Playa El Canuelo

Oh how we love El Canuelo beach! We were there yesterday and it was heaven.

It is ten minutes drive from Maro, situated in the Cerro Gordo Nature Reserve, and just on the border of Granada province. The prevalence of mountains makes for winding roads.

 A hidden, wild beach, down a deep incline that is not easy to get to. We are glad really, as it`s so unspoilt. It was simply a day of baking hot sun, swimming in cool, clear water ,where a few yachts had dropped anchor, and the sound of the cicadas chirruping away incessantly,( which seems to enhance the heat of the day).

When you drive along the coast road, you can glimpse its beauty below the cliffs , luring you down. I always stop and swoon, and I never tire of taking photographs. It`s a gentle crescent of sand and shingle, fringed with a profusion of wild fennel, ( and lots of wild flowers earlier in the year),with scrub and herb covered precipitous cliffs, and lime and dark green coloured pine trees at the top.

 The sea, is so deep in colour it could be the Caribbean, a carpet of blue and turquoise, that spreads out in the gaps between the pine and olive trees.

The water is gin clear, ( a great place to snorkel), filled with shoals of saddled seabream fish-silver darlings imprinted with a sharp black spot, that hurry away when you enter the water. Mind you I have had the odd nip on my leg from them.

The only way down the steep ( scary in parts),dusty track, is on foot (aagghhh no!), or, between June and September by mini bus. The bus runs between 10am and 8pm, ( with an hour off for lunch), and in July and August do get there early ,as the queue of people loaded with beach kit and picnics, snakes down the hill to the road. It costs two euros each for a return trip.

The track down, at the moment, due to the thick heat, and the wind ,and the to-ing and fro-ing of the buses, is shrouded heavily in dust. So much so, that the groves of scrubby olive trees at the side of the road, almost look as though they are covered in snow.

There are two chiringuitos. Do book. We always head to the one of the left , the sea facing `Las Piedras`, ( stones), made indeed of large , uneven, pale stones. In fact it`s so well camouflaged , that you can hardly see it, save for the ancient gnarled olive trees ,and shocking pink and red pops of colour of the hibiscus , geraniums and oleander that are planted in front of the steps to the restaurant. It is beautifully cool , a great place for lunch , sitting under a dappled ,pergola type roof , heavy with vines and ivy. The food is good ,and the staff are lovely. It took me a while when we first started going there to understand the two brothers who own it , so strong is their `Andaluz` accent.

If you look up at the cliffs behind it ,  you can still see the remains of terraces when once it was undoubtedly farmed right down to the beach. There is one large, sprawling  house at the edge of the beach, which has been a holiday rental, but is now for sale, and we sit in the sun with our friends, fantasising about buying this rural idyll for a weekend `party` house, a place to picnic and swim in the moonlight, then we realise how much money it needs spending on it and abandon the idea..

The lovely Dani is in charge of renting the few available sunbeds and umbrellas there, and they get snapped up pretty quickly-again, book ahead. He is quite a character, and he is another one that confirms my theory that Spanish men talk far more than Spanish women. All day, on the phone or off the phone, I love it!

Depending on how the ever-changing tides have hit the beach, there can be deep shelving in the shingle to get into the water. Do wear aqua shoes, ( neoprene, inexpensive and decidedly un-glamourous).But they have changed my life! I have spent years struggling in and out of a pebbly bottomed sea bed , crawling out sometimes even, in fits of laughter-trying to get back up onto the beach. Not a good look!

But having arrived on this stretch of beach on the first bus, when it is quiet, and there are not many people there, and you go down to the sea for that first drench in the water, and you look up and over the cliffs to the blue ,blue sky, it is heaven indeed.

The view from Las Piedras
Delicious food

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