James Bond exercises naked on the Costa Blanca.
Almerimar to Cartagena. Selling our souls.
Almerimar was where we sold our souls to the devil and became British again. We had fun with British friends, old and new and had battered cod and chips from a fish shop. We even spent a few Euros in the British run charity shop on some second or third hand clothes. Angelina went on ladies coffee mornings, walks in the country and we watched England playing football in the local British bar. For a time it was like being back home again only a whole lot hotter.
We could easily have got stuck in Almerimar but decided we had to move on. We had to get back to the cruising roots and start anchoring out anywhere we could. We didn’t have a choice really as we had no money left.
It is time to find some anchorages
Stuart and Nicky on Camino
On 11th June we set out with our friends Stuart and Nicky on Yacht Camino to go to an anchorage in Puerto Genoves, some thirty miles away. Unlike our sail down to Almerimar the weather was hot and there was little wind. The seas were flat and deep allowing us to almost touch the cliffs we were sailing next to. It was what we expected the Mediterranean should be.
After six hours motoring we reached the small cove at Puerto Genoves which was almost empty. We padded around looking for the right place to set the anchor down much like a cat on a pillow. Camino did the same but before Stuart could get his anchor out he was approached by Don Pedro on his donkey. (Actually it was a rib with six thousand horse power but it doesn’t fit the tranquil scene).
Naked Bond girls all over the boat
Senior Pedro told us that they would be filming a Spanish version of James Bond all night with helicopters, speed boats, and loud explosions. He said we would not get any sleep but we were welcome to stay and out boats might be extras in the background. I did mutter something about naked Bond girls draped seductively all over our boat but Angelina began sharpening the kitchen knives and I knew it was time to move on. (Blood really stains the decks)
Las Negras and the naked hippy commune
In the setting sun we motored for another hour or two to a cove at Las Negras where we were able to anchor off the small village in peace. Although there was no wind the swell rolled us around more than casino dice but the setting was amazing.
Martyn and Jane anchored in the bay.
As the sun rose painting the white village in an orange glow myself and Stuart were up and ready to go. As we motored across the bay I saw a small boat anchored under the cliffs and knowing that some friends we in the area motored across to see. It was Martyn and Jane on Yacht Gemini. We sailed with them so many times last year and it was so good to see them again. Stuart and Nicky decided to carry on whilst we again dropped anchor ten minutes from Negras where we had spent the night.
Anchored out under the cliffs with good friends on a day that was hotter than a Gurkha curry was bliss. What we didn’t realise was that hidden around the beach next to us was a hippy commune. It soon became apparent that clothes were something you either did or did not bother with and most of the commune we more naked than the day they were born. Mr Martial Arts would practice naked each day and evening on the beach but believe me, you can only watch so much of it.
The commune was well run and they even took all the rubbish by dingy to the local town each day to keep the place clean. There was even a make do bar with very simple to follow rules.
“My prices, My Bar”
“Don’t expect change, don’t expect glasses, Don’t expect services, Don’t like it, Then leave”
This is what we were looking for as liveaboards
Naked on the beach
It was a wonderful day and what this life is all about. Perfect location, wonderful friends, sun beating down, chatting about everything and nothing and to us problems just didn’t exist.
After a peaceful night’s sleep and even better, waking up to find we were still in the same place, we decided to move on again. We were tempted to stay with Martyn and Jane but instead we arranged to see them somewhere up the coast and catch up with Nicky and Stuart.
The sail (or motor) up this unspoiled and rugged part of the Costa Blanca was not what we expected. No holiday towns and million bed hotels but instead some of the prettiest coastline we had seen in a long time.
Anchored in Aguilas
Later that afternoon we decided to drop anchor in a lovely cove next to Aguilas between the cliff, an island and the beach. Now I know Spain is having economic problems but I didn’t realise they were so bad that no one could afford clothes. Again there were naked people all over.
The following day we debated if we should stay longer as it was so idyllic but instead we decided to move onto the marina at Cartagena. On the sail up there I have never been through so many wind changes in one day. The wind rose and fell like a can-can dancers skirt and swung more than a bisexual nymphomaniac. It was hard work but we eventually reached the well hidden and ancient port of Cartagena.
Cartagena, a gem of a city but its missing a few cannons
Flemenco dancing in Cartagena
It was hard to imagine but a few centuries ago my mate, Francis Drake, came in here and stole all their cannons. I was hoping they wouldn’t hold it against us personally.
Cartagena is a real mixture of old and new but it is, unlike a lot of Spanish cities, still very Spanish at heart. I know that we are moored near enough to Burger King to whisper our order but go beyond that and you will find so much more. You will find the real Spain. Music plays day and night, there are little squares everywhere in Cartagena to sit and chat and ancient and modern sit side by side. In the evening the city comes alive. Family’s parade all night along the marina front chatting to everyone they meet. It does not matter that you cannot understand them; they will still continue to talk for hours at you with a smile.
Dead donkey’s and Flamenco dancing in Cartagena.
On Saturday night we went to a free flamenco music evening. We didn’t understand what they were singing but it could only be about his donkey dying. It was so depressing. Things did liven up after the Spanish version of Leonard Cohen left and we were treated to traditionally dressed senoritas doing flamenco dancing. I didn’t realise just how much there is to it. Angelina and I joined in with our version of mum and dad dancing but compared to the people around us we had less rhythm and life than the previous singer’s dead donkey. The one thing Cartagena promises is that you will have a good night.
If you would like to see more images of Cartagena you can find them here.