Our first sight of the Alicante region heading south from Alicante airport was so different from everything I knew about Spain. Passing Santa Pola we came to the salt lakes. I’d seen salt lakes many times before, but not like this. They stretched way into the distance towards the far away hills, lining both sides of the road. A few of the lakes are still part of the successful and long-standing salt industry and later I would see some being harvested. Most however are preserved for nature, forming the 15 kilometer (or so) Parc Natural de Salinas de Santa Pola. The landscape reminded me a little of the English Fens, except the Fens don’t have flamingos! As we drove further south down the N332 coast road we came to pine woods acting as a natural sea defence to stop the dunes being washed away. Where was this ‘concrete jungle’ I had heard so much about?
We saw signs to various villages and urbanisations. I knew we didn’t want to buy on a small urbanisation built just for the ex-pats in the middle of nowhere, so we didn’t stop. We wanted to be by the sea. Then came Guardamar de Segura, a midium-size Spanish town, known for its 7km of beaches, dunes and the pine woods. It’s traditional in style, most homes are in relatively low rise apartments, narrow streets and a bustling town centre. At the northern end of the town along the beach is a long row of old fisherman’s cottages. Tiny in size it is hard to believe large families lived in them for many years, some are still owned by fishermen. A touch of local history preserved. There are a few high rise hotels and apartments and in the last few years permission has been given to develop the land on the other side of the N332, so this was the first point where we saw buildings on both sides of the road and also new builds under construction, but not for long.
Dave and Bev Townsend have two homes, their main one in Norwich and a second home in Playa Flamenca in south Costa Blanca, Spain which they also let as a holiday rental www.house-by-the-pool.com They run a property finding business offering a free service for those seeking to buy a property in the Costa Blanca (Alicante) or the Mar Menor area of the Costa Calida (Murcia) www.SpanishDreamProperty.com Bev has family in Spain and they intend to move there full-time in a couple of years.