Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Andalucia hiking day 1: Near Cadiar -> Trevelez

Got a late start (9:30) thanks to breakfast starting at 8:30 -- not our fault for once. Following directions from some horseback riders at the hotel, we skipped heading back into Cadiar to pick up the GR-7 directly and took the direct route of just heading downhill to the river (~800m). After wandering around for a bit searching for where the GR-7 crosses the river, we gave up and crossed the river on a log (Greg's favorite activity). Immediately thereafter we found the trail.

After going uphill for a bit we hit our first white village of the trip: Lobras (939m). After a short break and drink at the fountain (pretty much every town has a fountain, so we don't have to carry a huge amount of water with us, which is a tremendous boon), we head through town, down a bit, then up to the the next village: Timar (1070m). Another break at another fountain, then up again and over a really nice crest with cool rock formations until Juviles sneaks up on us (1255m, 1:00).

Juviles is a bit bigger than either Lobras and Timar and is distinguished by its huge new ham-drying facility. We wander around town for a bit trying to find the supermarket to pick up some stuff for lunch, but eventually give up and have lunch at a cafe/bar/restaurant run by a Dutch expat. After a leisurely lunch break we start our at 2:30 for the day's endpoint: Trevelez.

We head up, up, up from Juviles through some scrub to the ridge (~1800m) and then down through a pine and oak forest to town. Trevelez (1476m) was visible for a while and kept getting closer through the afternoon. We walk through town past more ham-drying places than I thought could ever exist in one place, then out of town along the road for about a km to the place we're staying for the night (6:10). Rather than head back into town (and then return) along the dark and fairly busy road, we opt to have dinner in the campground restaurant. The meal is nothing to write home about.

Some themes from our not particularly strenous day:
  • Smells: this was the best smelling hike. We were heading through rosemary and thyme and pine and lavender and flowers of every description. There were scrub flowers that had a light cinnamon scent and some flowering bushes with a cocoa butter smell. Amazing.
  • Flowers of many shapes and sizes. Not as many colors: the majority were yellow but we did see some purples, reds, and blues. Even some green.
  • Aside from being a bit hazy the weather was quite nice. It was warm but not too hot, with low humidity and frequent cooling breezes.
  • The parts of the day where we were climbing through scrub really reminded both of us of Henry Coe.
  • Wow was it great to be out hiking again and to know that there are more days to come.

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