I take blogging seriously. I am even disposed to put my life at risk just to post an interesting article: a scientific article about a dangerous experiment, in this case.
The experiment question can be summarized as follows: Germans, Swedish, Finnish and all those crazy fellow Europeans from the North of the continent are able to swim in freezing waters with no harm. Moreover, they seem to have a lot of fun floating “on the rocks” like pale green olives in a dry Martini. I saw this on the TV news the other day.
I am sure that guys like myself -i.e. Europeans from the Mediterranean area (Spaniards, Frenchs, Italians, Greeks …)- are not genetically designed to withstand those freezing waters. But the specific question is: Can we withstand swimming in the cold waters of the Mediterranean Sea in winter?
I’m willing to try it.
The experiment will take place at the solitary beaches of Cabo de Gata, in the Mediterranean coast of Andalucía, Southeastern Spain.
By the way, Cabo de Gata is a very beautiful place to experiment anything …
The Experiment Team will be composed by a scientific director (Covetotop) and an intrepid volunteer (Covetotop).
So, my little bunch of friendly readers, stand ready to witness a once-in-a-lifetime-experiment. This post is an accurate and historical account of events arranged in time.
I’ve just arrived to Cabo de Gata.
Cabo de Gata (Gata Cape) is an amazing coastal protected area, nominated as a Biosphere Reserve under UNESCO’s “Man and the Biosphere Program”.
This 175-square-mile Mediterranean park of wild, isolated and volcanic landscapes is Europe’s most arid region; it enjoys mild temperatures in winter and is pleasantly free of tourist hordes almost all year round. In other words, I cannot think of a better place to carry out this dangerous experiment.
My search for the perfect spot to take a winter bath in the Med begins now …
I find a wonderful beach called “El Playazo”, but there is a problem: the wind is blowing relatively strong …
Yes, it’s blowing strong …
I’d rather look for another beach …
That is not a beach. That is the little Rodalquilar Castle (ruins, 16th century). There are stone ruins of ancient castles and defensive towers scattered throughout the whole coast of Cabo de Gata.
“Las Negras” (pic above) is a wonderful beach, but there are too many waves. I love waves in summer, but not in winter. I’d rather look for another spot.
Finally I find some quiet, crystal-clear waters in a perfectly sheltered little corner … but a new problem arises: I’m hungry. I cannot swim when I’m hungry.
Yum yum yum in Isleta del Moro village. A restaurant with a sea view (above)
Spanish wines are superb, except if you plan to walk through a difficult path after lunch. Ops!
I have just found an idyllic setting: “Playa de los Genoveses” (pic above). And now it’s blowing just a balmy breeze. Perhaps the time has arrived to carry out my experiment, but it’s getting a little late and my stomach is still full … No; I shouldn’t swim under these conditions.
Scientific conclusion of Day One: None.
The landscape of Cabo de Gata is very peculiar …
The weather is great and I have just found a nice cove (pic below) with pristine waters, but it is very early in the morning. It is cold. I’d rather go on. I’ll do my risky experiment (swimming in winter) when the sun is high in the sky.
Wandering through Cabo de Gata in search for the perfect spot to swim is an exciting experience …
Yes, this landscape is very peculiar, very “cinematographic”. Actually, Cabo de Gata (and the neighboring Desert of Tabernas) has been the backdrop of several noteworthy movies, including “Lawrence of Arabia”, “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”, “Conan the Barbarian”, “The Empire of the Sun”, “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” …
Talking about Indiana Jones … I am aware that Steven Spielberg filmed in “Playa del Mónsul”, the scene in which Sean Connery (as the father of Indiana Jones) shoot down a Nazi airplane with his umbrella shooing away a flock of seagulls.
Perhaps that is the ideal beach for experimenting risky adventures … Yes! I’ll go there … it must be not far away from here … but wait a moment … I am hearing a noisy motor … A frightening Nazi airplane, perhaps? …
No, it isn’t! Thanks God it is only a local fishing boat over there …
There are wonderful beaches everywhere in Cabo de Gata …
Gotcha! “Playa del Mónsul! If Steven Spielberg and George Lucas selected this beach for an action scene of Indiana Jones, Covetotop selects this very same beach for his stunning experiment:
It is a wonderful and mysterious beach: dark volcanic rocks tumble into a sparkling turquoise sea.
I should carry out my scientific experiment. The sun is high in the sky, but the wind is blowing now. I do not want to freeze before having the chance to swim a little. I’ll be back tomorrow and I’ll do my risky business then, under more peaceful, tranquil, mild conditions ….
Scientific conclusion of Day Two: None.
Oh my! It’s cloudy!
Europe’s most arid region and it’s cloudy and windy today!
A cold front is crossing Cabo de Gata this morning.
I’d rather hike today …
Nice walk …
This afternoon I am visiting the typical Andalusian village of Mojácar. I will meditate very seriously about my scientific experiment here …
Scientific conclusion of Day Three: None.
Back to Indiana Jones’ beach. If the Moon had a beach, it would be like this one.
It is a wonderful day: no wind, no waves, and the sun is shining high in the sky …
As a first step, I set the scientific camp. My top-notch scientific equipment is basically composed by: the towel I bought yesterday in Mojácar, a pair of old Nike shoes, sunscreen cream, a waterproof camera case and a cheap point-and-shoot.
My scientific camp (pic above) will be my reference point when I swim, especially if I am able to come back.
The time is now.
Phase 1: Initializing plunge. The water is very cold. I cannot feel my feet. I hope to survive and to blog about this.
Scientific conclusion of Day Four: AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH !!!!!!!!!!!!