92km El Alquian – Adra
After watching the sun rise over the beach this morning, the rest of the day turned out to be one of function over beauty. The route we took along the coast made the most sense, as we head towards our next farmstay, but it certainly wasn’t scenic. Quite the opposite. First we passed the back of Almeria’s airport, where we’d seen several low-cost British airlines land and take off, then we made our way along a busy highway which had little on it, aside from the coastal resort of Aguadulce, and finally we were plunged into a never-ending strip of plastic greenhouses which lasted for most of the afternoon.
Peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes – all being grown in huge quantities, no doubt for the export market, and harvested by people who appeared to our eyes to be quite poor and living in less than glamourous surroundings. Occasionally a house popped up between the greenhouses, normally surrounded by garbage strewn fields. It certainly gave us food for thought, about just what lies behind the veggies on our dinner plates.
When we finally emerged from the rows of plastic it was in the town of Almerimar, which could not have presented a bigger contrast to what we had just seen. Here every street was immaculate. No garbage in sight, just lush golf courses, luxury hotels and of course plenty of new holiday apartments under construction.
Between the golf courses and the greenhouses, who knows how much water is being sucked up each day. We have since read that one golf course uses water equivalent to a village of 12,000 people each year. Amazing since in this area we have yet to see a river that isn’t bone dry.
Even the campground we had hoped to spend the night at had been closed, bought up by a developer for the next set of homes.
We continued on, soon returning to the strips of greenhouses as we passed along the coast. We did get a smile as three racing cyclists passed us with santa hats on, although it appears they weren’t laughing for long as a little way down the road we passed them on the side of the road. They had been pulled over by the police, who were writing out tickets for not wearing helmets. Finally we found a campground, tucked away behind the modern agriculture. With a name like Las Vegas we thought it might be quite pricey, but this little 3rd class place is quite the find. A good price, complete with hot water and a beer that comes in cheaper than our coffee this morning. If only we didn’t have to get to our farm we might stay more than one day!