On the Wildlife Gardener’s list of Things To Do Before I Die, mud features quite prominently. I would like to see some volcanic, boiling mud, whether in Iceland or New Zealand. And seeing as I merely blobbled around in the Dead Sea while visiting The Holy Land in 1987 missing its mud flats, I wanted the chance to find some mineral mud to daub all over. So imagine my delight on a recent trip to Murcia in Spain to discover that the San Pedro del Pinatar salt flats contained a little resort called Lo Pagan where locals go to smear themselves with therapeutic black, mineral-rich lake sediment.
A lovely beach on the shallow Mar Menor lagoon side had the usual complement of Spanish families under umbrellas, teenagers texting and slow-roasted leathery British expats from Romford down for the day from their little places on the Costa. But then on the opposite side, strange figures, blackened like victims of some terrible fire or oil spillage moved about, drying to a deep grey in the 30°C heat. We must be near the lodo ” the mud baths. Continue reading