Thursday, 27 March 2014


Traveling from Grenada to Almeria, you have the most stunning views of the Sierra Nevada, capped with snow and below the Almond trees, all laced with pink blossom. The Sierra extends for about 80kms and has the highest peak in Spain, Mulhacen, standing at 3482m. It is tremendously important botanically, as almost a third of the total flora of Spain, some of which are unique are only found here.
The Sierra is sometimes snow clad for 9 months of the year and 95% of precipitation falls as snow on the highest peaks. It is also home to many birds and mammals, especially the magnificent Iberian Ibex.

Before we followed the road up into the Sierra, we stopped at the village of Calahorra, where a magnificent 16th century Castillo perches high on a hill overlooking the village.

Climbing higher we follow the winding road towards the Puerto de la Ragua, at 2609m.
This must be a stunning sight, but the weather has closed in and it has started to snow!

The weather brightened as we descended on the southern side of the Sierra and the sun came out, as we travelled the road through the Alpujarras. Our lunch stop found us overlooking this almost surreal view of Almond trees on different coloured soil.

Further along our route looked down on valleys and gorges, stopping to admire the view, we heard bells tinkling and below us a shepherd with his sheep and dogs came into view and just as quickly disappeared into the vast and desolate landscape.

Below is one of the famous white villages of Andalusia, called Ohanes, all piled up on itself, with
the Church at its centre.

The village was surrounded with ancient terraced fields.

Another white village, behind you can see the beginning of the Tabernas landscape, which is more desert like, with arid mountains also known as the badlands.

At any moment we expected to see Clint Eastwood riding across the range, but no luck!

Now in the Sierra de los Filabres, down one of the most winding roads ever,
 ( we thought that we would meet ourselves, coming up) we came across this little gem of a village,
called Terque, like an oasis in the barren landscape. Not only with beautiful colonial Spanish houses,
 but also cave dwellings.

Like a painting, a quiet corner of Terique.

Following the valley of the Rio Andarax, we then turned northward into the badlands of the Desert de Tabernas as the sun was going down, lighting the tips of the grasses.
A fitting end to a day of contrasts.

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