

Banks of bright yellow bermuda buttercups line the sides of the ramblas.

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A rare daisy

This flower may look like a common daisy but is quite rare.

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Another rare, wild flower

This little yellow flower, a type of lily, resembles the celandine and appears in early spring in damper places.

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Calendulas

More common are these orange calendulas but they look very attractive flowering in between the stones.

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Flowers in a barranco

The densest accumulations of plants are in the narrow barrancos where the water on the rocky hillsides cascades during the rains.

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Viper’s bugloss

This viper’s bugloss is ubiquitous but is very pretty and makes a contrast to the yellow and whites of the other flowers.

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Linaria

This yellow linaria is rare and found in just a couple of locations here.

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Puppy Update

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At the bar

Daisy’s puppies are almost 5 weeks old. They are eating solid food now although they still pester their mother at her milk bar.

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On the terrace. Left to right Betty, Dotty, Pixie and Bobby

They are also active, playful and, under supervision, can enjoy some of the warm sunshine in the garden.

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Betty and Pixie

We are now considering new homes for them but are going to be very choosy as they are such funny and sweet little dogs, super examples of their breed and we will miss them.

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Little Pixie

These photos were taken yesterday. You can scroll down to earlier blogs to see how they have developed over the last month.

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Bobby, Dotty, Pixie and Betty

Enquiries regarding the puppies please email digmerry@gmail.com or phone 667848529

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