12.09.19 — Travel

More Murcia Musings

It seems like just yesterday that I took my last trip down to Murcia to see my parents, but the blog entry from that visit reminds me that it was two months ago that I last pottered down to the southern region. That’s still not all too long ago, however, but it’s always a treat to take a few days off work and relax whilst catching up with my parents!

After leaving work last Friday, the now familiar routine was set into action, and I was soon aboard the train and heading southwards. I was reunited with my parents at the train station, from where we headed back to my auntie’s apartment in their hire car. Arriving just after midnight, it was naturally too late to start looking for restaurants, and so we dined on some sandwiches that I had prepared in Madrid.

Saturday morning was then spent lolling around the apartment, followed by an afternoon down on the coast by the Mar Menor. We had lunch at a spot that my mum had enjoyed last time (after discovering the wonders of ensaladilla rusa), wandered along the coastal town, and stopped for a drink overlooking the beach. I knew before we sat down that the restaurant offered a half-price happy hour, but I was still shocked when the bill came for a glass of wine and two large beers: 3.70€!

Three faded white shutters on a sun-bleached house.
Palm trees and sun-bleached houses on the Murcian coast.

Later, and with some ingredients that we picked up on the journey back to the apartment, I spent the evening preparing one of my recipes that always goes down well with my mum and dad: chicken quesadillas with pico de gallo and natural yoghurt. The enjoyment of the meal was somewhat marred, however, as we discovered that our plans for the following day looked set to be ruined by bad weather – as if I hadn’t had my share of rain and thunderstorms in Madrid by this point!

The dull clouds began to part as the following morning wore on, however, letting shine a ray of sun shine through – and with it a ray of hope that the day’s excursion might still go ahead! In the end, our luck did indeed hold out, and so we headed off to the gorgeous seaside village of Cabo de Palos.

I last visited this cape and it’s shoreline with my auntie back in January 2018, but this was the fist time that my parents had visited. To show them around a bit, I was sure to explore the harbour and coastal restaurant areas, all before dragging them into a little bar down a side street for some proper local food.

A row of blue boats in a harbour.
A handwritten sign on the side of a building.
The sea is seen between two houses, which is all seen through a portal window.

Once fed, we dived down the narrow gap between the coastal houses, and found ourselves on the coastal path which leads all the way to the lighthouse on the tip of the cape. We meandered upwards at a rather leisurely pace, but that didn’t stop the heat from getting to us, and so said walk culminated in a pit stop at a roadside bar for some beers and coffee.

A rock just out of the sea.

Someone made a tasteful adjustment to this sign.

A sign warning of the risk of falling off a cliff.

With fresh energy, we then proceeded downhill along the other side of the town, taking in the sea views and peeking into the little coves and rusting houses as we went. As we descended, the clouds began to reconquer the sky, and so we thought it best to head back to the car and back to the apartment.

Red shutters and yellow walls.
A colourful rock juts out into the sea.
A sea-bleached blue house.
An abandoned garden with pink chairs.

Over another meal that I’d prepared, this time spaghetti carbonara, we discussed the plans for the proceeding couple of days once we had retuned back to the apartment. The proceeding day would be my last full day in Murcia, and so we’d decided to head out for an evening meal to celebrate my last evening, but the question still remained as to what we’d get up to during the day.

The answer was, of course, rather obvious: thermal mud baths!

I last took a plunge in San Pedro del Pinatar’s natural mud baths around one year ago now, but that time I didn’t manage to snap a single photo of the experience. This time, however, and after coating myself in the foul-smelling sulphuric goo, my mum was around to take a photo!

Me, covered in mud.

After cleaning ourselves off with a quick dip in the neighbouring sea to clean off any stubborn remnants of mud, the three of us then headed to a coastal terrace for a couple of drinks in the sun. There, we nattered a good hour or so of the afternoon away, and then headed back to the car with a loaf of bread for lunch and our skin positively radiant.

Once we’d had some quick lunch, a nap, and some time around the apartment and pool, we bundled ourselves back into the car and down to a local Italian restaurant for our evening meal. I hadn’t been before, but I was very pleasantly surprised by the upbeat service, relaxed atmosphere, and the delicious dish of pork and mushrooms in a cream sauce that I had!

A block of apartments is lit up by the warm evening sunlight.
A blue and pink sunset is silhouetted by a tree and a block of apartments.

Tuesday then came around, and all too soon it was my last day down in Murcia. Opting for another relaxed day, we spent the morning back down at the coast, and then headed to another small town for a spot of lunch.

A jetty is seen in the sea, with mountains in the background.

The restaurant we visited was the same place that I lunched in last time before heading home – it seems to be on its way to becoming a little family tradition. Just as last time, we were treated to what felt like endless plates of delicious food, after which we spent another hour relaxing in order to digest!

With my time soon up, however, it was time for me to pack my bag, shower, and head down to the train station once again. After getting stuck behind a tractor on the journey down, we didn’t have too long to wait before the train arrived, and so I waved goodbye to my parents after four days which had passed in what felt like four minutes.

I’m sure I’ll be back down to Murcia again soon, through, probably in the new year at the latest. Before then, however, I’ve a quick weekend visit to Leeds lined up in November, and plenty of things to be getting on with back here in Madrid. I’ll be back very soon!