In San Jose: a walk on the beach - Vuelta a Iberia - CycleBlaze

December 2, 2019

In San Jose: a walk on the beach

San Jose is one of the larger coastal villages in Cabo de Gata Natural Park. We’ll be staying here for three nights before moving on east to Agua Amarga, another coastal village in the park.

We’ve been anticipating our visit to Capo de Gata for the last several weeks - ever since Maria and Fito enthused about what an exceptional place it is when we ran across them on the cliffs of Lagos.  We’ve been looking forward to sunny rides by the sea and into the desert, and maybe a last chance to see some flamingoes in the large lagoon west of here.

It is exceptional country alright, but we aren’t having the experience we’d been anticipating.  Instead, we’re largely hiding out from the wind and rain.  We’ve added a third night to our planned two night stay here, because biking tomorrow looks completely out of the question - hazardous even.  A severe storm is in the forecast, with up to two inches of rain predicted for tomorrow along with 35-40 mph winds.

Ironic.  Over breakfast in the cafe this morning, we watch the weather forecast on the telly.  We’re next to Europe’s only desert, but we’re in the wettest part of Spain today.

Today though turned out much better than we expected.  A break in the rains came through mid-morning, so we took our chances and went for a walk along the shoreline west of town.  We didn’t really have a destination in mind, and were just walking as far as we could before the weather turned foul.  By chance, we picked the right direction and found ourselves on Playa de Los Geneveses, one of the best regarded beaches in the park.  We were really lucky and managed a three hour walk with only a brief spell of light showers - just enough to bring out a modest rainbow.   We have the place nearly to ourselves, most of the time not seeing another soul in this pristine, gorgeous spot.

From the little we’re seeing here, this is clearly an exceptional area.  This seems like a perfect time to be here too, as long as you’re not unlucky enough to be here during a typhoon.  You could plan an entire short tour just in this area I think, mixing biking, walking and probably sea kayaking, taking the time to explore more than just the one beautiful beach we saw this morning and to wander through the small towns in the interior.

Just west of San Jose, we follow the shoreline until it disappears before the headland ahead.
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After the beach disappears we climb up to a low road just above the beach, passing through a neighborhood of whitewashed cubist houses. The houses were fine enough, but somehow this bicolored cactus is the only photo I came back with.
Heart 7 Comment 1
Jen GrumbyThat cactus looks like it's posing for an album cover photo!
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1 week ago
This is a bit odd. No one is on the beach below, so it’s a bit of a mystery what’s happening here. Maybe it’s a work of art?
Heart 5 Comment 1
Jen GrumbyMaybe they messed up on the location of the album cover photo shoot .. they were supposed to be back with the cactus.
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1 week ago
GBO knows what to do here though. He’s been looking for a chance to model what it would be like taking up a second career as a shoe horn.
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Jen GrumbyAnd in sweeps GBO to redeem the rock star status of the shoes!

I think his fear of smelly feet might prevent him from moonlighting as a shoe horn.
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1 week ago
Scott AndersonTo Jen GrumbyOh, dear. I feel terrible about that. Because I have no sense of smell it didn’t even occur to me that he might be offended by this.
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1 week ago
Ron SuchanekGBO is a bit horny to be sure. He ran after a buxom corkscrew in Italy you'll recall.
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1 day ago
Scott AndersonTo Ron SuchanekOh, maybe I misunderstood this scene. He did seem pretty perky when I pushed him back in the bag.
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1 day ago
As we round the headland we come to the end of the pavement and the last houses. The Rock of the Genoese, the promontory at the far end of Los Genoveses beach comes into view.
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Staring down at Los Genoveses beach is a thrilling sight. We seem to be completely alone at first, but then I see a man in the trees taking photographs. We wave at each other from a distance and he then departs, leaving the beach to us.
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The view back into the interior. Something about this fantastic landscape reminds me of Hawaii’s Big Island.
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The splendidly colorful Rock of the Genoese.
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Some sea life, littorally.
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Bill ShaneyfeltLittorally! :-)

Might be a sanderling.

https://www.hbw.com/ibc/photo/sanderling-calidris-alba/flock-birds-shoreline
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1 week ago
Scott AndersonTo Bill ShaneyfeltThat was for you - I knew you’d appreciate it. And I agree - likely a sanderling.
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1 week ago
Jen GrumbyHey, that reminds me of that Golden Earring song .. "Help, I'm slippin' into the littoral zone!"
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1 week ago
Scott AndersonTo Jen GrumbyThis makes me feel so old. I’ve never heard of either the group or song before now.
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1 week ago
Jacquie GaudetTo Scott AndersonRadar Love, 1973. I'm sure you've heard it, even if you weren't aware of who performed it.
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1 week ago
Scott AndersonTo Jacquie GaudetWell, I just listened to it and don’t recognize it at all. Now I really feel old.
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6 days ago
Jacquie GaudetYou're not that old! There's also a place aspect. Sometimes songs are big hits in one area and unheard-of in others.
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6 days ago
Scott AndersonRachael was surprised by this too. She was sure I’d know this song and group. I think it’s a time of life thing. I didn’t really follow popular music at all for a decade or so.
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6 days ago
Lyle McLeodNice pun ... Prairie Boy here had to look that one up!
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4 days ago
Scott AndersonThanks! I was tickled myself when that came to mind. I had to look it up myself first to make sure I remembered its meaning.
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4 days ago
Ron SuchanekActually the line was from the Golden Earring song called The Twilight Zone, which came out in the early 80s. But, as Jacquie indicated, their biggest hit was Radar Love. But you can be excused for not knowing. They weren't that good.
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1 day ago
From a distance it looks like these long rows are agave. Is it grown as a crop?
Heart 2 Comment 2
Bruce LellmanIsn't tequila from agave plants? Mescal too?
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6 days ago
Scott AndersonOh, of course. Thanks.
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6 days ago
We encounter a brief shower as we climb over the neck of the Rock of the Genoese. A momentary break in the clouds causes me to look back.
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Jen GrumbyDid you find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow?
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1 week ago
Scott AndersonTo Jen GrumbyNope. Just some soggy feet and a few sanderlings.
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1 week ago
A few others arrive later, but for nearly an hour the beach is ours alone. Walking the wet sand above the receding tide, ours are the only footprints other than those of a man and his dog that were here before us.
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Looking back at the Rock of the Genoese from its western face. San Jose is out of sight in the distance, in a cove between two headlands.
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A fantastic landscape. Everything is worth a second look.
Heart 5 Comment 2
Bruce LellmanWhat an amazing photo, Scott! So, when you make a print of this for your non-existent living room, I suggest you crop the blasted out top off. Then it's perfect.
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6 days ago
Scott AndersonTo Bruce LellmanNot quite what I wanted either. I couldn’t quite get the exposure right - pick up the sky and lose the rock, or vice versa. Trim out the sky, and the proportions seem odd. So I just went with optimizing on the rock.
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6 days ago
We turned back here, on the neck of the next headland. We don’t trust the weather to hold much longer, and aren’t sure about the trail ahead either.
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An older man and the sea.
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Jen GrumbyNow, here's the real album cover shot! It's just missing the other half of the Anderson Duo.
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1 week ago
Scott AndersonTo Jen GrumbyIf I’d known, I could have combed my hair.
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1 week ago
Patrick O'HaraHey Scott.

Lookin' good, my man! Not too shabby for a seventy-something!
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1 week ago
There is great diversity in the rock formations here.
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The Rock of Genoese is worth more than one look.
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Or two, or three.
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Walking back to San Jose. It’s time to get out of here. You can’t tell from here, but it’s getting crowded in our private paradise. Another couple is slowly walking our way across the sand.
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This country is worth more than one look, we think. I’ll have to make a note in the trip planner.
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Returning to San Jose, just around the bend. It looks like we’re getting in back just in time.
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Rate this entry's writing Heart 5
Comment on this entry Comment 2
Jen GrumbyWow - another beautiful walk to add to the long list of The Stunning Landscapes of Vuelta a Iberia!
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1 week ago
Scott AndersonTo Jen GrumbyIt really was a beautiful walk. It made me glad for the weather really, to get us off our saddles and ontO our feet.
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1 week ago