I am now playing catch up on our trip as a few weeks have passed and my fingers have been idle.  (Actually they are too lethargic due to the heat).
We departed Almerimar before daybreak for the long day to Cartagena.  Our impatience ruled in favor of motoring instead of waiting for the right winds.
With about 20 nm to reach Cartagena our motor started to have some “hiccups” and after several tests we knew we had bad fuel and the filters were starting to clog.    We limped into the port just as night fell and the next morning found a very gooey racor filter.   Pumping out diesel into a clear bottle showed very cloudy fuel.    Roland administered a “shock dose” of Grotamar 71 and  changed to filters after another 10 hours and the problem resolved.
Consequently the engine was a priority so we did not get to enjoy Cartagena as much but what we did see was very enjoyable.
Starting in Cartagena the coastline became very beautiful except for a place we stopped for lunch called Benidorm.    From a distance I thought we were approaching Manhattan with all the high rises and once anchored then I felt we were in Disney World with all the  water ski courses, 8-10 people hanging on to a large inflatable banana being pulled by a power boat, jet skis, etc, etc.
We had a swim, ate lunch and happily lifted the anchor to arrive at our anchorage for the night outside Puerto de Calpe.   As you can see by the photo we were anchored under this beautiful rock cliff.     To our great delight when we rounded Penon de Ifach and went only 15 minutes, we next anchored in our favorite place, El Rinconet, which is just next to Puerto de Moraira.     It was a small village with lovely villas surrounding the bay, nice sandy beach and no high rises.   It was a treat!      Now we are starting to  feel and understand the heat of the Mediterranean.   Swimming at least 4 times a day is part of our routine now.
Our final destination on mainland Spain was Valencia.    We were in the America’s Cup harbor which is very large and is quite a walk into the main town.    Here is where our friend Karolina arrived to sail with us for 12 days.
The city of Valencia is very beautiful and there is much to see.    We attended the Aquarium and watched the evening performance of the dolphins and Hawaiian dancers.    On our long walk back to the marina we were entertained by a 20 minute fireworks show that started at midnight right next to the marina.    It was a spectacular show!     I asked the marina attendant the next morning if the show was for something special and he replied, “it was  just a Saturday night”.      At 0700 we departed for the Balearic Islands.

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