I had heard people talk about this cove before. About its glistening, white sand and its warm, turquoise water. A sanctuary for pirates in days of old, and more modern tales of hippies making the cove their own. I had heard the stories of a fresh water spring and an abandoned 18th century fortress overlooking the palm trees. Of the difficulty of getting there due to dangerous footpaths. But none of this could have prepared me for the scene I would walk into. After a long hike in the unforgiving summer heat I made my way past the ancient fortress down a series of dusty steps through a small, wooded path. In a clearing among the trees and bushes I eventually came across the fabled natural spring. A small rivulet of fresh, clear water emanating from the rocks into a small stone pool. The very same water that through the centuries had attracted so many seafarers to find refuge here. A young woman sat by the pool, delicately washing herself with nothing on but a bone dangling from her necklace and a tribal tattoo on her arm. She was pouring water over her tanned body with the use of an old, broken bottle. A timeless scene in a beautiful setting. Her name I did not ask, the name of the cove I will keep to myself.
Heaven on Earth... If such a place exists I place my bet on the Nature Reserve called Cabo de Gata on the South-Easternmost tip of mainland Spain. Not only is it full of secluded coves and beaches, it is also a place which is totally laid back. No high rise hotels, and no sun beds for rent. Entirely my cup of tea!