San Pedro – 1st July

San Pedro beach

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.

From the path towards the cliff showing the arid countryside of summer

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.

The coastline from the cliff path

The cliff path

From here there are magnificent views of the beautiful, rugged coastline of the Cabo de Gata and ….

San Pedro and its castle

…. then San Pedro and its castle come into view and the descent is narrow and steep.

A trio of palms

There was a small community living here for centuries in the little land-locked valley behind the sheltered sandy cove.

Old well

Water deposit

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.

Boat on the beach

The sheltered beach was also ideal to fish from and no doubt little fishing boats were once lined up here.

Castle behind the palms

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.

The tower

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.

The simple life – a melon cooling in the spring

Relaxing by the spring

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.

Hippy shack

When we first came here 25 years ago there were a few German hippies squatting in the ruins of the village houses.

Another hippy house

Now the community seems much larger and more organised.

Beach, castle & ruins but note the solar panels

Many of the ruins have been partially renovated and some have little gardens and electricity from solar panels and wind turbines.

Bananas

Aloe vera behind the beach

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.

Sun and palms

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.

Hippy cat

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.

Good luck Spain in the football tonight!

If you click on the photos 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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2 Responses to San Pedro – 1st July

  1. angela Bell says:

    I remember walking to San Pedro with you two and Spurge.He threw a wbbly about Caroline seeing a naked man.The man looked like Jesus ! caroline was not at all worried but you may remember Purge could be a prude sometimes..It looks nice there now,the cat looks happy!

  2. James says:

    Hi there, enjoyed reading this and seeing the lovely pics. I’m tempted to visit San Pedro towards the end of this month (August) – will it be busy there at this time of year, I was hoping for it to be not too busy, not too quiet 😉 Also, I bet it will be very hot? Is it as free and open as one gets told there, I can just come and pitch my tent as long as I respect the place, it looks amazing. Many thanks.

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