Cala de San Pedro

Behind the beach at San Pedro

The valley at San Pedro

Fifty years ago there was a working village in this beautiful sheltered cove north of Las Negras. Behind the beach there is a pretty, land-locked valley with spring water and so the inhabitants could grow their own fruit and veg, keep animals, go fishing and had drinking and irrigation water.

View from the coastal path to San Pedro

The only way of reaching the outside world was by boat or coastal path, wide enough for nothing larger than a donkey, to Las Negras. When a good road and electricity came to Las Negras the inhabitants deserted San Pedro in favour of the trappings of modern civilisation. When we we first went there in 1987 there where just a few naked hippies squatting in the ruins of the abandoned houses.

The beach at San Pedro

Saltwort on the cliffs

This morning we returned to San Pedro. Although there is a boat taxi from Las Negras we walked the coastal path, which takes just over an hour, and enjoyed the spectacular views of the coastline. En route, we saw several examples of an unusual saltwort, its thorny spikes frothing with tiny, sweet-scented flowers. A magnificent osprey soared over the cliffs before gliding out to sea.

Looking back at the beach

Enjoying the calm sea

Arriving at this idyllic little bay we found it far busier than when we first visited all those years ago. The hippies are still there, and still squatting, but the ruins seem to have acquired solar panels and wind generators. A colourful array of tents and shelters rimmed the beach to accommodate San Pedro’s growing alternative population. There were also many ordinary people just enjoying Sunday on a beautiful beach with a calm, transparent sea.

If you click on the images they will enlarge.

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About Margaret Merry

I grew up in Falmouth, Cornwall, England where, after leaving Falmouth High School, I spent a year at Falmouth School of Art. Then followed three years at Hornsey College of Art in London where I obtained a Diploma in Art and Design. I then spent a post-graduate year at the West of England College of Art in Bristol where I gained an Art Teacher?s Diploma and a Certificate in Education of the University of Bristol. I lived and worked in Truro for over 30 years and became one of Cornwall's most popular artists. My paintings have been exhibited in New York, Tokyo, Paris and London and have been bought by collectors from all over the world. I have published 4 books which became local bestsellers - 'The Natural History of a Westcountry City', 'Margaret Merry's Cornish Garden Sketchbook', 'Sea & Sail' and 'Tidal Reaches'. In 2002 I moved to Spain and now live in the little coastal village of Las Negras in the heart of the Parque Natural de Cabo de Gata. I now get my inspiration from the dramatic scenery of Andalucia and its old cities, towns and villages which I usually capture in watercolour. I also enjoy figurative art, particularly nudes and dancers. For these paintings I use artists' soft pastels. I have written and illustrated 3 children's books - The Wise Old Boar, The Lonely Digger and The Adventure of Princess The Pony - which have been published in the USA.
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