We said farewell to Germany the week before Christmas and gave ourselves four days to get to La Manga. This involved an overnight stop at Trier Stellplatz and a very enjoyable evening at the Christmas market there. They had live music and delicious food so the atmosphere was brilliant.
The camping place is ideal too – we’ve been there quite a few times now. It is nice and secure plus the walk into the town is well lit, unless you go along the side of the river.
After Trier we drove through France stopping off at two Aires to break the long journey.The first one Villefranche-Sur-Saone is where we paid for the card that enables us access to Camping-Car Park. The second La Palme was a very pretty and quiet location. We were the first ones to arrive followed shortly afterwards by another van. From there we had a very brief stop at Benicasim (Bonterra Park) to have dinner with our old managers, Paul and Angi who have since become friends. The next day though we set off for our final destination , Caravaning la Manga, Murcia.
In previous years, the gossiping and street parties have driven us to distraction but this year we have been truly blessed. Despite being surrounded on all sides by other campers, they have all been lovely. Everyone is friendly but not intrusive and we are all mindful of the close proximity of each other so nobody has been a nuisance. Maybe as we don’t have to deal with campers as our job anymore we have become more pleasant too…who knows?!
Our main goals since we’ve been here were summed up by these two comments. I wanted it to be a bit of a retreat, and Dean mentioned boot-camp! In truth it has been a combination of the two.
Both of us want to have left here fitter (both mentally and physically) than when we arrived. Having sat in an office for the last six months, where for the last seven or so years there was an element of manual labour in my work, even I put on weight!
After the first week where we indulged in a bit of relaxation as it was Christmas after all, we got into a routine of exercising at least three times a week.
If ever you mention La Manga to fellow campers, there is a ‘Marmite’ reaction to the place. Some people hate it (it is not the most picturesque site in the world, granted) while others love it. We are in the camp of we grew to love it.
The pitches have five foot hedges around them so you have a degree of privacy not afforded to you anywhere else, along with the array of birds this inevitably attracts. Within a five minute walk you can be walking along the shores of the Mar Menor, that lead onto the salinas (marshlands) where you can see flamingos.
Two kilometres away you have the little village of Los Belones that hosts a multitude of restaurants, cafes and independent stores (including hairdressers, hardware stores and even an organic health store, not forgetting the excellent Missing Links…(the English Butcher) and in the other direction there is the harbour of Cabo de Palos. There you can walk along the beach, looking out to the lighthouse and the many coves you can visit with a well earned pit-stop in the harbour where there are many cafes and restaurants to choose from.
Across the main road from the site within a five minute car journey or a fifteen minute walk, you can be amongst the Calblanque nature reserve that offers many walks in countryside to enjoy. If you are a cyclist you will be in heaven as there are too many rides to mentions and more than enough people to tag along with if you are unsure.