The one thing that is consistently true about holidays, is that no matter how long or short, enjoyable or not, decent weather or not, far away from home or just down the road, they all come to an end :-(. Spending time in the Alpujarras was like being on a feelgood drug intravenously, aided by excellent weather over the festive season, it become infinitely more pleasurable. The opportunities to hike and explore the area were compounded as decent weather days literally just rolled from one into the next. The area ha a myriad of hiking routes and as I’ve said in previous posts, just so many villages to visit. Each of them with their tiny populations, clinging onto the hillside, almost like a single integrated structure.
One of the places I didnt mention in my previous blogs was Orgiva, capital of the Alpujarras. Very different in that it has a much larger population numbering some 5000. I suppose it is big enough to be called a town as opposed to a village, with its Hotels, Bars, Restaurants, Camping sites, and even two public squares. Thursday mornings sees a market take over the town, interestngly the town seems to have a large alternative/new age component so besides vegetables and wholefoods, hippie art, jewellery and even alternative treatments can be found there.
So as my time in the area was rapidly starting to diminish, I knew I hadnt seen enough, hadnt done enough etc etc. Because the place just has this way of captivating you. In a last act of desperatation, I decided to pack away the hiking boots, and climb into the car and go on a drive to try and cover more ground. This has the downside that you’re restricted to the roads that are neatly cut into the contours. Make no mistake, this is not easy driving, with hairpin bends galore, going around them too quickly will see you defying gravity not to mention reaching out for the paper bag :-). So the drive wound its way past a few villages and seemed to just keep climbing until you got to a slender ridge, on one side of which you could see deep into the valley below, and on the other side there was rapidly rising layer of mist, nice and thick, filling the entire depth of the valley on the other side, and softly beginning to stroke the level that the raod was on, almost eerie, though in a nice way, completely surreal. It was incredible because as the road wove its way along this ridge, so you drove into and emerged from this soft white cloud. A short while later, there was a junction with a bunch of roadsigns on it, clearly an important turning point for people headed in all directions. It was rather opportune that at that very junction was a bar/restaurant/coffee shop, almost like a way point, a destination, a change in direction, a decision point, a turn around point, where you stopped, had a coffee while you contemplated where you were going to next. Somehow, this seemed to be gathering point of many souls, probably of the clouds too, all at this transition point, before moving off somewhere else.
There was a road to the coast, but I was pretty content with being in the mountains, so just lingered in the coffee shop for a while, chatted to some locals, before reluctantly making my way back to my lodgings to prepare for the long way home :-(. Alpujarras was one of my memorable journeys, to those of you that joined this particular blogging journey with me, thank you, I hope you enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed telling you about it. The journey continues ………………………………..
Todays images are just moments along the way………..moments along the drive and in the Alpujarras…………………………………..