Valencia, this narrow nature reserve containing a network of lagoons separated from the sea by the Devesa dune system, had been a fantastic discovery back in December. With miles of golden sandy beaches, rolling dunes and pine forests interlaced with a network of cycling and hiking tracks we had enjoyed a wonderfully peaceful stay here before and so knew it would be the perfect place to say goodbye to the Mediterranean coast for this visit as well.
Walking gently south to the small river inlet around 3-4km away before doubling back, we reveled in the warmth of the afternoon, taking deep breaths of the fresh, salty air. After a pleasant cycle home we completed the day with an evening reading in the setting sun and a clear sky full of stars. Perfect.
It was incredible how different a beach can feel each day, still beautiful but ever in motion and changed. This stretch of beach does have a few buildings along it, but they are so understated in comparison to other Spanish beach resorts they barely detract from the walk. Another blue sky treated us to a hot sun which made for another wonderful walk, full of joy, followed by another peaceful evening and a spectacular sunset.
As you might expect Thursday also followed a similar pattern with a morning jog again, followed by a return to our favourite section of beach.
Which brings us to Friday and finally time to really say farewell to the Mediterranean for this adventure. With our planned route cutting inland then north to Zaragoza and up through the Pyrenees into France, this would be the last time we would gaze on the sparkling sea beneath a cloudless sky.
Lying in the sand, listening to the waves and feeling the breeze we reflected on our time in Spain. Already Cabo de Gata felt like a dream, although we'd only left a week before. It seems to be the nature of travelling that continuous change really emphasises each moment and fades the past quickly, reminding us to appreciate everything to the full and then look ahead. It is a lesson we hope we always carry with us, whatever the future holds.
Although we felt sad to be saying goodbye to the coast, and especially this beach, we also felt excited to find out what was to come. With over 2300km to cover we have no idea what we will find in our final days on the road before our boat to the UK.