Boabdil glanced back as he entered it, and I took one last look as I left it. The Sierra Nevada was behind me, resplendent with its top dressing of snow, but I shall be back. All the cafe owners will wonder where I’ve disappeared to.
The ride to Almeria proved harder than anticipated given the long descents and a tail wind, but I had been off the bike for a few weeks and this soon begins to tell. The sole sustenance on this trip was a can of coke and a packet of crisps taken hastily at a filling station, which for a rider of my bulk and appetite is nowhere near enough. The legs go first, feeling like jelly with no power, and then the mind starts playing tricks. Roadside animals take on a whole new appearance.
Probably best just to keep eating and drinking, little and often, but I’ll make the same mistake again.
This area is the Cabo de Gata National Park, one of the many in Spain, and the run down to the picturesque bay at San Jose is through impressive hill country with low vegetation and little habitation.
I have stayed in San Jose before, so I knew it was well worth a second visit. A former fishing village turned tourist destination, at this time of year it has few visitors. The many fish restaurants are open and this bowl of seafood soup had me salivating not long after the bike had stopped rolling.
To add to the surreal day, a flock of day-glow pigeons fly around here. This is apparently a Spanish pigeon-fanciers habit and becomes very competitive. When you first see them they take you by surprise, circling the bay, all the colours under the sun.
I like San Jose, and may well spend two nights here to explore the coast on foot, then it’s north to Mojacar and on to Cartegena, which promises much by way of ancient buildings. Meanwhile, there’s more soup to eat.