San Isidro

The beach at Las Negras this morning

The beach at Las Negras this morning

This weekend we have had an extra day’s holiday (Friday) in honour of San Isidro, who is the patron saint of the two little nearby towns of Campohermoso and San Isidro. It has also been a holiday in Madrid.

By the beach

By the beach

We were expecting more visitors to Las Negras as the weather has been perfect but those who came enjoyed the beach and the monthly craft market.

Old bikes and antiques

Old bikes and antiques

A market stall of marionettes

A market stall of marionettes

Hand made head gear

Hand made head gear

Aboveare photos of some of the market stalls.

Music in the street

Music in the street

There was also street music.

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Flowers in the Ramblas

Rambla de las Agüillas

Rambla de las Agüillas

Although most days have been sunny this spring, we have had more rainfall than usual in the Parque Natural de Cabo de Gata.

Green hills

Green hills

The botanists from Kew Gardens and our son, Jason, who returned to England last week, remarked that they had never seen the countryside here so green and colourful.

Swathes of poppies

Swathes of poppies

In the ramblas there are swathes of red poppies. We think that this may be the result of the seeds of the first crop germinating in the damp earth. Normally they would be dormant until next year.

Convolvulos and fig tree

Convolvulos and fig tree

Adding to the colours are the brilliant yellow and purple flowers of the thistles and

Old olive and thistles

Old olive and thistles

convolvulus.

The rambla with ruin above

The rambla with ruin above

These photos were taken on Sunday morning along the Rambla de las Agüillas in Las Negras. The ruins of old cortijos along this walk add interest to the photos and testify how this land was once farmed by many families.

Broomrape

Broomrape

We were interested by the different varieties and colours of Orobanche (broomrape) growing along the rambla.

White broomrape

White broomrape

There are over 200 species of this parasitic plan so they are very difficult to identify precisely.

Blue broomrape

Blue broomrape

More broomrape

More broomrape

We took these photos of several examples.

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Rock pools of Rodalquilar and La Alcazaba of Almeria

Izzy, Elly and Daisy at el Playazo

Izzy, Elly and Daisy at el Playazo

Our grand-daughters Izzy (11) and Ellie (9) returned to England this morning after staying with us for 8 days.

Rock pools of Rodalquilar

Rock pools of Rodalquilar

The weather has not been perfect but they still had a great holiday. On some days the Levante wind made the sea too rough for swimming but the beach still had its attractions and they particularly enjoyed the rock pools at the end of El Playazo de Rodalquilar.

Trees inside the Alcazaba

Trees inside La Alcazaba

Yesterday we had to go to Almeria City so we took them to the old Moorish castle, La Alcazaba.

The prt of Almeria from the Alcazaba

The port of Almeria from La Alcazaba

Izzy and Ellie by the castle walls

Izzy and Ellie by the castle walls

There are great views of the city from the ramparts.

Approacing the gardens through a Moorish arch

Approacing the gardens through a Moorish arch

Pool with carp and lilies

Pool with carp and lilies

Inside the walls are beautiful gardens approached through Moorish arches, fountains and pools with carp.

Leaving La Alcazaba

Leaving La Alcazaba

Jairán Al-Amiri the first King of Almeria

Jairán Al-Amiri the first King of Almeria

The Moors ruled Almeria from the 9th Century until 1486. Below the castle there is a new statue in memory of Jairán Al-Amiri the first King of Almeria.

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Arte Rastrillo

El Rastrillo

Arte Rastrillo

Yesterday a sreet market, Arte Rastrillo, organised by the Ayuntamiento de Nijar, took place in Las Negras beside the beach.

Nine year old Ellie considering a purchase

Nine year old Ellie considering a purchase

This was the first organised market of the year and future ones will be held here on the third Sunday of every month. Our granddaughters, Izzy and Ellie, here on holiday, were fascinated by the stalls.

One of the stalls

One of the stalls

Stalls selling arts and crafts and the traders themselves added colour to the village.

Meat and fish

Meat and fish

Speciality food and drinks were also on sale. Here is a stall selling meats and dried fish.

Live music

Live music

A trio played live music to entertain the crowds.

Finger painting with Mamin by the beach

Finger painting with Mamin by the beach

There was also entertainment for children including painting.

Craft stalls be bar Cerro Negro

Craft stalls be bar Cerro Negro

It was a lovely sunny day and the visitors certainly enjoyed the atmosphere/

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Kew Gardens Field Trip – First Walk

Walking up the rambla

Walking up the rambla

This morning, we joined the botanists from Kew Gardens on their walk up the rambla that leads from Las Negras to Las Hortichuelas. We showed them this walk on their first visit in 1987 and it has been one of the highlights of their annual field trip ever since.

Students from Kew botanising

Students from Kew botanising

Today has been sunny but with a fresh wind. Ideal conditions for walking and botanising.
The recent rain has freshened up the countryside and the professors remarked that the flora this year is better than ever.

Broomrape

Broomrape

There was so much for them to look at that progress was slow. Here is a beautiful example of one of the more common broomrapes.

Lavandula stoechas

Lavandula stoechas

This lavender is unusual as it is pink rather than dark purple.

Up the narrow ravine

Up the narrow ravine

At this point, the rambla becomes a narrow ravine and it was the first time we have seen water trickling down it like a mountain stream.

Orobanche foetida

Orobanche foetida

Here is wonderful specimen of another broomrape, Orobanche foetida.

Up the rocky hillside

Up the rocky hillside

We ascended the rocky hillside above the rambla.

Gladiolus

Gladiolus

Pink wild Gladioli are flowering here.

Fern in the rocks

Fern in the rocks

Here we discovered, for the first time, some tiny ferns. This is one of them, growing in a fissure surrounded by orange lichen.

A picnic break

A picnic break

We stopped for lunch on the rocky hillside.

Caralluma europea

Caralluma europea

Hidden in a crack in a nearby rock is a botanic rarity, the Caralluma europea, a speciality of the Cabo de Gata. The curious flowers are very striking.

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A change in the weather

Las Negras this morning

Las Negras this morning

After a glorious Semana Santa when our visitors were basking on the beach, walking our coastal paths and enjoying the laid back atmosphere of Las Negras, gales have pounded southern Spain this week.

Looking out to sea

Looking out to sea

The sea has been wild, the temperature has tumbled and the beaches are empty. We hope you like these dramatic photos taken at Las Negras this morning.

The far end of Las Negras beach

The far end of Las Negras beach

As always the sun has made an effort to come out and lit these photos. We are promissed that normal weather will return for the weekend when Las Negras will be hosting its annual, 11 day visit from the botanists of Kew Gardens for the 27th time.

If you click on the images they will enlarge.

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El Viernes Santo en Las Negras

Colourful countryside

Colourful countryside

Las Negras has been extremely busy this Semana Santa and the weather, although not as clear and hot as at the beginning of the week, has been warm and sunny enough to please our visitors. Yesterday morning we walked to San Pedro and back with a couple of friends who were staying with us. The mountains are still looking fresh and green and the wild flowers add splahes of vivid colour. This photo, taken from the path to San Pedro, shows a patch of poppies and Bermuda buttercups behind an old stone wall.

Las braces, beach and horses

Las braces, beach and horses

We returned to Las Negras for a tapas lunch and afterwards strolled around the village. The fish restaurants on the front were doing great trade. This photo shows the restaurant Las Barcas and a group of horses on the beach below.

Horses on the beach

Horses on the beach

We have not seen these horses here before so naturally went and spoke to them.

Craft stalls and Bar Cerro Negro

Craft stalls and Bar Cerro Negro

Between the bars hippy traders had set up art and craft stalls. Here are a few of them alongside Bar Cerro Negro.

Brilliant parasols

Brilliant parasols

We thought this stall with its colourful parasols very eye catching.

On the sea wall

On the sea wall

The owners were equally interesting. Here is a photo of them sitting on the sea wall opposite their stall. I published another photo of them and their wares on https://coloursofspain.wordpress.com/2015/04/03/trading-in-las-negras-on-good-friday/ Click on the link to have a look and if you click on the photos in our blogs they will enlarge.

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