We left our villa in Mojacar this morning and got on the road to the Mar Menor. The Mar Menor is a salty lagoon in the south-east of the province of Murcia. The lagoon is separated from the Mediterranean by La Manga, a sandbar 22 km in length and ranging in width from 100m to 1200m. It is a very thin spit of land in places.
I had heard a lot about La Manga and was very keen to see it. apparently it is home to famous footballers and golfers and is the place to go in this area. We did not venture into the La Manga Club Resort and I think if we had, we would have seen a beautiful golf and leisure resort with fantastic accommodation.
What we saw was a very different story. We saw unfinished buildings, too much graffiti and sad little shopping strips that had clearly seen better days. This area summed up the reality of what Spain has been through in the last few years. The financial crisis in 2007 was devastating for them. This has been apparent at times throughout our journey but not to the extent it is here.
It is a very dreary day today and a bit of sun changes everything, so perhaps we are not seeing it in the best light. Equally it is pretty much closed down for winter so not much life about.
It’s not all doom and gloom, there are some pretty apartment blocks, although it is all very high-rise. In amongst it there are some lovely developments and beautiful villas but I feel they are let down by some of their neighbouring properties and areas.
We came back onto the mainland and visited the villages of Isla Menores, Los Nietos and Los Urrutias. Whilst these are not the prettiest places I have seen, I am sure they would look a bit better if the sun was out! The story is quite similar this side of the Mar Menor. There are many properties closed down for winter and some don’t look as if they have been occupied for years.
The roads were covered with some sort of muddy sand which did not help. I saw on the internet that the residents of Los Urrutias had been battling with the council over the state of the beach, so maybe that is still going on.
I think they will recover over time. They have promise because they are in a beautiful spot and these little villages just need a little bit of TLC. Los Nietos has a marina now and is spoken of as ‘up and coming’ I really hope that it comes about for them. Anyone looking for a bargain property will find one here now for sure, you can pick up a 1 bed town house for £35,000.
A Google street view of Los Urrutias beach ….
We headed next for Los Alcázares, which is where we are staying. More on that later.