Training run or trainee bank robber

Days 233-235, Friday-Sunday, 24-26 August 2012, Alcaucin.

Friday was work day ! The sun is starting to rise a lot later now so being on the job at 7:00 am is just not much use anymore. I had a quick garden watering job to do before heading over to number 20 to start prep for the paint job next week- house needed a good wash and scrub down first.

I spent almost four hours scrubbing down the top half of the house before stopping, very hot today and I had used up all the shaded parts, plus my head wasn’t in it. Too much on my mind, thinking about the next few weeks, no job , no home and no idea where there home could be means I am feeling a bit misplaced at the moment. It all hinges on the job, get a job, find an apartment nearby and hopefully make some friends – things will be sweet 🙂

I spent the rest of the day reading and looking at jobs and flats on the internet before making myself a not too bad chicken risotto for dinner – and finishing season 3 of The Wire 🙂

I had the crappest sleep ever Friday night, hottest night in Alcaucin and head full and spinning, I think I finally must have dropped off at 5:00. I woke at 7:00 which was a pain as I wanted to be out on the road by 7:30 and i still had to eat and walk the dogs. Finally at 7:50 I made it out on the road for a hoped for five hour run. It was humid and there was a hot wind blowing straight down the road off the hills – my calves were sore and my back stiff – not a perfect start!

My plan was just to run the road I ran a couple of weeks back, but just to keep on going down into the next valley and turn around after around two half hours. I surprised myself by running the first section to the top carpark reasonably well, I thought I was very slow but did it five minutes faster than normal! Up one of the side valleys the wind was whipping the sand and dirt up so badly I had to run with my eyes closed and my bandana over my nose and mouth. sadly my running sun glasses are in my storage unit in NZ. The wind and dust clouds were a feature throughout the run unfortunately.

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At two hours fifteen of mostly continuous running (by running I mean jogging at a pace that was probably slower than a Zimmerframe oldie walks) i ended up in the valley on other side of the ridge. There were a lot of loose dogs around the farm houses so I ended up turning round and heading back up the hill again.

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The views on this side were not spectacular, but the road was steep in places and I walked some of the uphills on the return.

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The run back took about two and half hours, giving me a total of 4:45 on my feet, just under what I wanted and I was tempted to take a side trail for a bit, but in all honesty I was buggered, so stopped !

I had a quick shower and jumped into the pool to cool down, but got sick of Muttleys yapping at me so ended up cutting it short. I was pretty wrecked, so the afternoon was quiet – though I did spend a crap load of money and booked my flight to the UK on Sunday Sep 09 !! I also spent I some serious time researching possible Africa tours if I do not get work within a reasonable time. I have found a company I like – with a space on a tour….

Sunday – hmm, not a lot happened really, washed the rest of number 20, drank beer, ate food, wrote blog




Malaga, lager, lager

Days 230-232, Tuesday-Thursday 21-23 August 2012 – Malaga

No – I didn’t hit the beers, but “Malaga, rose, rose” – just doesn’t have the same ring.

I was up early, said farewell to Ian and down at the bus stop ten minute before the bus was due,. Naturally it was late – maybe it was going to fly : )


In an unusual step I was not taking my pack, just a small case – not sure if this is a subconscious reflection on my desire to settle down for a bit and not carry the pack around with me.

The bus ride was quick, as there was not too many passengers heading all the way to Malaga the three of us who were ended up in a mini-van at Velez-Malaga and blasted the motorway into town, arriving twenty minutes early. I grabbed a cab to the Don Curro hotel and then went off and chilled in a cafe over my book and a coffee until my room was ready. I spent the afternoon in the Picasso museum and the museum of contemporary art as well as wondering the streets between. I had a massive salad and a few roses for lunch.


Rreligious objects for sale next to Santa Anna




The Picasso museum was excellent, I think I liked it better than the main one in Barcelona, and I managed to sneak a couple of shots too 🙂


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The museum of contemporary arts, has been compared to the Tate Modern, which is a bit rich really, not a lot there I liked – a Warhol of course !


I also managed to pick up a power supply for my laptop so spent some quality time watching season three of The Wire before heading out for a light dinner and a couple of vodka tonics.


Wednesday was really foggy, very surprising. Breakfast in the hotel wasn’t served until 8:30 so there was no point in rushing out of bed. I managed to consume a fair amount of very average breakfast before setting out around 10:00 for a trip to the Alcazaba de Malaga and the Castilleo de Gibralfaro.


The Alcazaba starts in the centre of town and meanders up the hill towards the Castle, at this point in time they are not linked internally so getting to the top of the Alcazaba still means a walk back down. The core of the Alcazaba dates back to the 11th century when the Moors (Morocco) ruled southern Spain until the 15th century when the Spanish took over. The site has been extensively renovated with work continuing today. Large areas are closed off to the public.


There was not a lot of detail to see, I liked the water fountains as usual and I really loved these channels that run water from the top down to the bottom, via all sorts of fountains and small water falls – a very cool piece of engineering.



There was no view !!! over the harbour.


back over the city.



Up to the Castillo


From Alcazaba I took the gruelling walk up the hill to the Castillo, I was glad of the fog, at least I was not walking in the baking sun, it was bad enough as it was !

Kim – we all heart pie !


The Castillo was started in the 14the century to protect the Alcazaba palace below, again it has been extensively renovated and made safe for tourists to walk the ramparts – and again no view, it would be stunning on a clear day!



Looking down over the Alcazaba.


I enjoyed my couple of hours wandering the two sights, enjoying seeing some old stuff again!

After the tour I walked the streets in search of pizza and a few roses, I found both and had a pleasant lunch and read in a cafe. I ended up buying a bottle and sitting in my room through siesta, supping on rose and watching The Wire until a late snack was had at a local vegetarian restaurant.

I was a bit groggy when I woke up on Thursday , not hung over, just not 100% – that will teach me for having an indulgent afternoon, but it was quite exciting having my laptop back again!

After breakfast and packing up my stuff I went for a walk round the Cathedral, semi interesting, like many things in Spain it has a long and slow build history and the reason it only has the single tower is they ran out of money during the final build in the 18th century. In the top photo you can see a piece of net strung under the ceiling, these were all over the interior of the Cathededral, stopping bits of plaster from falling and killing visitors.




This guy is freaky, scare them into believing !


As I was walking to the cab rank to get a ride to the bus station I found this ATM, must be for the shorter folks amongst us.

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The bus ride back to Alcaucin was uneventful and Ian had already gone for the afternoon when I arrived. Once I had done washing, walked and fed the dogs I sat down and got a whole bunch of bill paying done before ringing the UK job agency that left me a message on my phone. Sadly the role they had me in mind for was permanent, oh well, maybe they should have read my CV more closely!

The good news is number 20 has finally given the go ahead to paint the house so I have something to fill my day for the next couple of weeks – YUS !!!

Shouting “lager, lager lager”

Sorry, not my best work. Not feeling it at that moment, but am of course keeping this as my record of my travels !




Ten days and two good runs

Days 220-229, 11-20 August 2012 – Alcaucin

Apart from a couple of great runs and a movie or three, not a lot happened for the first ten days after Muttley chewed the power cord for my laptop. In hindsight, the chewing was probably a good thing (nah !) but it did mean I didn’t bore everyone with long winded and dull blog posts describing me doing sod all.

So apart from work, eat and sleep what did I do for ten days, hmmmm. Ian and I went to see the new Batman movie which was very cool, I did not rate the villain as highly as Heath Ledgers Joker (but that was impossible), but still a great movie. I also watched The Guard which was excellent and Drive. Not too sure what to say about Drive, did I enjoy it ? yes – was it what I expected, absolutely not. Three great films in one week, all different too. Pretty rare.

I did two runs though !

First was on Sat 11, three hours up the road. A great run, first time I have run shirtless, very warm and as there was no one around to scare I thought why not. This time I took a couple of bars with me as well as a gel. Ideally I should be running with the food I will eat when I do 50for50 (in what is now three weeks time), but food choices are slim at best and there is no way a Snickers would last 2 hours in a pack here !

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The second run was the following weekend – Sunday 19, aim for this was to do four hours and try to get to the top of the big hill above Alcaucin. It was a really warm morning and by local standards really humid at 44% at 7:30 when I left.

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I was dripping within a few minutes and once I had found the right turn off ran shirtless for an hour till I hit the single track.

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The first hour was mainly running on a rough 4wd track, and all up hill, I ran most of it but there were some sections that were too steep to bother with – its not as if I was in a rush, and I will be walking the steep bits on 50for50 anyway.

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The small carpark where the single track started had a big view back down to Alcaucin.

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And this was where I was heading.

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The single track was pretty sweat, not my preferred surface so I kept things sensible to avoid injury – and unlike Trevelez if I went down hard here there would be no-one following to find me!

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The last thirty minutes was pretty much a walk and I made it to the peak I was aiming for pretty much dead on two hours, though the ranges had a way to go up yet !

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The view was partially marred by some low cloud, but was still pretty spectacular – I wonder when the last person was here ? After feeding my face I took a gentle run back down. While I was at the top a couple of massive clouds closed the valley in below me , this is looking DOWN the single track !

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I reached the road knowing I was going to be short of four hours but my Camelbak was bone dry and it was too hot to be running without water. I want to be able to run next week so took the wise choice and made a slow run back home, all up 3:45. I was still pleased with that, no real aches and pains – stiff to start with and worn when I finished. I was still able to walk the dogs later in the day though…

My dog chewed power cord, and my jeans too… He also had a go at my trail shoes but luckily no real damage, just a lace replacement.






50 for 50

In one month today I will be fifty years old, a milestone that I have been anticipating for a while, yet one that has just sort of snuck up on me in the last few weeks and one I was unprepared for – until now.

Eight or nine years ago I decided that I wanted to do the Trans-Alp mountain bike race for my fiftieth. It is a multi day, gruelling ride held late September / early October so timing wise it fitted and I liked the idea of the challenge. That idea morphed into a plan to tour Europe and finish the trip I was on when I celebrated my twenty fifth birthday, in the Kombi van somewhere in Holland. Well the whole mountain bike thing fell off the list as my riding fitness waned and bike time became almost non-existent, however I am in Europe – so half the plan was actioned.

This left me with a big milestone rapidly approaching and nothing to do to acknowledge or celebrate it, I can hardly have a big party as most of my friends are in New Zealand. Three weeks ago I put a semi-facetious note on FaceBook asking for ideas and my ‘friend’ Malcolm suggested I run 50km. I recently supported Mal when he ran 1014km in 17 days to raise awareness of mental health, see Mal’s review of the Coast Path Run starting here, so it was no great surprise that he suggested it!

My first thought was this was pretty silly, I mean – I am happy to run for a couple hours, but 50km, off road – Mal would never suggest a road run, would be a real challenge for me. I guess this is why it was suggested ! No point in doing something easy.  I gave the idea about 2 minutes thought and decided that if I could do a couple of decent two to three hour runs in the next couple of weeks I would do it.

If I was going to run 50k I may as well do it somewhere with stunning views and somewhere where I at least had some vague familiarity with the terrain, so I emailed Tom, who lives on the English south coast and was also involved in running the Coast Path Run for some ‘easy’ options for a fifty. He suggested a few locations and also volunteered to reverse roles and be my support person for the day – how cool I that! I also contacted Garry, another runner from the coast who ran with Mal (and has an impeccable music taste) to see if he was around and he said he would do the whole thing with me – and knowing Garry, if he had the time he would turn around and run back again! With this kind of support, how could I not do it ! I love trail runners, such an awesome bunch of people.

So Saturday 15th September, two days before I turn fifty I am going to do 50 for 50. Mal – thanks for the idea, I mean it 🙂 a great way to celebrate my birthday, it fits in with my original plan – do some crazy physical thing plus I get to hang with Tom and Garry, two top blokes for the day. If anyone is wondering, ‘what is he doing on the actual day?’  –  I will be staying at my daughters in Bristol, where I will party , – I am looking forward to that too !

The dog ate my…. part two

My four legged friend Muttley has chewed through my laptop’s power cord, leaving me computerless at the moment.

I can access the interweb through my cell phone but there is no way I am going to write blog posts on it so until I get a new cord I will hold off blogging. Not that I have been up to much since I got back to Alcaucin.

I have done a couple of days gardening work, painting stars up again tomorrow. I did squeeze in a great three hour run on Saturday and went to see the great new Batman movie last night.

Pretty much sums it up !

I hope all is well in every ones world !

Resting up

Day 218/219, Thursday/Friday 09/10 August 2012 – Alcaucin

I Slept Ok but didn’t really get going till just before nine. It was hot in Malaga, 37 degrees when I got off the bus last night but I did not want to use the air conditioning in the room for too long as it seems to be impacting on my eyes and throat. I gave it a quick burst at four to cool the room down a bit.

I had planned on a big day. There is a lot to see in Malaga and only two buses back to Alcaucin, one in the morning and one in the evening, so I was going to get the 6:30 pm bus and see everything. Well that was the plan when I left the hotel at 9:00! Best laid plans….

My two star hotel, Carlos V, is right smack in the middle of the action, so walking out the front door, I had the cathedral on my left and the Alcazaba on my right.



I was looking for somewhere for a decent breakfast but I just all confidence in myself as I hit the street. I knew I was tired, I was really hungry – having not eaten last night and I must have been dehydrated, losing my wallet yesterday did not help either – whatever it was, I could not walk into a cafe. I must have walked for almost an hour before finally getting into a restaurant to eat. I was so hungry – and they didn’t do big breakfasts.

Once I had eaten I did feel a lot better but had resolved to take the early bus at 11:30 to my cousins place in Alcaucin and come back and do Malaga another day.

Guess this place is popular with the English !


It is only two and a bit hours by bus from home so an easy day trip. I returned to the hotel, packed up my stuff and got a cab to the bus station. The ride to Alcaucin took two half hours and there was a change in Velez-Malaga as well, but the driver helped with that thank goodness.

Ian has gone away for the weekend and I am dog-sitting, he left soon after I arrived so after a wee lie down I went up to the le Grande Rancho restaurant for lunch. Ian and I have been here a couple of times so I kind of know how it works, which was just what my confidence needed.

A lot of the restaurants in Spain (or at least in Andalucia) have a menu of the day, which often has a couple of choices of starter main, and desert for a fixed price – usually significantly cheaper than if you chose off the menu. They are a cheap option for the workers to get a good main meal for a reasonable price – remember the Spanish have their main meal at mid-day. Thursdays at le Rancho is Paella day so there was no way I was going to not have that. The gazpacho here is just lovely so I had that for a starter and melon drizzled in honey for desert. Three courses and a drink for 7 Euro – and the drink is any drink so I had a large beer : ) A perfect meal and I was stuffed full as I waddled back down the road and took the dogs for their afternoon before settling in to watch the Olympic BMX racing on TV.

The rest of the day was pretty much spent watching the Olympics, I didn’t get round to watching any more episodes of The Wire – Ian has all five seasons on DVD and I had planned on some Wire marathons.

Early to bed

I had a great and long sleep, apart from having to get up in the middle of the night to find Muttley roaming around outside the door and having to lock him back inside, this time with the windows closed!

I got up at 7:30, walked the dogs and had breakfast myself, it is going to be a hot day I can feel it already ! I spent an hour on a stepper type bit of gym equipment, I am sure it has a name, but I am not up on gym stuff. I want to try and do an hour a day at least on the days I do not get out for a proper run, only five weeks to the event so everything counts now.

Apart from completely reloading my MP3 player with more upbeat music – it is time for a change from yelly punk and broody instrumental rock, I didn’t do a lot else after a shower until I went back to el Rancho for lunch. Today was gazpacho again followed by calamari and fries and beer. With a heaving belly I went home, walked the dogs, watched the BMX semis and finals on TV. I was bummed for Marc Willers who had such an awesome run yesterday and crashed heavily on the first race today, but awesome result for the lovely Sarah Walker getting NZ another silver medal.

It is almost 7:00 PM as I write this post, I have just got out of the pool as it is 37 degrees in the shade, a hot day !

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Oops, I did it again !!

Day 217, Wednesday 08 August 2012 – ???

A much quieter night last night so a lot more sleep had and like yesterday I didn’t get up until breakfast time at 8:30. With only a small walk planned today I ate a lot more than yesterday, but still could not finish all the food.

I left for my walk about 9:15, I planned on doing two and half hours so I could get back in time for a quick shower before checking out at 12:00. I started up the path that sort of runs up the side of the Rio Trelevez. Like yesterday, I only took my cell phone for a camera and for some reason (shaky hands ?) a lot of the photos were blurred rubbish.

The walk was pleasant enough, certainly not like yesterdays and my legs were feeling surprisingly OK. They knew they had done some work though, but were much looser than I anticipated, further good news for my fitness.

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I was not really in the mindset for a walk, for some reason I was feeling at a bit of a loss this morning so after forty five minutes when I came across this track covering puddle I turned around and meandered back to the hotel. I didn’t want to have to put wet running shoes into my pack for the day, good excuse huh ?

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I hadn’t really come up with much of a plan of where to stay the night, Trevelez is a funny place to get out of and Alcaucin where I am ‘living’ is a funny place to get to – bus timings just didn’t seem to work out. In the end I decided on heading back to Granada and getting the next bus to Malaga and staying the night there. Tomorrow I will see Malaga and get the bus to Alcaucin at 6:30pm. Perfect !

Sadly the bus from Trevelez leaves at 4:00 PM so I had some time to kill between checking out of my room and catching the bus. Luckily I was able to use the internet in reception for a couple of hours till lunch at 2:00.

I went to a different restaurant for lunch and had a very nice salad, a change to have something healthy! I have been struggling with trying to learn even the most basic of Spanish, I started in Barcelona and have continued to attempt here in Trevelez. The pronunciation is so varied, even between towns and I had real trouble in this restaurant, depressing !

I liked Trevelez, if I had a car I would have stayed longer and done some more of the local walks. The one thing that I don’t like about it is the flies, they are terrible – it is like being in Queensland again !!

The bus to Granada was an uneventful two and three quarter hour ride, except I seem to have broken the headphones for my MP3 player, grrrrr – no music for all that time was rough. The drive is still lovely, though unusually I felt a bit queasy on the bus, very rare.

As soon as the bus pulled into the station on time at 6:45 I ran up to the ticket machine and got the last seat on the 7:00 bus to Malaga – awesome. This was the super bus, I got given water and a small snack and thankfully headphones for the in-bus sound system, wahoo they fitted my MP3 player – rubbish headphones, but headphones nonetheless. The ride to Malaga was also fantastic, such a beautiful, dry and mountainous province.

I got off the bus and into a cab to head to the hotel, and realised I did not have my wallet in my bag ! Shitburgers !! I panicked briefly, before thankfully finding I had enough coins to pay the cab driver. I knew I had the wallet on the bus as I had seen it in my bag, I am guessing it fell out by my seat somewhere. When I got to the hotel I rang the bus depot and got an answering machine, I will have to try tomorrow when I go to catch the bus home. At least this time I didn’t lose a drivers licence or anything, only 30 euros and a couple of cards- thank God I still had a spare card in my pack and was able to get some cash out.

The hotel is in the middle of all the tourist stuff, right next to the cathedral so I went for a wee stroll around with the intent of getting something to eat. Loads and loads of places but I could not decide and did not want to eat alone again, too tiring.

Not a great day sadly.

The Alcazaba in Malaga, looking fwd to visiting tomorrow.





Siete Lagunas

Day 216, Tuesday 07 August 2012 – Trevelez

Noisy night in Trevelez, I think Spain must be the noisiest country I have visited ! I am staying on the first floor of La Fragua, a one star hotel that is better than half the three stars I have stayed in, but I am street side. The people down and along were still going at 6:00, just chatting, but in these narrow streets noise travels. The hotel owner started at 6:30 – so noise all night. I did have a solid sleep for an hour until 8:00 though !

I was not rushing again today, breakfast was not being served until 8:30 and I had a big walk planned so wanted to eat well, and what a breakfast. Cereal, toast, ham, cheese, yogurt – best free breakie in Europe so far, I couldn’t finish it either.

My plan for the day was to walk to the Siete Lagunas (Seven Lakes) a glacial lake 600 metres below Mulhacen, the high point of the Sierra Nevada range. As you can see, it is only 8km away but with 1400m of vertical gain the walk up is not going to be dead easy – and nor will the run down. I decided not to take my camera today and just used the cell phone for piccies.

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The first km was pretty much all up hill, quite steep in places and very rocky, definitely a walk and not a climb, but a steep walk. I passed a small herd of a goats on the way, I could hear them tinkling away for ages before I saw them – sadly straight into the sun.

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The view back down to Trevelez

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Yay – flat bits, well flatish !

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I had been wondering what sort of pace I was making, the walk is supposed to take between 6 and 8 hours – a long time for a mere 6km, I know, but I was expecting to take about 5, which conveniently had me back in town for lunch at 2:00 ! I had kinda guessed I was doing between 3 and 4 km an hour and arrived at this sign almost exactly on one hour.

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I reached my first rest stop at the refuge at La Campinuela after almost 2 hours and stopped for a muesli bar and sun block session, there was a group of walkers leaving as I arrived and I would pass them fairly quickly – they were damn slow. I saw a few people on the walk, I had been a little concerned about mountain walking on my own, but there were enough people around to not be worried once I was on the trail.

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This really pisses me off !!!! I mean it was ok to carry it when it was full and weighed 1.5 kilos, now it is empty and weighs nothing it is a hassle !!! Grrrrrrrr. But no, I didnt pick it up either, there is no bottle carrier on my Camelbak and I wasnt going to carry it.

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The view to the top.

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The last 100 metres were really steep and the surface was really loose, I hate this stuff, I seriously considered turning round and not going all the way up, but fought my vertigo and took it slowly, stopping to get my bearings along the way. I am really glad I did as the top was really nice, well  it is not really the top, the top is up there, were the patch of ice is ! but the lake and the cows of Sieta Lagunas were pretty cool.

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I had a wee snack and realised I was close to running out of water, before making my way to the edge and heading back, slowly, down the shale bank. The three black dots in the middle are people coming up, they had walking poles and finally they made sense !

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Soon enough I was back on single track and just ran for a while. Loved it !!

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Though I had a bit of trouble with my walking shorts being too lose and ended up running for a while holding them up – the price you pay for losing weight – a happy price of course 🙂
I ran most of the way back down, but some of the sections were really sketchy and I was not in any rush, just enjoying myself. I was very cautious, with what I have planned in 6 weeks I could not afford to injure myself now, and to be honest breaking an ankle at 2500m in the mountains of southern Spain was probably not going to be a good idea anyway !

It took me under half the time to get back down to Trevelez and the whole trip to took 4 hours 15. It was a blast too. Beautiful mountain scenery and great walking.

Back in my room I spent ten minutes lying on the floor next to the open balcony doors enjoying a cool breeze before showering and washing clothes and then heading back to last nights restaurant for lunch. I had the Spanish big breakfast and it was big and awesome : )

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After lunch I read for a while in the cafe over a glass of red and then retired to the hotel for the rest of the day, dinner was a pack of biscuits and another red or three. I had eaten enough today and couldn’t be bothered going out again. Finally some good track and field on TV as well.

The highlight post lunch was working out how to connect my Windows 7 laptop to an unsecured wireless network – internet yes !!!!


Day 215, Monday 06 August 2012 – Trevelez

I had a great sleep last night and was awake early enough to eat one of the muesli bars I bought yesterday and get out the door by 8:00 to go run the 7.1km loop I walked yesterday. Though there was no need to rush as the bus to Trevelez is not till 12:30, I wanted to get the whole way around while the valley was in shade , partly to stay cool and partly for the challenge of beating the sun round.

Today I broke my number 1 rule of trail running, NEVER RUN ALONE. Especially in a strange land, in different conditions to what I used to, no first aid kit, apart from a couple of band aids and no other emergency equipment. Plus no one would miss me for days either… Oh well – fingers crossed.

The first part of the loop is quite steep and rocky, probably climbing close to a hundred metres, so it was basically a walk : ) it was surprisingly cool, if I wasn’t doing exercise I would possibly have had a light jersey on – nah, I would have been relishing it….

Once at the top of the climb the first half of the run went pretty fast, some nice flowy bits of single track and a long downhill on an unsealed road to the bridge across the Poqueira at La Cebadilla. I saw no people until I got to the abandoned town where there were some farmers loading cattle into a truck, but I did see loads of rabbits, a couple of deer and heard the bells around the necks of goats tinkling on the other side of the valley.

There was a steep, but not so nasty climb back up from the river and I ran all of it to get to the lovely section of single track that went almost all the way back to the bridge below Capileira. I opened up the legs and really enjoyed running some sweet Spanish single track. I made it to the bridge in under fifty minutes and just before the sun came down, very happy. I walked the first section out of the valley as it is steep and rocky and then ran the last few hundred metres into town.

It was a great run and took me about an hour. I was pleased with that as I felt good and hadn’t pushed the pace at all – nor had I had my morning coffee.

After a quick shower I popped down to the cafe to get my coffee and toast and read the news on my phone – a contented man.

It was then time for a read before packing and getting ready to get the bus as at 12:30 to my next destination, Trevelez, about an hour away. Trevelez is the highest town in the Sierra Nevadas. I chose to stay at La Fragua, a hotel that apparently gets frequently booked out by English walking tours, with the hope that there may be some English speaking people staying and I can find someone to talk to!

I checked out from the hotel at 12:00 and went and hung it in the shade near the bus stop for the 12:25 bus. While I was waiting two tour buses arrived and discharged their mainly middle aged tourists on the streets of Capileira. I was horrified !! I have been quietly planning my next few months and plan D (esperate) is to join a European tour. Plan D only comes into effect if I cannot land myself a job in the UK in a reasonable amount of time. I cannot to live here without a job and at the moment I cannot face another long road trip on my own – and neither can I afford a long trip either. While a tour is not the cheapest way at least I will get to see the main sights plus have some form of company. Anyway – not time to think about that just yet – though it is approaching that time.

The bus arrived pretty much dead on time and the forty five minute ride to Trevelez cost me an entire 1.69 Euros (2.55 NZ), amazingly cheap for such a stunning ride through the Sierra Nevadas.

I found the hotel and checked in, fantastic view out into the hills ! I went for a walk around town in search of an ATM as I was almost out of cash. Trevelez is on quite a steep hillside and the walk from the top, where I am staying to the bottom, where the ATM is, took about ten minutes – and was significantly harder on the return. I had a sandwich and a beer at the bottom as well as a walk around as I won’t be heading back down unless I have too !



Trevelez’s claim to fame, prior to it becoming a tourist mecca, was Jamone (ham) – and there is still a lot for sale.


As in Capileira the water runs fresh through town, though this is the best water fountain I have seen so far


The houses here are not as cute as the ones in Capileira, I think some are a bit newer and hence bigger. the older houses had quite low doorways and the ground floor was used to house animals and barrels of food/wine/olive oil etc.


This guy has the answer to travel in town…


My legs were tight on the walk back up and I was feeling quite tired – hopefully this will remedy itself overnight as I have a big walk planned for tomorrow.

The rest of the afternoon was spent doing what I always do, hibernate in my room, listen to music, read and write. This time I had Spanish Olympic coverage on as well. Synchronised swimming, gymnastics and shooting – yawn…. Finally got around to watching another couple of episodes of series one of “The Wire”, it has been a while since I started the series and today it finally got a hook in, Ian has 5 series on DVD so I think I will be spending some quality time in front of the TV this weekend as I am dog sitting for 3 days, sans car so I wont be doing a heck of a lot.

At the reasonable Spanish hour of 9:00 I wandered round the corner to the restaurant linked to the hotel I am in. As usual I ate alone, which was a damn shame as the food was excellent , they even had vegetarian food and the eggplant lasagne was fantastic, so good I even had a dessert – first one in a while! And a coffee and brandy – I have had a couple (by this I actually mean 2 !) of brandies since being in Spain and I must say they are quite nice, they won’t replace whisky but as an after dinner snifter, hmmmm tempting.

No English speaking tourists so far, damnit !

For some weird reason my laptop will not connect to the hotel wifi, though my phone does, so no blog post today.

Tomorrows target!