Nerja, Granada and the Sierra Nevada
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Coming from Cordoba it was clear that we wanted to go back to the sea. We had searched with the help of common apps for a pitch that already sounded great in the descriptions and it was a little paradise. The signage led us to a kind of small parking lot where we thought, ok, and where is the place now? We could see a small path, but should that be the driveway? Well, we tried. A narrow path lined with palm trees, just wide enough for the “Dicken”, followed. We saw two white thick pillars and a large cast-iron gate with the sign “We are here, call us”. We called and we were allowed in. 🙂
While we waited for it to be helped, we heard a “Hola! “Hola!”. We looked around but couldn’t see anything. But after a few minutes it was clear, right next to us was a parrot, which greeted us with a permanent “‘Hola!”.
We laughed, looked for a great place and unpacked. The place belonged to a family that also take care of old animals, there was a horse called “Hungry”, two donkeys, chickens, peacocks, dogs, cats and said parrot Ana.
We couldn’t believe it Everywhere there were avocado trees, we even parked directly under one, the flowers shone in the wildest colors and smelled beguiling and even banana trees were to be found. Although the road was audible within reach during the day, we felt very comfortable.

The sea was right across the street, so we missed it a lot. The first impression was rather sobering. Are these allotments? Are people living there? Why do you do something like this right across the beach? This meant small plots fenced off with green sun sails, which did not give a direct indication of what was going on behind them when the gates were closed. Beautiful is kind of different. Then, as so often before, we passed still closed hotels. Also not necessarily what we wanted to see, but at least a first small very nice bay, maybe it should be quite nice here after all. We couldn’t imagine staying for a week. But what did all the people mean when they told us that we should go to Nerja? Reread carefully, looked at the Internet to see, ah we have not gone far enough, tomorrow new attempt.
And there they were the little shops, small cafes, enchanting alleys, this beautiful place, partly still closed like all other cities and yet the people were on the way and this “here-must-you-absolutely-hin” suddenly made sense. We decided to stay a few days and made plans. Rest, process all the experiences of the past days, write new blog articles, go to the old town once in the evening and shop again. What shall we say, everything done!

The time had come, Granada was on the agenda. Our desired campsite was again in the mountains and there was a great bus connection to the city. For the first time, however, it was said that the view went off into the mountains, in serpentines, 30km/h was the average speed and behind each bend the view became more spectacular. We remembered, wasn’t there anything of reservoir on the map? Then he came already the dam and behind it a lake with an incredibly beautiful color, lined with mountains, a dream.
And then the place, it was the day of the reopening and one was visibly pleased, because we were the second guests to start the new season. The choice of seats was huge, the guest gift a small plate with the inscription “Volvemos Las Lomas 2020”. There was a great feeling of gratitude on both sides and we took our place full of anticipation for the coming days. The sun went down and a little later the lights of the small villages turned on. What an atmosphere, happy we fell asleep. The next day we stayed on the pitch, it was time for a bit of laundry and easy to be. In the afternoon we wanted to take the bus to Granada, the experience taught us, the Spaniards are long on, let’s see what’s going on in Granada in the late afternoon. If it gets really great, we let the last bus go and take a taxi later.
Here, too, disillusionment arose. The city showed what it can do in some corners, but then we came to the beautiful streets that were supposed to exude this Arab influence, but 90 of the shops were still closed. An oppressive atmosphere, you guessed it, we took back the last bus.
The next morning we were supposed to start early, we had planned to explore the Alhambra in the morning hours, at 6:40 a.m. the bus went. We wanted to get coffee and breakfast in the city and enjoy on the way. So we sneaked through the still quiet streets up the mountain to the Alhambra. The sun rose over the city and immersed everything in an atmospheric light of an awakening city. Around the Alhambra it is incredibly green and the air is wonderful even at high temperatures. These special times also brought some good for us, in this case the possibility to get tickets at short notice. You book a time for the Nasrid Palace and then you can stay indefinitely on the entire complex. We were the first visitors to the palace that day. BÄM! It is impossible to try to capture what this monument tells in photos and videos. But good for the memory. Sitting in silence in one of the palace gardens, between orange trees and palm trees, priceless. In addition to the palace, we also looked at a part of the gardens, as well as the Generalife. The Alcazaba stays for the next visit.

So much seen, read, recorded and filled with impressions it was time for a break in the city. The day before we had already discovered a small winery, in a neighborhood that reminds a little of the Schanzenviertel in Hamburg, so a little bit. 🙂 There we ended the morning with Flamenquin and cold drinks and Granada showed a lot more how lively and lively it can be.
The midday heat announced, off to the bus, time for siesta by the pool.

At the reception we had already seen on arrival that here in the Sierra Nevada riding tours are offered. Would that still be something? We decided to call and ask spontaneously… Zack booked,we should be picked up, the next morning 9 o’clock … Omg!
So now it really started! We both on an Andalusian through the Sierra Nevada!!
Should we mention here that the last time we sat on a horse more than 30 years ago?
We were picked up by Victor at the campsite at 9 o’clock in the morning!
Victor is Spanish, very humorous, at our age, equipped with a lot of belly and he owns seven beautiful horses and a fantastic plot in the middle of the mountains!
He greeted us in complete outfit! Riding boots, shirt, breeches…
It got serious and we were queasy. We drove his car further and further into the interior of the mountains and serpentines! Spectacular already the view, but it should be even more spectacular.
On the way Victor picked another friend of his on the riding tour. His name was David. A guy our age, likeable! We had a good feeling.
Then we arrived at his little “ranch”. Viktor drove past his driveway to park backwards downhill, otherwise here in the mountains, no turning possibility.
The four horses were already waiting for us saddled. What a spot of earth! There wasn’t much time to marvel. We went into the shed, got our riding cap, left our backpack there and already it was called to sit up!
Victor took a kick (and suddenly you feel old) and helped us on the horses. They were called Curro and Tachenko… So beautiful. I think at that point we were both a bit pale around the nose… we really sat on two big horses and should now ride through the Sierra Nevada.
Victor was great, though, with a fantastic sense of humour. He immediately took away all our fears and so we rode after him.
Then followed two hours of riding. First on a dirt road, past cork oaks, cherry trees (when Victor doesn’t go on tours, he manages a huge cherry plantation of his own) and olive trees. Everything quite relaxed. Then Victor said we go off the road, cross-country or rather cross-mountain-in!
I looked in disbelief! As now? He said, please stick to the further reins that hung on the neck of the horses for balance and if the horses start trotting or galloping, just say “Ho” and pull the reins!!!
Excuse me? Why can’t we just keep riding the dirt road?
We got pale in the face again. But we were already on the rise…
Curro and Tachenko did a great job with us. We trusted them more and more and after a few minutes felt a bit like Lucky Luke!
We didn’t meet anyone here anymore and rode further and further up. What a view, what a feeling. It went from about 1200m to 1600m high and we enjoyed every metre on the back of the horses.
After two hours we arrived at the ranch happy and full of endorphins. Victor asked us in his garden. We didn’t know what was coming. Then he fetched a bottle of prosecco from the shed and his wife brought a plate of local delicacies (cheese, salami, chorizo and of course cherries). An enchanting hospitality. We drank on our first ride and stayed an hour in his garden.
We got into a more intensive conversation with David, who had accompanied us. It turned out that David is a professional snowboarder and had returned from Japan a few weeks ago because of Corona, where he had participated in a competition. He had many exciting stories to tell and we decided to eat some tapas with him in the village the same evening and chat a little further.
With all the impressions of the ride we sat down in the afternoon at the pool! As so often in the last few weeks, we couldn’t believe it and were happy and exhausted by the experience.
We had arranged with David for 9 p.m. and he picked us up from the campsite.
The village of Güéjar-Sierra was only a few minutes away from our place. However, we had no idea if there would be some nice cafés and bodegas there at all. David has been living here for several years, originally from Barcelona and was able to show us his village.
No trace of tourism. All Spaniards around us and one pub at the other. David told us that there are twice as many bodegas in terms of population! He was right. A wonderful village square, guitar-playing Spaniards and in the middle of the conversation ten riders and horses appeared in the village, on the way to the next beer. Where do they leave their horses standing when they go out for beer in the evening? No idea.
It was an exciting evening with stories from Catalonia, David’s homeland and Spanish culture.
What a day, we fell gratefully to bed!

David and Victor had told great stories about horseback riding and hiking in the Sierra Nevada and we were already a bit fixated. After all, the mountains themselves from our campsite were already very impressive. Riding there and the snow-capped peaks in the background made you want to go for a hike. According to the two gentlemen, a climb to the Pico del Veleta, the third highest mountain on the Spanish mainland with 3396 meters above sea level, should be possible without any problems. Is this what for us? Now we’ve been here? David also had direct tips for us, we could be free at the starting point of the hike and maybe even almost alone. Standing free in the mountains?! Okay, come on, we’ll go up there and look at that. If it’s not for us, we can still go further or back, we have all the options.
First we went uphill over narrow roads, then we came to the Autostrada, which leads directly from Granada to the top, first sign 1500m. Okay, it went on. The view here too, breathtakingly beautiful. The weather was good, we could look far. It went higher and higher, next shield 2000m. We knew the pitch is at 2550m. So a little bit more is coming. Then the town, built especially for winter sports, appeared, one does not believe at this moment to be still in Spain. An almost perfect copy of Austrian ski resorts, quite whimsical. However, not at all designed for summer tourism. All in all, it wasn’t quite our taste, but for us it went a bit further uphill to the place where we wanted to sleep. But before we went on we didn’t trust our eyes. We passed a sports hall and all of a day there were ibex around the corner. And a whole herd. There is no such thing, almost in the middle of this town there are suddenly ibex.
We found the perfect place, right between two other vans we parked at the roadside with a view of the valley and as it turned out in the evening, with a view of the ski town and especially Granada.
In the other direction we saw the summit we wanted to climb the next day. We went to bed early, we wanted to start early. It became dark and silent, except for a few cow bells.

The next morning, cows right in front of the window, on the other side wild horses and one car after the next came up the mountain.
It was weekend, cyclists and hikers started early in the day. Quick coffee, a bit of sugar and off with us. Nearly 900 meters of altitude and maybe a good 4 hours ascent were ahead of us. It led a road almost up, whoever follows takes longer, serpentines thank you. In between there are cross-country abbreviations that also give a little more hiking feeling than walking on the road, so we took the shortcuts. The first snow at an altitude of almost 3500m. Short break and on. It all looks so close and then a turn and another turn, at the end we stood up at the summit cross after 3.5 hours. Relaxed atmosphere among all hikers. We sat on the stones, enjoyed the view to the Mediterranean and couldn’t believe we had done it. As always, the descent is easier, we took another shortcut and after another 2.5 hours we were back on the “thickness”. K.o. and just happy we sat at the side door of the Dicken, looked into the sunset, saw the rays of the towns and villages in the rising night. After that night, it was really time to move on.

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