This is María Pombo’s favorite fishing village


He docureality by Maria Pombo Its second season premieres on February 23 on Prime Video. The first part showed, among other things, his devotion to Almeria, one of the most unique coastal paradises on the Iberian Peninsula. Because towns like La Isleta del Moro, Rodalquilar or Las Negras and beaches like Mónsul, Genoveses or Los Muertos are unparalleled in our country.

But the town where the Pombashians bathed in crowds is Bitter water, a town with a seafaring tradition that serves as a link between the Levante of Almeria and the Cabo de Gata-Níjar Maritime-Terrestrial Natural Park. If you don’t know it yet, join us as we explore its streets and surroundings, full of trails and beaches.

Agua Amarga and the blessed ‘secarral’ of Cabo de Gata

Bitter Water – Source: Depositphotos

They told us about a New Year’s Eve listening to the sound of the waves of the sea under the soft, silver light of the moon. No noise blowers, no bells, no firecrackers. Just a bonfire, a guitar and some friends. And where do you say what it is? In Cabo de Gata, you have to go… And since then we have been fascinated by one of the most sublime places on the Spanish coast, a collection of towns, beaches and corners of wild beauty that never leaves us indifferent.

That is not a set phrase. It does not leave anyone indifferent because not all travelers appreciate this fierce and arid beauty, what some disdainfully call “secarral.” We understand it, everyone has their own idea of ​​beauty. Some cannot live without green, others prefer ocher. And then there are those who seek the trace of beauty in all shades. For those of us who come from the north, accustomed to its humid and vibrant nature, Almería is, without a doubt, a shocking landscape… but wonderfully stimulating.

That was before the invention of selfies and the influencers, when you could arrive at a beach one morning and receive the sunrise accompanied only by your nostalgia. And you didn’t take out your cell phone to immortalize the moment because you didn’t have a cell phone. You immortalized it with your memory.

But then you saw a group of people coming in the distance with a not very serene spirit. He was a photographer with a family: he was going to take some photos on the beach for the child’s communion. With a smile you left the plane free and you came back full after having ended months of discouragement with half an hour of unforgettable solitude in a dry land. Blessed dry land!

The sweet sensuality of Agua Amarga

Bitter Water - Source: Depositphotos
Bitter Water – Source: Depositphotos

And among the many blessed corners of Cabo de Gata, Agua Amarga is an emblem. It is located in the northeastern corner of the municipality of Nijaralready on the border with Carboneras. And like many of the towns in the area, it has an evident seafaring tradition.

The typical image of dozens of boats waiting for their moment on the sand of Agua Amarga beach is not just a photo to seduce the tourist by promising authenticityis a tribute to centuries of seafaring tradition that is still present, to a greater or lesser extent, along the entire coastline of Cabo de Gata.

Mine and traditional fishing in Agua Amarga

Bitter Water - Source: Depositphotos
Bitter Water – Source: Depositphotos

To get down to business, we can go to the mineral transport ruins that are located on the hill that flanks the town to the east. A route short but complex through the terrain full of stones, it brings us to the sections of a road that connected the Agua Amarga mineral pier with the mines of Lucainena de las Torresabout 50 kilometers to the west, already in the interior of the province.

It was the Sierra de Alhamilla mining company that promoted At the end of the 19th century, a mining railway route was created that would take the iron from Lucainena to be shipped in the Agua Amarga cove. The construction of this route revitalized the town so that for decades maritime traffic in the area was common.

But there was no lack of traditional fishing, the true origin of Agua Amarga, which still continues to fish around the Cape today. But it must be taken into account that the Almeria coast of Cabo de Gata is protected due to its great environmental value, which means that traditional fishing is also subject to regulation: currently there are 21 small fishing vessels with a base port in Almería and seven with base port in Carboneras those who are authorized to carry out their activity in the Cabo de Gata-Níjar Marine Reserve.

The heritage of fishing tradition can be savored, of course, walking through the streets of Agua Amarga, another captivating pleasure that is best enjoyed avoiding the high season. In this sense, the town is sandwiched (like others on the Almeria coast) between two hills, also divided in two by a central boulevard that leads to the beach.

To the west of the promenade, in addition to several well-known restaurants that offer those seafood delicacies that tourists seek so much, there are more places to dive in the origins of the town. On the western hill, known as El Cuartel, are the caves excavated with the help of water and wind erosion.

It seems that mining railroad workers once lived in these caves, although before that they would have been the home of pirates. Of course, since the 60s, like many other corners of the area, hippies also came looking for a refuge a little more solitary than the beaches invaded by European tourists. And crowning the hill, a bunkera memory of the Spanish Civil War that did not pass by in the province either.

But the bulk of the town is on the eastern side of the boulevard, where the whitewashed houses, palm trees and narrow streets They smell like the Mediterranean. Walk along Redonda Street or Chavala Street and maybe you will find some of the corners where the film was filmed. docureality de la Pombo and his troupe.

Of course, and like much of Cabo de Gata, in Agua Amarga you will also find numerous businesses linked to tourism, from hotels, to apartments and restaurants that, with greater or lesser fortune, try not to break the spell.

Hiking around Agua Amarga

Roldán Table - Source: Depositphotos
Roldán Table – Source: Depositphotos

But a visit to this town is not complete without some routes around its surroundings. Here we propose two, one that leads to the legendary Playa de los Muertos and another that brings us closer to the neighboring Las Negras.

Roland Table and the Dead

You will have the best views of Agua Amarga at Mesa Roldán, already in the municipality of Carboneras, one of the best viewpoints in the entire Cabo de Gata, the link between the park and the Levante Almeria. The beauty of this place did not go unnoticed by Hollywood who came here to film some scenes of Game of Thrones: one of his dragons flew over Mesa Roldán.

On this mountain you will find the tower built in times of Charles IIIwho worked hard to fill the coast with defensive constructions to protect this flank from pirates and rival powers, and the lighthouse, another of the emblems of the Almeria coast.

Beach of the Dead - Source: Depositphotos
Beach of the Dead – Source: Depositphotos

And what can be said that has not already been said about Playa de los Muertos, one of the most revered beaches on the Levantine coast. If you still do not know it, we remind you that access to it requires patiencebut perhaps if it were simpler it would still be more crowded than it is, at least in high season.

It owes its not very seductive name to the corpses of shipwrecked that were dragged by the sea currents that converge in this area: so be careful not to be too clever, the sea on this beach gives good scares.

From Bitter Water to Black Women

Cala de San Pedro - Source: Wikimedia
Cala de San Pedro – Source: Wikimedia

Finally, we recommend this wonderful path ideal to see first-hand the beauty of this stretch of coast, and also an excuse to swim in several of its beaches. They are somewhat less than 12 kilometers which can be covered in less than five hours, although depending on the stops you make along the way. And avoid, of course, the hottest days or threats of rain, which can be torrential in this area as we have seen more than once.

One of the first enclaves we pass after leaving Agua Amarga heading south is that of Cala de Enmedio, another Almeria icon: a beach framed by white walls composed mainly of volcanic ash. The next stop on this route takes us to Lead Coveanother old fishing village with some small houses before Punta del Plomo.

We left the coast for a while to see the San Pedro Landing where one of the best preserved natural landscapes of the park is located: the thermophilic steppe, those “drylands” that are divine for many species of birds that frequent the area.

And the last part of the route already on the way to Black onesanother Almeria legend, is full of impressive cliffs that once again demonstrate that this Mediterranean corner is a blessing for any lover of the wildest nature.

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