After a few days of asphyxiating heat, strong winds and hazy light, today dawned bright with clear blue skies, a light breeze and cooler air. We decided to make our first visit of the summer to San Pedro, thinking that if we made an early start, it would not be too hot to walk.
You can drive some of the way from Las Negras to San Pedro. We drove up the Barranco de Los Aguilas, parked the car, and walked up a path to meet the cliff path to San Pedro.
From here there are magnificent views of the beautiful, rugged coastline of the Cabo de Gata and ….
…. then San Pedro and its castle come into view and the descent is narrow and steep.
There was a small community living here for centuries in the little land-locked valley behind the sheltered sandy cove.
The only way to reach San Pedro is by this footpath, or boat, but the inhabitants must have been almost self-sufficient. They had plenty of fresh water from springs and wells so were able to grow crops and keep animals.
The sheltered beach was also ideal to fish from and no doubt little fishing boats were once lined up here.
The only problem was that San Pedro was extremely interesting for Berber pirates who would raid the village for water and food and capture villagers to sell into slavery.
First the tower was built in the 16th Century and then the castle in the 18th Century to protect the cove and there are records of the raids being repelled.
Fifty years ago the trappings of civilisation – mains electricity, water and metalled roads reached Las Negras and the villagers of San Pedro abandoned their paradise for the easy comforts of modern living.
When we first came here 25 years ago there were a few German hippies squatting in the ruins of the village houses.
Now the community seems much larger and more organised.
Many of the ruins have been partially renovated and some have little gardens and electricity from solar panels and wind turbines.
As well as the usual palm trees, fig trees, shrubs and cacti you would expect to find in this semi-arid climate, there are also quite a few banana trees and aloe vera is growing wild, no doubt planted first by the hippies.
In our opinion there is too much camping here which leads to abuse of the environment but it is still a beautiful place with one of the best beaches in the Cabo de Gata.
The quality of photos is not particularly good as I took my old little compact camera with me as I did not want to carry my heavy DSLR on a long walk but we hope you like them.
If you click on the photos they will enlarge.