My name is Shaun and I`ve run the Expat in Mazarron YouTube channel since arriving here in Spain in 2015. It’s all about me living in Spain, where I live (Camposol), places of interest, property, walking and many more things about Spain. I’ve also set up a group called Camposol Explorers which is about going out exploring once a month in the Murcia Region and beyond. If you want to join, please contact me on my FaceBook group Expat in Mazarron.

The past month (March) the weather has been awful so it was lovely to have a sunny warm day to go out and explore. We had over an hours drive to our first location, driving through some amazing countryside. The outing was to explore the Calasparra area.

First location: ‘Santuario Virgen de la Esperanza’/Our Lady of Hope Sanctuary ( Sat-Nav ‘Sanctuary of Hope’ -). Free carpark, toilets, plenty of walks, picnic areas, gift shop, restaurant, play area for young children and the main attraction, the church in the mountain. We parked in the bottom carpark but if you don’t like steps, park in the main carpark. The Santuario is built inside a natural cave, which goes back to the 17th century. 

It was built after a Shepherd discovered 2 statues of the Virgen de la Esperanza in the cave, one being so heavy it was impossible to carry back to the town so the locals decided it should stay and built the church and the Shepherds home on this spot.

If you love walking, you can walk from the church to the town of Calasparra. We all had a drink at the restaurant and about 1pm, had our picnic in the shade.

Next location: About a 10 minute drive to the view point to view the rice fields and the landscape. ( Sat-Nav ‘Mirador de las Lomas ). Unfortunately, the rice had not yet been planted but you could see the fields and the river. 

This is one of Spains largest rice growing areas including the famous ‘Bomba’ which is a short grain rice that needs more liquid and longer to cook than other types. This is to soak up the juices when used in paella dishes.

Last location: Alfonso XIII Reservoir ( Sat-Nav ‘Salinas de la Ramona’ ), built in 1915 and opened by the King, which is named after him. It’s to provide water for the farmers and prevent flooding in the local areas. One of the main fish found in this reservoir is the Barbel which can be seen here.

We all had a group shot at the viewing platform before heading home, managing to find one more coffee stop en route.

Our next outing for May will be “Mojacar” on 9th, visiting the small village on the hill and a picnic on the beach. Please check out the videos on my YouTube channel “Expat in Mazarron” and for up to date videos on new places and where else we are exploring in 2022 on “Camposol Explorers” YouTube channel.