Sunday, 31 March 2019

Spain & Portugal Winter Sun 2019. La Manga. Part 5

We arrived in La Manga with the great excitement you feel when arriving at a new place!
It was a large site on the edge of the Mar Menor lagoon so seemed a promising venue. We were booked in for 10 days.

We arrived and parked up in the very large car park by reception. We were told to report to the rally stewards who would allocate a pitch. We were shown four pitches all in the same location by one of the roads and picked one by a static hut the rally pitches were all in the same area. Driving to the pitch we passed rows of permanent static and huts crammed next to each other. We thought things have to improve. We finally manoeuvred onto our pitch running the gauntlet of the traffic on the road. We were told that if we wanted sun in a quiet location we were could use the sun spot across the road by the swimming pool.

A large pitch with a bit of shade.

The rally site. Quite spacious but because of the gravel roads and dry conditions it was horribly dusty. The " La Manga Cough" could be heard echoing across the site!

The rally tent. Could the watch word here be "off duty". Only three sets of rally stewards for all those campers. Guess we had been spoilt at Castillo de Banos.

It very quickly became apparent that our pitch was by a very busy exit road. There were other pitches free but we had only been offered road side pitches. As newbies here we didn't realise the implications.

After 24 hours of constant traffic, walkers, cyclists, dogs and noise we had really had enough! To make matters worse the toilet block which was at the other side of the rally area was very poor. Clean but decidedly in need of a revamp. More like bad school changing rooms, water was hot but came and went from hot to cold. To add to the mix  there was only barely tepid water in the washing up sinks, which were not too clean, outside and prone to blocking up.

We decided to explore. Very good supermarket on site with reasonable prices. On the first night we tried the beach side restaurant and had an excellent meal at a very good price. It was a pretty beach with lots going on and there were quite a few bike tracks.

 We rode out to the light house and into La Manga Menor, a challenging ride for some of us! The edge of the lagoon housed the lighthouse of Cabo de Palos a very touristy area though well worth a look around.

By the end of day three we were ready to move. The noisy pitch was taking it's toll. We contacted the Camping & Caravanning Club and booked another site we had two more nights left to endure at La Manga. The rally stewards did at this stage offer to move us but we really couldn't be bothered.

 We decided to take the bus to Cartagena. A good decision. The bus ride through the outlying Spanish villages was worth the journey.

Cartegena was an interesting place to wander in. We saw all the usual attractions The Roman Theatre of Cathago Nova which was easy to view from above.

The port is now a major cruise ship destination so it does get busy. 

We walked around the port explored the old town and had  a very nice huge tapas lunch before catching the bus back.

Our final day at La Manga and we thought we would go for a farewell bike ride!

I should have known the place was jinxed! 
I should have known better than to follow Den!

I fell off!!!

A huge bruise and scrapes and a hurt hand. Den did rescue me before he checked the camera and the bikes all of which were fine. I heroically rode the bike ( which was too big for me! ) home. I need a new bike that fits.

I survived to happily leave La Manga and hopefully never return. Although we may consider a night if in the area and if desperate!

Seriously, we enjoyed exploring this part of Spain. We had a lovely evening with friends we had made on the previous campsite who were also at La Manga. A big thank you to Trish and Peter for company, food and to Trish for bravely making pancakes in her van for everyone. She deserves a medal.

 Den spent many a happy hour corresponding with the other happy campers on the La Manga Rally Facebook page about the facilities, before he was blocked! We have yet to work out why anyone would wish to go there for weeks on end. I guess each to their own.

Next stop Villa Nova just outside Barcelona. Let's hope it's a good one.

Oh and all my injuries have healed up and Den got me a new small mountain bike. Thanks XXX


  1. You are right We'll book fire t in future. Rallies are not for us it seems.

  2. Sorry finger trouble. We will book direct next time although I doubt we will be back. Enjoyed the holiday though.