Genoveses – Pitas and Grasses

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El Molino

Yesterday we walked the length of Genoveses beach, San Jose. We parked near the old windmill and followed the track down to the bay.

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Fields of dry grasses

The landscape is changing as summer advances.The greens of the fresh grasses and the colours of the wild flowers have been replaced by the yellows and browns of drying vegetation.

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Pitas lining the path

The pitas lining the path appear healthy. In much of the Cabo de Gata they have been destroyed by the black beetle (picudo negro).

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Pitas and grasses

This photo shows young pitas sticking up through the long, dry grass. After the winter rains, the spring vegetation was very lush and these grasses are now withering after a prolonged dry spell with plenty of sunshine.

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Eucalyptus trees behind the beach

This grove of eucalyptus trees behind the beach always makes a dramatic photo in the morning light.

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Running dogs and driftwood

At the moment, the vast beach has few visitors and the dogs have plenty of space to run around without causing a nuisance. From the 1st June until 30 September dogs are not allowed on the beaches and traffic is restricted so the only way to visit these beaches will be to catch the bus from San Jose, walk or cycle.

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Genoveses Bay

This view looking back from near the end of the beach takes in the curve of Genoveses Bay.

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The return path

From the end of the beach we took the inland path back which runs through the dunes parallel with the beach.

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More pitas and grass

The path passes through more of the long, dry grass and pitas.

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Relaxing on the beach

Back near the beginning of the beach and people have started to arrive to enjoy a sunny Sunday.

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Pitas and sea

Finally another dramatic view with pitas before we walked back up the hill to the windmill.

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Caldera de Majada Redonda

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Rambla de Bajada Redonda

Yesterday we walked from Presillas Bajas to the Caldera de Majada Redonda.

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The footpath alongside the rambla

From the edge of the village we followed the Rambla de Bajada Redonda.

The route is well marked and there is a footpath that runs alongside the rambla which avoids some of the more difficult stretches.

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Grasses and flowers

As you can see from the photos the countryside is still green and, although the long grasses are beginning to turn colour, there are still wild flowers in abundance.

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Umbellifers

In this field alongside the rambla, tall umbellifers grow in profusion.

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Here is a lovely example of an orobanche.

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The path into the Caldera

The turning to the Caldera is up a path to the right which is signposted..

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Daisy and Bobby beside the abandoned car

Beside the path lies this old, abandoned car. How it got there is a mystery and also why has it been filled and covered with stones?

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When the Caldera is reached there is a board describing the formation of this vast volcanic crater.

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Pita by the path

We continued along the path through the Caldera and passed this sprouting pita. The stem will produce clusters of yellow flowers. These agaves, so symbolic of Almeria, will soon disappear thanks to a beetle, called a picudo, which nests in the heart of the plant and carries vegetable matter containing bacterias which destroy the pita. This example seems healthy but is probably infected.

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Towards the CalderaEnter a caption

The day was was warm with soft sunlight which enhanced some of the views like this scene looking back at the Caldera with an olive tree in the foreground.

Daisy and Bobby on the path


Our two Bodegueros, Daisy and son Bobby, enjoyed the walk and Kept appearing in the photos.

Presillas and the mountains above Los Escullos


On the way back we took a higher bath bro Presillas  from which there were excellent views towards the village and the coastal mountains.

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Barranco de las Agüillas

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Barranco de las Agüillas

Here are some photos taken yesterday when we walked along the Barranco de las Agüillas in Las Negras.

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Fig trees and flowers

The countryside around us is still looking beautiful with the spring flowers in profusion, fig trees in full leaf and the hillsides covered in greenery.

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Thistles, flowers and figs

The weather has been warm and sunny and is set fine for the rest of the week so visitors here for Semana Santa will be able to enjoy the countryside of the Parque Natural de Cabo de Gata as its best.

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Thistle flower with beetles

The thistles are coming into flower. Here is an interesting photo of two beetles investigating an intense yellow flower.

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Poppies and daisies

Poppies and yellow daisies form colourful groups along the banks of the barranco.

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Looking back to Las Negras through grasses and flowers

In a few weeks all this vegetation will have dried out and the countryside will take on its parched, summer hues.

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Enjoy the countryside

Enjoy it now!

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Flowers in the Valley

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Flowers in the valley

After a late night out we needed a long walk this morning, so we parked by the new riding stables at Rodalquilar and walked the length of El Valle and down to Cala de los Monteses. All week, the sun has been shining and the valley was ablaze with the colours of the wild flowers.

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Looking towards Rodalquilar

The vibrant red poppies, yellow bermuda buttercups and violet brassicas create a mix of colours in the fields.

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Old olive trees

This grove of old olives looked dramatic into the light with the foreground of red poppies and white flowers.

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Violet horned poppies

Amongst the red poppies we noticed a few of these attractive violet horned poppies.
Old stone walls along the path indicate the valley was once cultivated fields.

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Cerro de los Guardias

On the way to Cala de Monteses we passed the highest peak in the valley, Cerro de los Guardias.

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Looking out to sea

At the end of the valley we turned left and took a more difficult track towards the sea,

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Looking down to Cala de Monteses

Finally we looked down at the stony beach but to descend to it we would have to use the rope wrapped around a prominent rock. Something we did not feel inclined to do and our dogs could not manage.

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The path through the valley

We walked back up to the main path. Although the track down to the cove is tricky, the main path is easy going and once again we were surrounded by the colours of spring in Almeria.

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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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