An off-road tour around Murcia Province
Leaving Playa Flamenca, I chose to follow the Canal de Riegos de Levante, as I cycled the coastal track already a week ago cycling down to Cartagena. A strong tail wind blows me in 3 hrs all the way back to the hills, west of Cartagena and a picturesque and quiet wild camping spot.
Next day I ride through the (sometimes steep ) hills of the Sierra de la Muela down to the coast at Isla Plana. This is a piece of Spanish coast without roads or buildings, just a few hiking (or biking) trails.
After Puntas de Calnegre there’s a roller coaster dirt track along the coast. Sometimes too steep to cycle. I spot a completely deserted beach below. It’s quiet a task to get down the steep rock and through the bushes with the bike, but I ‘m rewarded with a private beach for the evening and some wonderful camping. Even near the end of the year, the water temperature is still fine enough for a quick wash and swim.
Continuing along the coast I pass Aguilas, a nice little town in the far south of Murcia province.
Right at the provincial border, I turn inland towards Lorca through a rambla and some orange orchards. Impossible to find a camping spot. I end up in Lorca and am forced to take a hotel for the night.
After Lorca, I mount into the hills towards the ‘Embalse de Puentes’. Many trees are still standing in the artificial lake but none are surviving.
Through a very dry area, I reach Caravaca de la Cruz, a really neat town, also the end of the famous ‘Camino de la Vera Cruz’, which start in the north of Spain. There’s a beautiful sanctuary at the top of the hill.
The least interesting part of the trip was the part between Cehegin and Calasparra. At the end of a long day, I pitched the tent at dusk in the Sierra del Puerto, just north of ‘Estacion de Calasparra’, at the border with Albacte.
Now a really fantastic day follows, all on very decent gravel roads. From the Sierra del Puerto I headed to the spectacular ‘Cabeza del Asno’ mountain.
I continued along the norhern part of the Sierra Larga towards the Sierra Santa Ana.
In Jumilla, I could finally buy some food again. Following the small A15 road, meandering through vinyards, it was again just after dusk before I found a place to pitch the tent. Barking dogs keep annoying the wild camper in Spain. And I don’t seem to be alone, as I met an other couple on bikes that shared the same complaints.
A combination of minor roads and dirt tracks through the Sierra del Carche and the beautiful Sierra de la Pila, I ended up in Murcia. I only spend an hour in town to do buy some bread, cheese and fruit.
South of Murcia, I climbed towards the Santuario de la Fuensanta, then over the pass and back towards the coast at Playa Flamenca for a few weeks of rest.
Vuelta a Murcia:
Distance: 556 km
Average km per cycling day: 79,42 km
Altimeter: 7.597 m
Nights slept inside: 1 (Lorca)
Nights slept outside: 5 (all wild camping)
Flat tires: 1
The Gps track can be downloaded from Wikiloc