In Águilas: hike and bike - The Seven Year Itch - CycleBlaze

March 19, 2024

In Águilas: hike and bike

Another typical Team Anderson layover day - after breakfast of scrambled eggs in our apartment, she leaves for a walk and I opt for a lazy bike ride, with the constraint that we both be back by 1:30.  We’re a day behind with the journal here though, so many pictures and few words.  Could be worse.

Hike

As usual, Rachael found a candidate hike for herself on Kormoot and I drew up an adapted version on the Garmin for her, one that starts from our apartment rather than a mile away on the far side of town.  It’s a ‘highlights of Águilas’ walk that hits some of its most characteristic attractions: the castle, the windmill, the lighthouse, the Horn of Águilas.

She has a fine walk and gets some impressive views, but actually her favorite part of the morning was her trip to a shoe store to get a pair of new walkers that she’s very happy with, followed by a stop at the Decathalon dos some new socks.  We failed to take a photo of her new fancy footwear, but we’ve still got over eight months to correct the omission.

Águilas is a really interesting town, well worth a stay of a day or more.  As much as I enjoyed my bike ride, I’m not sure I wouldn’t have enjoyed even more another walk around town.  For another look at it, here is our photo gallery from our first visit here four years ago.

The staircase to the castle, on the promontory that splits the town.
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The view across the southern half of town.
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And to the north.
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The Castillo de San Juan in Águilas is high above the town, originally erected as a 16th century defensive fortress to protect against pirate raiders from Northern Africa.
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Peacock or rooster?
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Keith AdamsI'll cast my vote for rooster.
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2 months ago
A look back across the entire town. The castle is atop the farthest ridge. The pier in the nearest bay is the Embarcadero del Hornillo, built in the early 1900’s as a loading pier for exporting minerals from the nearby mines.
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The end of the road, and sooner than Rachael had been expecting. It looks like beyond this her trail has returned to the sea.
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The Sagrero windmill.
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Bike

I’ve mapped out an easy 25 mile loop for myself: north along the coast to Calabardina, then a few off-road miles in the Cabo Cape regional park before picking up the pavement again and doubling back to town.

A view across the marina to the castle.
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I’ve gotten a later start than Rachael as usual, and when we cross paths by the marina she’s already been up to the castle and back. Hey, and there are her new walking shoes!
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Islote de la Aguilica, a Small lighthouse on the islet at the entrance to the harbor.
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There’s a fine cycling and walking path all the way to Calabardina. I remember it from our last stay here, when I’d wished we had time to explore it.
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I have a hunch we’ll be seeing a lot of shots like this in the coming days.
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Cope Tower, just south of Calabardina. Like the castle at Águilas, it was erected in the fifteen hundreds to protect this part of the coast from Barbary pirates.
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Calabardina: an attractive seaside village, originally a fishing village but now focused on tourism.
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In Calabardina.
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In Calabardina.
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This is the short coastal road I’ve been following so far. Here it leaves the coast and turns inland to join the main coast highway. I leave it here, with the idea that I’ll bike another couple of miles along the coast on an unpaved track through the regional park.
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#169: Common greenfinch, a first for me. It took a long time to figure out what this one was.
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My plan to ride this trail through the park is quickly abandoned when I discover that it is very sandy, steep, and rough.
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Back to the pavement.
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A tree I liked.
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#170: Crested lark. I’ve seen several of these in the last few days but finally got a decent shot. They’re pretty common here, once you know how to look for them.
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Steve Miller/GrampiesNice shot, but your numbering is a bit off. 169 to 180 in one bird is a little bit ambitious perhaps.
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2 months ago
Scott AndersonTo Steve Miller/GrampiesThanks for the correction. I’ve got it right in my master document at least. Just a typo.
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2 months ago
News to me. I wasn’t aware I’d been on it.
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I liked the ribboned field splayed out from the base of this hill.
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Janice BranhamOoh, I like this very much, but wonder what all the stripes are.
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2 months ago
Scott AndersonTo Janice BranhamI’m not sure, but my theory is that there’s a farmer with an artistic soul responsible for this.
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2 months ago
Another one.
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Well, this seems like it would be easy enough to identify, but I give up. Maybe you’ll have more luck.
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Bob KoreisUsing your map and brute force looking at Google satellite view I found this. There is a "now closed" mosque mark on the map, but it's to the west and is empty lot. Definitely looks like a mosque, but I'm not finding anything. funny bit here is that when I did an image search, the only thing that matched was a photo you took in 2019. You were stumped then as well.
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2 months ago
Scott AndersonTo Bob KoreisThanks for the attempt, Bob. It looks like a mosque to me too of course, and it puzzled me that I couldn’t find it. It makes sense that it’s closed, because it’s condition has deteriorated since four years ago, with more peeling paint.
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2 months ago

Eat

Were both back about 1:30.  I’m only a few blocks from our apartment when Rachael messages me that she’s waiting at the door to let me in - appreciated, because we’ve only got one key and it went with her.  Fifteen minutes later we’re changed and walking along the waterfront to the restaurant Rachael’s targeted for us when we come across El Pie Castillo Playa whose menu of the day appeals to both of us so we stop here instead.

Service is a little slow because they seem to be really short-staffed for the crowd that’s here today, but it’s a fine lunch and a real bargain.  €15 per gets us a four course spread - salad, appetizer, main and desert - plus a beverage.  We enjoy sitting at our table by the sea, charmed by other peoples’ children walking and crawling on the rock wall next to our table while we wait for our next course to arrive.  An excellent day.

 

I didn’t feel like I could take a photo of any of our neighbors’ kids, so I settled for this young yellow-legged gull, plaintively mewing for someone to throw him a treat.
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Today's ride: 17 miles (27 km)
Total: 292 miles (470 km)

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