A wee stroll in the Sierra Nevada

Day 214, Sunday 05 August 2012 – Capileira

It was a noisy night in Capileira, with the partying not stopping on the street until 6:00 am, naturally i choose to stay in my room all night and watched Thor on my laptop, and I wonder why I don’t meet people. Though the main tourists here appear to be Spanish – and I will say, not particularly young either.

I woke with incredibly sore eyes, I haven’t suffered from this for months and forgot how painful opening them can be, I am wandering if it was due to the air con on the bus yesterday and the lack of water I consumed – I won’t blame the whisky as my head was fine! Hopefully they will be better tomorrow, but they are feeling very dry now.

At 7:30 I got up to take a photo of the sun rising on the hills and I really wanted to get going on my walk.


However, the hotel restaurant was yet to open and I was not going to go walking without breakfast inside me as I had no other food source. I managed to get some food about 8:45, bread and jam – but the all important coffee was had.

I finally left about 9:30, I wasn’t really in a rush, the loop I was doing was supposed to take three hours thirty, but I wanted to get some of the walk in before the sun was shining on the side of the Poqueira River valley I was walking. It was quite warm with a strong wind gusting around as well.

The start was quite steep, there is about 400 metres climb in the 7.1km walk and the first 100 was getting out of the village, from there it flattened out for the next 3 or so kilometres to the abandoned village of La Cebadilla. I had a feeling I was being watched…



There were very few people on the walk, I saw families at the start and end and a runner came towards me at the midpoint – I was a bit jealous of him and may well run the loop tomorrow morning.

The aqueduct bringing the fresh water into the town makes an appearance every now and then along the side of the path. For most first half of the walk the path was 4WD track opening up to road for a kilometre or so, the second half was pretty much all single track. P1150097

I took an artsy type shot of the track, I love the grasses here, and yes the out of focus was deliberate!


The few houses and church at La Cebadilla were built for the workers who built the hydroelectric power station that opened in 1956, the settlement was abandoned soon after.





It only took an hour to get to the half way point which was a bit of a worry as I wanted to fill a bit more of the day than just two hours. I decided to walk a further six km to the refuge on the mountain.


However further up the road I saw a map of the walks and there was almost 1100 metres of climbing to the Refugio and as I had no food and only a litre of water I decided to flag it. I walked up to the top of the first, steep climb and took a photo.


The track crossed the Rio Poqueira here and continued back to Puente Abuchite, a bridge below Capiliera. The walk was interesting, lots of abandoned house and farm buildings on the way.


At the bridge.


There was a further kilometre of up hill from the bridge back to town, I just knocked it off at a fast pace. I had completed the walk, including my small detour plus taking photos in two and half hours, now what !


As it was only barely twelve I went for a lie down before heading out for a big lunch – and bought some muesli bars for next time…

The problem with these sorts of towns is there is basically nothing to do once the walk is done, I could drink all afternoon but there is little point in that, leave me nothing to do in the evenings then! The internet pretty much doesn’t work in my room so I could not get a lot of work on the next phase of my plan done so I read a bit until I got bored around 6:00. I decided to walk down to Bubion – the village below as I had seen a path yesterday and it is only a kilometre away by road. I walked back down to the bottom of the village, there are lots of dogs around and dog pooh is everywhere, really need to keep your eyes peeled when walking ! i found the track and started walking down, I must have gone a hundred vertical metres before the trail just sort of stopped, so I ended up turning round and walking back up again, it was a warm walk, much hotter than this morning.

I went back to my room and read some more before heading down to the bar for a beer and a blog posting.






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Wannabe writer and photographer. Interested in travel and place. From Auckland, New Zealand.