Sangria That Blows Your Socks Off!
I am sure that I will be hotly disputed, but the finest sangria I have experienced in Spain, is of the Mazarron kind.
Secret recipes are protectively guarded from bar to bar so we were told by various bar owners, who took the matter quite seriously.
I was also told, one of the secret ingredients for a decent sangria, is cinnamon sticks.
Look out for the sangria local to this region - I can assure you, it blows your socks off! (Not that I wear socks in Spain, I hasten to add!) Deceptively sweet, it is not for lunchtime drinking (she speaks from experience).
Here is a basic recipe, you can adjust to your own taste accordingly.
1 1/2 L Red wine (Cabernet Sauvignon)
1 cup Sugar
1 large Lemon, sliced
1 large Orange, sliced
1 large Apple, cut into thin sections
3-4 oz plain Brandy
Mix wine, sugar and fruit, and let sit in the fridge for 18-24 hours. The mixture will have a somewhat syrupy consistency. Before serving stir in brandy and cut the mixture with soda water until it have a thinner, more wine like consistency. Serve from a pitcher in wine glasses.
You may use orange or lemon flavored soda instead of the soda water.
meander in the mountains!
I'd advise hiring a car in this area. If you do, you'll be able to drive to any number of picturesque hilltop villages, or around undulating green hills like the ones below. You never know what you might find.
We would sometimes come across an abandoned monastery, or a swimming pool with fabulous views, and once we even managed to drive into a restricted military zone in our ignorance. Oops!
Amapola's Puerto de Mazarron Page
"Bolnuevo and Beyond"
Puerto de Mazarron is a sea-side town on the Costa Calida (warm coast). Distinctly lacking in high rise hotels and the usual 'tourist tat' , it is mainly frequented by Spanish and British villa owners at Easter and summer and much of the surrounding areas are generally very unspoilt. There are miles of beautiful unspoilt Mediterranean golden sand beaches to while away the hours on. (Although sadly, I have heard there has been alot of villa buiding going on in recent years).
There is quite a large British ex -pat population, but you can grab a bit of simple, unspoilt Spain here very easily and there are some amazingly unspoilt beaches to laze around on further out of town at Bolnuevo.
Beyond Bolnuevo is one of my special places. The mountains beyond Bolnuevo (pictured) come right down to the sea - perfect. This is apparently protected for turtle breeding I believe and therefore unspoilt. (Well, it certainly was when I was last there and you can see in the foto above?) There are 27 small bays and inlets,reched by a an unmade road, which casues you on occasion sto stop, get off bike or gt out of vehicle and remove the odd alrge rock from your path. You have to climb down the rocks and cliffs to the little beaches, mostly empty of the human race.
What a great view of nothing except nature's gifts you can have while lying on the beach in those little bays. (Keep meaning to climb that hill)!
Clothes around these parts, are optional.
Take plenty of water, you may get stuck on the unmade road.
"El Puerto is attractive low-rise fishing port with long beaches of dark sand broken up by charming rocky coves. The resort is linked to the town of Mazarron further inland. There is live music and a street party most evenings during the lively summer months , but out of season, youc an have much of the beach to yourslef. Here you can enjoy mountain walking, scuba diving and sailing".
Although it remains untouched by the major tour operators it still contains numerous bars and international restaurants as well as a couple of English bars for your football and Sunday roast. The Spanish seafood restaurants are especially good and you will find prices very resonable indeed.
As far as I know, there is no MacDonalds there, or at least the last time I was there.
"Puerto de Mazarron"
I have many fond memories of Puerto de Mazarron, as we owned an apartment there until i was 18, and we visited almost every summer.
The photo above shows a nearby beach and rocky promontory which I used to climb on. On the near side the water was quite rough and the beach more pebbly, whilst on the other side the beach was sandier and the water calm.
The Costa Calida is along the coast from the busy Costa del sol and is more popular with Spanish holidaymakers than foreign tourists.
There are quite a few things to do, or places to go within driving distance.
There were some spectacular sunsets...
This church is a good example of traditional local buildings; they were often made from a sandy-coloured stone like this.
I have several more photos of Mazarron and the surrounding area in my travelogues, please take a look!