Cycling to Torre de los Lobos from Camping Los Escullos - Sun, Sea, Sand, Snow and Mountains

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Tuesday 30 December 2014

Cycling to Torre de los Lobos from Camping Los Escullos - Sun, Sea, Sand, Snow and Mountains

Ever since we first settled in to Cabo de Gata almost 2 weeks ago we had looked east to the sight of a distant tower high on a rocky outcrop right above the Mediterranean sea. We didn't, at first, know what it was called or what it was for, but we knew immediately that the view would be pretty spectacular and today was the day we decided to find out. We were certainly feeling inspired after the stunning views of Los Genoveses Beach we had enjoyed just the day before.

Having picked up a hiking map of the Cabo de Gata National Park (1:50000) we knew it would be roughly a 10km ride followed by several kilometres of hiking to reach the summit of the outcrop, Cerro de los Lobos at 265m. Setting off into a challenging headwind along the AL-4200 directly from our campsite the sun overhead in a clear blue sky did its best to keep us warm as we struggled to overcome the gusts driving us back.

Passing Los Escullos and La Isleta del Moro nestled against the Mediterranean sparkling in the mid afternoon sun we soon found ourselves climbing a 10% gradient towards Mirador de la Amatista, a stunning viewpoint overlooking the coastline. We couldn't help but take a break and absorb the scale of the panorama revealed from the promontory, right back along the coast we has been riding towards the El Frailes (3 monks) peaks butted right up against the sea.

Pushing on again and cresting the short but steep climb, we cruised downhill past the town of Rodalquilar, soon afterwards finding the marked road that led towards our target. Pleasantly surprised to find the trail tarmaced we continued riding, supposing that at some point it would become a rough track and we'd lock the bikes and walk from there. However, that moment never came. We did have to walk the bikes around a fence barring the way for cars, but the access road to the summit although narrow and winding continued right to the top.

Cycling uphill for the first time since Col du Pailheres more than a month ago felt amazing. Looking back to see the road twisting below and ahead to see it climbing further was an invigorating reminder of our summer exploits in our bikes. Plus the view was staggeringly good. Away to the west the undulating coastline of the Natural Park stretched away, revealing countless cliffs and bays with waves breaking hard on the rocks, whilst behind us to the north red hills extended across our view with the even higher Sierra Alhamilla mountains behind Nijar. Some of those distant peaks were even topped with snow. The view really had everything we adored, sun, sea, sand, snow and mountains.

Arriving at the summit we gazed in awe at the scene on offer, which got even better when we reached the Torre de los Lobos to see the eastern coastline as well. The view from the tower (which we discovered now serves as a lighthouse) showed the marked relief of the nature reserve and revealed the true isolation of this natural park and unspoilt landscape. Apart from a small cluster of buildings here and there, the traces of civilisation were few and far between.

We happily sat in the afternoon sun watching boats on the sparkling sea and birds wheeling over the distant mountains for as long as we could before we began the journey home. What had started out as just a short ride to explore had turned into one of the best views we had found in weeks and we felt very grateful for it. We were even  helped along by the gusting wind that had driven us back just an hour or so beforehand.

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

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