I gratefully left Pozo Alcon and headed into the mountains. I had a route to use from the guys at Transandalus, but when I uploaded it to Everytrail I spotted some very steep ascents – looked like 20%. So I worked out a more gentle route for me and my trailer. The route initially lead out through olive and almond groves, but as I ascended soon came into pine forests. Again, it was very quiet and I saw no-one all day except a few intrepid 4×4 drivers who must like the excitement.
The mountains here are mostly limestone, and so is even more spectacular than many others I have travelled through (I am going to run out of superlatives soon).
Huge cliff faces soared into the sky above me, and gorges dropped away into the rivers below. I came across massive limestone pavements which make Malham look very small.
And the hight is quite something – despite being a small range the peaks run up to 1800m – I even cam across the remains of some winter snow.
These mountains seemed to have a lot more wildlife than many other forests I had been in. As the morning warmed up huge raptors started to appear, rising up in the thermals to hunt. I think these were Booted Eagles, though I can’t be sure. All day as I went along there was bird song of many different sorts. At one stage a patch of road had millipedes trying to cross it; I did my buddhist best not to run them over. I think there must be a joke in there somewhere – why did the millipede cross the road? I saw Ibex all through the higher reaches, and at one stage came across a small Adder sunning itself in the road. Also, check out the dung beetles on the video doiary 🙂
So finally I descended into the village of Cazorla down a winding path which got steeper and narrower as I progressed…it was quite exciting towards the end. The village is not very picturesque, but seems a lot more friendly than Pozo Alcon. People said hello to me as I passed by, and there is a nice centre with several bars where families were sitting and chatting. I have found another inexpensive hotel here – £30 per night incl breakfast, but it’s really great. See Villa Turistica de Cazorla. http://www.villasdeandalucia.com/ I have a big room with a balcony, there is free wifi in the bar, and it’s a little outside town so is quiet (there is some celebration on today and I can hear a brass band marching around the village – I’m glad I’m not too close to that. I have views of the castle and cliffs behind, and am surrounded by birdsong as I type. Today I’m going to change the bearings on my rear wheel – wish me luck, I’ll need it.
Video diary at: