Monte de las Cenizas - Portmán, Spain:

Monte de las Cenizas- Mount of Ashes - Gates are modelled  after the entrance of the Temple of Warriors in Chichen Itza, a Mayan site in the Yacatan pennsula.

Monte de las Cenizas (Mount of Ashes) is a 312 meter (1024 foot) promontory located near the western end of the Calblanque Regional Park, forming part of the mountainous bowl that surrounds the Pueblo and Bay of Portman. The mountain boasts of one of the few mature pine forests in the area. At the top of the mountain is an artillery post of interest. There are also spectacular views up and down the Spanish coastline.

It takes about an hour to walk up the winding, pine covered, road with great views along the way of the mountains down to Cabo de Palos and up through Cartagena. About 100 metres down the road towards Portman is the entrance to the Roman Road to Portman – Calzada Romana. YouTube Link

Directions & Parking - From Portman - take the road towards La Manga Club. At the top of the hill you will notice a gate on the right (See Image) and a road leading up the hill.

From La Manga Club/Los Belones - leading from the hill top sign on the MU314 (La Manga Club to Portman road). Parking - As parking is at a premium at the gate please return down the hill towards La Manga Club and take the road to Llano del Beal, the first road to the left, where there is generally plenty of parking.

Artillery Battery - Perched on the summit of Monte de las Cinezas are the remains of the Bateria de Cenizas. Constructed in the 1930’s, over a previous 18thcentury fortification, this artillery and antiaircraft battery was part of a line of military defence fortifications that stretched from Cabo de Palos to Mazarron to protect the approach to, and harbour in, Cartagena as well as the valuable mining operations in the area. The Bateria de Cenizas lies at the end of a pine covered foot/bike GR92 path, identified by red and white bars painted on rocks and fence posts. The views of Mar Menor, the Paturro Pueblo (Roman dig), Faro de Portman (Light house), the remains of the La Chapa Artillery Battery, La Manga Club and Calblanque Park, along the approximately 40 minute walk are stunning. The battery’s entrance is framed by an impressive front gate, the serpentine design of which is said to be inspired by the Mayan Temple of the White Soldiers in the ruins of Chichen-Itzá, located on Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula. Once through the gate there are two choices: continue up the hill to the summit and the location of the two land guns; or, take the road to the right and visit the battery’s operations centre and anti-aircraft battery complex. The very impressive land guns, built in Britain by Vickers in 1923, have a bore of 38.1 centimetres and a tube length of 18.6 meters. Their range is approximately 35 km and they weigh more than 88,000 kilogram’s each. It is of note that after all that effort it is said that they were never fired in anger. At one time the artillery operations were carried out underground, the guns being controlled through an electric/hydraulic interface. However, most of the internal access to the big guns has since been sealed. That doesn’t mean to say that there aren’t places to explore and there are several, so bring your torch (flashlight) and be careful. In addition, many visitors make a feature of the journey by bringing snacks and libations to consume while gazing at the views. Don’t forget your camera and especially a container for items you wish to discard! Good walking!

Barrel of one of the guns being moved from the Port - provides perspective for the above picture. Photo courtesy of Club Nautico.