We were up in reasonable time this morning, this at least demonstrated our good intentions to get in to Cartagena in good time, even if it didn't actually materialise.
We must have been among the first up, as we had our shower cubicles to ourselves. Mine was one of two male cubicles for the site which had a door with the top and bottom missing. First I had to press the button to operate the shower, then close the door and stand outside the cubicle until hot water ran through. Then in I went for my shower. With only having the middle half of a door, I had to stand my toilet bag outside on the floor and reach under every time I wanted something. Unfortunately I couldn't move it away far enough to avoid it getting very wet from the escaping shower water at the bottom. With lovely hot weather like this it isn't a problem as a few hours out in the sun and it's soon dry, but it would be a problem on a wet day. In fact the whole campsite/car park would be a problem in the rain as the sand and grid surface would become very messy and tread in everywhere. But it's not raining, the sun is shining, we are only paying €10 a night, the free internet was so good last night that we were able to watch the rest of Channel 4's 'Mutiny' documentary series. Very entertaining.
I decided to only take the pocket camera out with me today as the SLR gets a bit heavy in the backpack along with other bits that get dragged along, besides hand-on-heart I wasn't too sure what was in the town anyway. I knew it was a port with a Spanish Navy presence and a Roman Theatre.
We timed the bus from just down the road just right, it was there in just a few minutes. The fare was €2.40 for two singles which wasn't too bad for the 5km journey. En-route we were able to get our bearings. Santa Ana is clearly a suburb of Cartagena, and a nice one at that. Better than some of the other communities we passed through getting closer to the town.
We got off the bus at the suggested stop and then promptly lost our bearings. Every time this happens I kick myself because every time it happens I say to The Chef "Remind me next time and we'll bring the spare satnav". We have the Garmin satnav locked away in the safe which we used throughout America, and, with European mapping used in the UK and, unexpectedly to Istanbul and back, but that's another story. Had we bought it along with us we could, at any time, turn it on and get our location along with other streets around our location. Perhaps one day we'll remember. Never mind, getting lost has often had benefits for us, as we stumble across unexpected things of interest.
We made our way downhill, the theory being that would bring us to the marina area. En-route we came across a few Roman bits and pieces (listen to him using them fancy archaeological terms) including the Forum area. Being cheapskates we didn't need to pay to go in as I could stick the camera through the railings and click away.
Eventually we found ourselves outside the Town Hall, a magnificent building I have to say. We decided that it would be a fitting location for our cheapie lunch. But before sitting down, having felt a bit smug that we were unlikely to bump in to too many Brits here - there it was, on a restaurant billboard close by - Cream Teas! Not only were they offering Cream Tea's, but they'd written it in English. These Bits get absolutely everywhere.
We then Ummed and Ahhed as to whether or not we should go and have a look around the Roman Theatre. I would quite liked to have done, but The Chef wasn't too fussed. Eventually she succumbed and in we went - €6 a head reduced to €5 each for old gits like us. The Chef was quite impressed. There was a museum to look around before finally getting to look at the theatre, it also had lovely clean toilets, at our age you have to think strategically. I have to say the ambiance of the theatre location would have been much enhanced had they not permitted a prison-design block of flats to be built behind it and permitted the residents to hang rows of washing out to dry on their balcony's.
Having had a good look around and taken a few pictures we made our way down to the marina area before making our way back to the bus stop.
Cartagena - a nice place, very historical in its own way, and better appreciated I'm sure if you're Spanish. We're pleased we did it but don't feel the need to return at sometime in the future - I wish now we'd had one of those Cream Tea's.
Back at the campsite/car park we sat out in the hot sunshine before enjoying our evening meal, a creation from The Chef involving the slow cooker, which we left on whilst out (with a time switch for safety) some vegetables and Potatoes Au Natural (she couldn't be bothered to mash them).
Tomorrow we are on the road for about three days. The plan is to go back up to Mercia, then turn left towards Granada stopping at Gaudix to look at the cave dwellings, then drop back down to the seaside in the Malaga area.
I will try and update the blog as we go.