We found Camping La Garrofa quite by chance and what a wonderful site it is! Claiming to be the oldest camping site in Spain, it dates back to 1957. The shady pitches nestle beneath the Puente Romano de la Garrofa and the Roman Road with the modern motorway visible high above on a viaduct. Walking down under the bridge, you reach a private beach in a lovely cove. On the eastern slope there is the Torre Garía de la Garrofa, a typical Mediterranean defensive construction. This is certainly a place to return to. Having decided to move on today, we’re ready to check out at 1145 and are amazed to see John and Clare walking up the path . . . OGA friends from Suffolk, they had also found La Garrofa by chance, arriving yesterday.
After checking out and leaving the van outside the campsite, we returned to join them in the campsite bar for a coffee, which turned into beer and tapas, so after a most enjoyable few hours we finally left at 1600! Our plan had been to take the coast road to Cartegena, leaving an exploration of the unspoilt parts of the Parque Natural Cabo da Gata for another trip. We didn’t get quite that far, due to the tardy departure, but after driving through miles of coastal holiday developments found a beach camper van parking area at a much quieter place, Las Brisas Beach, Villaricos. After a walk on the sandy beach, we ate in the van and spent a quiet evening planning the next few days. We need to think about heading north for the planned ski-ing week in Switzerland.