The wrong side of the A5

Trip Start Sep 09, 2004
Trip End Ongoing

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Friday, December 22, 2006

'Just wait till I see that dog..'

Falling lucky with the weather again we booted up and headed out for a walk. We'd heard that there are a few good tracks somewhere around the Sierra but as the 'oficina de tourismo' was closed our options were limited. We walked anyway, and it wasn't long before we were joined by one of the village dogs, who was more than happy to tag along on our scenic outing.

We descended down towards the village of Bubion, stopping every few minutes to admire the vast expanse of mountainous panorama. Then an idiot moment happened. The dog had managed to get itself stranded on a tricky looking bunch of rocks which dropped quite nastily underneath the side of the road. We thought he was okay at first but then he started crying. Pleading. That was it. I was over the wall and halfway up the slippery outcrop trying to entice him back to safety. Which is when I realised that I'd just climbed into a cage of my very own. The rocks which jutted out over the thin ledge were too wide to negotiate back, making a fall down the granite pit imminent. I was in the dog's boat. The others were powerless and could do little else other than look on as I feebly tried a few alternatives. The dumb ass dog did nothing to assist and chose instead to follow along chirpily as I hunted, in a state of mild panic, for an exit. Any exit. It was pathetic.

I'd only got ten metres or so up the mountain through a whole onslaught of thorny snagging vines when the dog turned on me, barking abuse until I clambered back down to him. I wondered if he might be warning me of something dangerous ahead. I realised he was most probably calling me a pathetic loser. He then showed me, cowering his way back down to the very edge of the drop directly opposite the onlookers, before retracting himself tightly like a coiled spring. The hesitation had him shaking violently but he did it, he pounced courageously like a big cat-dog straight at the wall, right over the fall and back into reality. Just. I watched him tootle off down the road with a wagging tail.

I remained silent. Stunned. And insanely jealous. After twenty more minutes of ripping my arms to shreds through the thorny vines, Raymondo took action and procured a huge wooden fencepost. Five minutes later I was over the drop. Relieved isn't the word. Dickhead is.

After a brief post-trauma refreshment stop in the tiny village of Bubion, we headed for the hills. The Camino de Sierra winds its way up and over the mountain to a spectacular lookout before descending steadily back down to Capileira. It goes without saying that the hysterics were plentiful and made for a highly entertaining couple of hours.

'Restaurante Abuxarra' is an old homely taverny type place with a dining room overlooking the steep valley walls either side of the village. I took a chance on the local Sopa Alpujarreņa, a highly popular Alpujarranean soup made from tasty local chickens and their eggs. It went down a treat. The others lapped up a whole variety of delights and this set us up nicely for another round of banter on the night, only this one a little less flamboyant than the last..
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