Hidden within the folds of the dunes at Punta Paloma is an old military base that upon first appearances looks out of commission. The gate posts are left wide open and the old military houses are no longer in use; many boarded up. “This town is becoming like a ghost town” a song once offered.
But appearances can be deceiving and trekking a little further around the site leads to a penned off section with a working radar tower, the dish still spinning endlessly, its green ad black contours blending with the promontory of trees and bushes on the hills behind it.
On occasion minibuses drop a handful of uniformed men at the base before creeping away like any normal civilian vehicle.
The beach around Punta Paloma also displays relics of its wartime adventures; what look like pillboxes now sit bricked up where once they have housed large automatic rifles and watched over the sea for unwanted interlopers. Despite the bricking up people have managed to break in and use them for less violent but possibly equally destructive vices.
The Spanish are not overly sensitive or secretive about their military operations at Punta Paloma, the open road drives straight through leaving nothing to the imagination, very much like a Madonna video.
It’s hard to know how long the base has been there but looking at the state of the buildings and the general design they can be aged somewhere around the late 1950s – 1960s. Perhaps they played their part during the Franco era although I can only speculate as I couldn’t find anyone willing to talk about the place. Maybe they are sensitive after all.
There’s not much to see although the beaches around the military base are excellent. You could spend maybe half an hour there at most before the heat and boredom combine to propel you away.
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