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Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Can we climb this mountain? I don't know

Behind the camp site at Los Banos is a hill that is 585 m high. Of course, it was there so we had to climb it. We have not managed to find maps useful for walking in Spain and so we set off with a black and white photocopy of a map and instructions in Spanish. This made route finding somewhat problematic, although occasionally we were assisted by yellow and white splashes of paint on a rock.

The route was described in Spanish as being of medium difficulty, so we expected something on a par with Helm Crag. While Anthony saunters up anything with his hands in his pockets, as soon as the angle gets vertiginous Carol resorts to scrambling with three points of contact. The rocks were particularly rugged and while the son of a goatherd emerged at the top relatively unscathed, Carol had blood dripping dramatically down one leg as she emerged from the top of the crag.

The view from the top was fantastic; this was more like the Spain of Don Quixote and Laurie Lee and we enjoyed the solitude and tranquility; no one else on the camp site is up to such a scramble (see earlier post). The semi-dessert landscape here is very different from anything we are familiar with in the Lake District fells. Descending once again tested the photocopied map and our navigational skills to their full extent; at least as we tramped through the vegetation we were enveloped in the aromatic smells of rosemary, thyme and lavender.


  1. A good series of Spanish walking maps is published by Editorial Alpina. Their web shop is at Alpina maps at Stanfords in London cost about £12.95 each but they may be cheaper in Spain.
    It's cold, dark and very wet in Preston. It hailstoned tonight (again).

  2. Thanks Aidan. We have resorted to an order with Stanfords (my favourite bookshops), as we've not been successful finding maps in Spanish bookshops.

  3. The best place to look for walking maps in Spain is in specialist outdoor shops or national park shops, if you can find one!! Good walking maps of certain areas of Spain can be downloaded at
    I can recommend the Alpujarra region of the Sierra Nevada as great for walking if you are in that part of Spain.
    Great blog, I don't know how you find the time to do it. Keep up the good work

  4. Hi Bob,

    thanks for your comments and recommendations. We're spending a fortnight over Christmas/New Year at Orgiva and will certainly be visiting the Alpujarra.

    Carol & Anthony