A Return to The Cliffs and Caldera - A Sunset Hike from San Jose to Los Escullos

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Wednesday 14 January 2015

A Return to The Cliffs and Caldera - A Sunset Hike from San Jose to Los Escullos

Well Tuesday certainly turned into an unexpectedly busy day, with 2 hiking excursions taking Esther out and about in the Cabo de Gata Natural Park: A morning walk, returning with her mum to see the Caldera de Majada Redonda that we had visited the previous week, followed by the two of us taking a stunning sunset hike along the GR92 clifftop path between San Jose and Los Escullos. Travelling with just the two of us we don't often get an opportunity to see and experience our adventure through the eyes of other people, but this past 10 days with Esther's parent visiting has done just that.

Setting off mid morning towards Presillas Bajas then hiking along the gravelly winding track towards the Caldera de Majada Redonda may have been the second visit for Esther, but returning with her mum reopened her eyes to some of the beautiful details we had begun to take for granted over the past few weeks. Her mum noticed and found great happiness in all of the different rock formations, hearing the clang of goat bells as a herd appeared down the mountainside and revelled in the natural beauty and tranquility of the Caldera, which we had also found to be a very emotional experience.

Esther also felt deeply happy sharing something that we are so passionate about with her mum and seeing her experience the same re-energising effect of being outside in nature that we feel so strongly whenever we hit the trail. Esther was really quite touched at how emotional her mum felt in reaching the heart of the caldera, which was a big achievement for her. When they got back, hearing and seeing the exhilaration of the hike in Esther's mum eyes I also realised that we had maybe already gotten used to some of the unique beauty of the Cabo de Gata natural park and felt grateful to be reminded of that.

Later that day after a brief pause we were off again, driving with Esther's mum and dad to San Jose for a hot drink in a pleasant beach cafe before we set off on our own to take the 10km or so hike back to Camping Los Escullos along the GR92 in the gathering twilight. We had walked some of this path once before in an out and back walk from the camping, but this time we were leaving at half past 4 in the evening and the fading light created a completely different atmosphere.

Once we had found our way out of San Jose we made our way up to the path just beneath Torre Cala Higuera, one of the many ancient watchtowers along the coast (such as Torre de los Lobos to the east). On a rocky promontory facing west into the sun we were treated to one of the most idyllic coastal outlooks we have yet discovered. With the sun low in the sky, made hazy by thin clouds on the horizon, we looked across the rough coastline of sandy bays, rocky protrusions and rolling hills behind. The softened sun cast a gentle light that reflected on the massive expanse of sea to our left, whilst to our right the arid desert landscape of Cabo de Gata extended as far as the eye could see all the way to the Sierra Alhamillas that we had hiked in the previous day (we could even see the radar mast on the summit of Mina that we had hiked to). It felt incredible to be able to see so many places we had already visited since arriving in the park, such as Los Genoveses beach and the viewpoints we'd hiked to along the coast including, in the distance the silhouette of the Torre de la Vela Blanca that we had cycled past.

It is hard to describe the peace and contentment that the jawdropping panorama inspired within us both and we just stood in awe at the power of nature to craft such beauty. Hearing the waves hitting the cliffs below, with seagulls wheeling in the sky it was hard to tear ourselves away.

As dusk gathered we did start to move eastward once again and picked our way along the winding clifftop path, appreciating the shadows cast upon the mountainside by the orange and pink light in the sky as air darkened around us until, as we reached Los Escullos it was fully dark. Seeing the twinkling lights of La Isleta del Moro further along the coast we turned inland and picked our way carefully across the rocky trail back to our camping to end another busy but fulfilling day in the Cabo de Gata Natural Park.

Related Posts:
10 Reasons to Visit the Cabo de Gata -Nijar Natural Park - Andalucia, Spain
12 Places to Visit and Things To Do in Cabo de Gata Natural Park
10 Hiking and Walking Routes in the Cabo de Gata - Nijar Natural Park

Looking over to San Jose, Genoveses beach and the Sierra Cabo de Gata

Looking over towards Sierra Alhamillas and the radar station at Mina in the distance.

Torre Vigia de Cala Higuera as the sun sets.

Walking the clifftop path (GR92) from San Jose

Leaving San Jose on the GR92 in the evening light.

Caldera de Majada Redonda

Esther hiking with her mum to the Caldera.

How did this get here?

Simple pleasures - watching the goats and sheep come down the mountainside.

Enjoying San Jose with family

Esther and her Mum and Dad at San Jose

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