San Jose had been marked by strong winds and they continued as I resumed my journey. In retrospect it would have been wise to stay put. When a loaded touring bike is thrown physically three feet sideways by the sheer force of the wind, you have problems. The power of the elements never ceases to amaze me, and some of these roads give you little room for error.
Southern Spain is noted for construction projects that either fell foul of illegal building or lack of funding during the financial crisis, or both. Rusting reinforcing rods sprout from acres of concrete poured in optimistic times.
There is a hotel just down the road here that was never completed, and it remains as it did when I last rode this way several years ago. Cranes immobile, materials disappearing into the vegetation and balconies returning to nature where tourists would normally be enjoying sundowners.
All this fascinates me. Buildings long disused, or in this case never used; rooms open to the wind and rain, purpose unfulfilled, have a pathos about them. There it stands, mute, testament to man’s greed and folly.
Mojacar marks the start again of coastal development, although unlike further west this is of the low-rise variety. The old pueblo of Mojacar sits high on its hill looking down on its new namesake, which is not at all unpleasant, and virtually empty in January. I stayed in this unpretentious hotel and just two doors along was Bar-Restaurante El Deseo, where delicious food is served by a very friendly German lady. Give it a try if you’re passing.
Today has been what I term a pay-day ride; flat roads, little traffic, no wind and a sparkling sea off to the right. Nothing to do but nose into other people’s lives as you roll past. These days make up for the grim ones, like yesterday. Lone cycle touring has huge highs and lows as I’ve said before, and it can do strange things to you.
The large greenhouses of Almeria have largely given way to salad and greens in open fields. This one was being cropped by a cheerful bunch working at great speed. I was wondering how much they would be paid. Not a huge amount I imagine, but at least it’s an income.
As befits an idle day, I stopped early, and find myself in the agreeable town of Aguelas with its crystal-clear harbour and large windmill on the hill. This seems like a good jumping off point for Cartegena tomorrow, but we shall see what the day brings.