The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Friday, 29 January 2016

A Short Morning Stroll By Mojacar

A visit to the Tourist Office in Mojacar yesterday furnished us with a sheaf of papers describing various walks in the area and having spent last night parked right on one of the routes, at the point where it passed through a beachside car park, it was an easy choice as to what to do this morning. Bright and early (does 9.30am count as bright and early, when the sun doesn’t rise until 8am?) off we set, past Macenas Castle and soon turning up hill where a signpost directed us to two ‘Observateria’, one 800m distant, the other 1900m. Here’s a non-illustrative photo, in that it doesn’t show either of the viewpoints we visited, although you can make out in the haziness a big white villa in an enviable position, atop a lump which abuts the sea, and also the tower which we were later to visit:

A reasonably gentle vehicle track (albeit so degraded in places that it’s probably no longer driveable) took us up into the lumpiness (not massive lumpiness; we must have topped out at around 150m), and what should we find on the two summits we visited, but a wooden hide, information signs and picnic benches. The second top also had a big concrete bunker of a building, with the obligatory graffiti on the side, although not as extensive as we have come to expect:

The question is, did the graffitist go up there intentionally to deface the building, or do these people always carry some paints about their persons, in case the opportunity to deface presents itself?

The path down from the second viewpoint was steep with a very loose shaley surface, making us concentrate hard on keeping on our feet. Reaching the dirt road at the bottom with only a few slips (and no trips or falls), around to the 16th century tower we went.

Up the stairs we climbed to gain access, with me making it about half way up before realising: a) it was quite steep and high, more like a ladder than a staircase; and b) I really don’t like ladders. Pushing the thought of the return to the back of my mind for the moment, I willed my quaking knees to still themselves, so as to take to the narrow internal staircase which took us out onto the roof terrace, which was (unsurprisingly, given the historical purpose of the tower) a good vantage point:

It’s quite handy that these cyclists keep getting in my shots, giving a sense of scale!

Both Macenas Castle and Colin were in view when I took this shot, but they’re both lost in the haze in the photo itself.

Happily the return down the stairs/ladder was better than the upwards journey (although it didn’t escape my overactive imagination that if you slipped at the top it wouldn’t be a happy ending), and from the bottom it was a simple, flat walk back along the dirt road to our car park.

Mick the fearless veritably skips down the ladder

The whole outing came in at only 3.25 miles, but with its features and views it was a pleasing way to start the day, before we embarked on our biggest single-day drive since we hit the coast (we went almost 80km today! More of that on


  1. Bravo!

    Sounds like the GR10 when you toil uphill for hours with macho thoughts about altitude and the dangers of leaving behind civilisation when all of a sudden you top out onto a pasture of grazing cows and a scene of calm bucolic domesticity.

    1. Just like that, but in a much smaller scale.