Stage 1.21: Almería – Los Escullos, Spain

In which I follow a long beachside path, run kilometres through a natural park, and after a marathon come to the end of the southern coast.

Today is cloudy, and a breeze is blowing across the sea. It’s about 9°C colder than the last couple of runs, and this makes a world of different; running in this temperature is far, far more pleasant.

An easy path alongside the sea, with no traffic busier than runners and cyclists. Very early into the run, I start to really enjoy myself—more than I have on some runs of late.
The path descends now and then, but even this is with slopes, rather than steps.
I follow the bends around, the way lined by tall trees.
A path leads into the park, but thankfully this one isn’t flooded. I run towards the mountains.
Looking behind me, I see the town nearly placed before the mountain.
Now and then, pools of water. These are nice for reflections, but some pools look stagnant and discoloured.
The path becomes more structured as I approach some huge seafront hotels. Without warning, my run slows to a walk; my stomach’s feeling uncomfortable again. This continues for a couple of kilometres or so, with it impossible to run.
Once more on my way, I pass a hamlet of cafés and bars. Pretty much every one is shut.
The discolourations in the water mix with the greens and browns of the trees to create interesting reflections.
A sandy path, alongside and then across the riverbed.
Further up where I cross, it’s completely dry. I rejoin the road, and refuel at a petrol station.
Nooooooo! More vegetables! :O At least there’s more of a view, this time…
This track looks like fun! :)
It’s hard not to be sobered, when seeing roadside crosses or bunches of flowers.
The hills roll around on either side, catching the last hour or so of light.
The road wiggles its way towards a particularly fine set of hills. The textures of these surprise me; they’re more like a video game than what I’d expect of nature. I guess I just haven’t seen enough. :)
The hills are tall enough for the sun to disappear a fair bit before sunset. All that can be seen is the colours glowing upwards. I’ve reached Los Escullos, in the heart of the natural park. There’s pretty much nothing else around for ages, even a village. The run has been uneventful, and mostly enjoyable; in fact, it’s one of my most relaxing runs yet on this trip. :) And in a way, this is some kind of end within my trip; I’ve travelled east pretty much as far as I can, and after this will begin to head north and then north-east. So, I’ve pretty much crossed the southern coast of Spain. Checkpoint. 43.0 km (stage) / 651.6 km (total)