Hanging out with the hippies

Trip Start Dec 14, 2006
Trip End May 14, 2007

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Flag of Spain  ,
Friday, January 26, 2007

We have been in the Alpujarras mountains of spain for over a week now.  It is an area which stretches across the southern slopes of the Sierra Nevada, the highest peak being Mulhacen which is the highest in mainland Spain at 3,479m (over 11,000ft - pretty big!).  When we first arrived we were planing to head higher up into the mountains to a place called Pitres which looked from the map like it was surrounded by walking and biking trails, but there was only one campsite and we weren't sure whether it would be open and at an altitude of 1,300m we didn't fancy wild camping with no electric for heating or any water (Rob, you're such a softie!).  So after driving up, and up, and up, and up for what felt like most of the afternoon, we reached Pampaneira where we managed to phone through to the campsite only to be told that it was closed until March and so we decided (over a coffee of course - always a vital ingredient to any decision making!) to head back down to Orgiva.  Daisy was none to happy about dropping nearly 3,000ft in one go with bend after bend - it didn't smell like it was doing her brakes much good!  The hot burning smell was slightly unnerving, but her reluctance to come to a stop at the junction at the bottom was bloody unnerving!  Anyway we made it and as it turned out there was no need to base ourselves so high up in the mountains (sorry Daisy!) as there are literally dozens of excellent walking/biking tracks around Orgiva which we can get to within minutes of leaving the campsite entrance.  We have made the most of these and really enjoyed lots of great walks and some lung-bursting bike rides (today's was a mere 2 hour constant climb (ooh me legs) which took us up almost to the fresh snow that fell yesterday.  When we first arrived here the weather was a scorching 20+ degrees (Rob even got his  man-boobs out one afternoon!)  but  it has since turned very cold  -  we  woke  up  yesterday  morning to find ice on the inside of the van windows and had heavy hail stones this afternoon (time to move on then......!).  

The many New Age Travellers who seem to have settled in Orgiva have given the place a bohemian atmosphere and it also seems to be a magnet for people seeking an 'alternative' lifestyle - which all makes for great people watching!  We went  to check out the  weekly market in Orgiva yesterday which was a bit like Kendal's (in other words not very good)! After being pushed about and elbowed in the ribs by mad old Spanish women trying to get our fruit and veg we decided we needed a de-stressing cup of, you guessed it, coffee - only to have that moment spoilt by a mad British woman trying badly to play an accordian and screeching down our ear holes.  THEN, to top it all off, Alfie must have given the stray boxer that always hangs around the town the eye cos he followed us all the way down the main street constantly trying to hump him, everytime we pushed him off he jumped straight back on again and what did Alfie do about it - absolutely nothing like the true soft Labrador that he is!  We were glad to get back to the peace and tranquility of our campsite - home sweet home!

We have voted this campsite (Camping Orgiva) number 1 so far on our travels - it's fairly small, has brilliant clean and hot showers (just what you need after a day on the hills), lovely surroundings and a nice walk through olive, orange and lemon groves into town - AND free wireless internet connection which means we can surf away happily on our laptop in the comfort of our own campervan! 

Anyway, enough rambling we have packing to do as it's back on the road again tomorrow.  Not decided yet whether to have another night in Granada as we pass back through as we enjoyed it so much, but we are then heading north along the east coast towards Montserrat where we will go and visit the amazing looking monastery. 

Hope everyone back home is well, catch up with us again soon, lots of love Nicky and Rob x
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