On leaving Oliva we were going to head to Isla Plana to stay at Los Modriles (1 of our favourite Spanish sites in 2017), but instead decided to head a little inland to try a new area and different site.
We found ourselves slightly north of Murcia in a little town called Banos de Fortuna, just a few kilometres past the town of Fortuna, but otherwise pretty much in the middle of nowhere up in the mountains.
The clue is in the name ‘Banos’ meaning ‘thermal’. We didn’t immediately realise this or that this was a proper spa town. Not until we took a different turn on coming home from the mountains one day and found lots of people wandering around in their dressing gowns!
We did struggle to find the original spring, although there were a couple of contenders. There were also 2 campsites; we were staying on La Fuente – not an amazing site but it was home to the, simply amazing, thermal pools 🙂 I wouldn’t be at all surprised if we revisited on our return journey!
The area is very special with the underground water providing a particular environment for rare grasses. The main picture was taken from our van as the sun went down – and this was our view every morning and evening.
The area was settled originally by the Romans and we rode up into the mountains to find the Cuevas de Negra. Amazing views but steep inclines on the way – Calv rode his bike all the way up to the caves and then had to come back for mine, as I’d resorted to pushing and was really struggling…
At the bottom of the final incline we found a large abandoned building which was completely open – so we had a look. This answered some questions about why there are so many ruined buildings around. There were massive cracks running down the walls. Calv says that these buildings have no foundations and that is another explanation. (Also, we’re now convinced that all Spanish buildings are rendered to cover up the diabolical brickwork – we have now seen the backs of many many walls – it’s a shocker!)
We took a wrong turn on the way back and ended up in the traffic in the, fairly busy, town of Fortuna. We discussed going further this way, but didn’t really like the feel of the town so headed back up the main road to the site.
On the way we found an English bar, Tina’s Bar, so stopped for a quick drink. It turns out that there is a large ex-pat community in the area.
The next day we headed out again in search of the original spring and evidence of any roman settlement. We still have no idea if we found anything, although we did manage to convince ourselves that we might have done! It was a mini-adventure though coming back down the ‘mountain’ that we had gone up, as the way we went was marked as private land and we ended up clambering down the terraces (which wasn’t as easy as it might sound), and then making our way to the road via an unofficial rubbish tip (that’s what it felt like anyway!!)
Our final day was spent by the pool. It cost 6 Euros (which is the normal price for non-campers, but we didn’t purchase ahead of time so got no discount).
It was worth every penny. Not only was there a constant temperature of 38degrees, there where jacuzzis and massage jets that were every bit as good as having a real massage 🙂
All in all a fitting end to our time here. Our next stop was back on the coast at a site we’d previously stayed at, Mar Azul – we weren’t initially heading there but more of that in my next post 🙂