Day 216, Tuesday 07 August 2012 – Trevelez
Noisy night in Trevelez, I think Spain must be the noisiest country I have visited ! I am staying on the first floor of La Fragua, a one star hotel that is better than half the three stars I have stayed in, but I am street side. The people down and along were still going at 6:00, just chatting, but in these narrow streets noise travels. The hotel owner started at 6:30 – so noise all night. I did have a solid sleep for an hour until 8:00 though !
I was not rushing again today, breakfast was not being served until 8:30 and I had a big walk planned so wanted to eat well, and what a breakfast. Cereal, toast, ham, cheese, yogurt – best free breakie in Europe so far, I couldn’t finish it either.
My plan for the day was to walk to the Siete Lagunas (Seven Lakes) a glacial lake 600 metres below Mulhacen, the high point of the Sierra Nevada range. As you can see, it is only 8km away but with 1400m of vertical gain the walk up is not going to be dead easy – and nor will the run down. I decided not to take my camera today and just used the cell phone for piccies.
The first km was pretty much all up hill, quite steep in places and very rocky, definitely a walk and not a climb, but a steep walk. I passed a small herd of a goats on the way, I could hear them tinkling away for ages before I saw them – sadly straight into the sun.
The view back down to Trevelez
Yay – flat bits, well flatish !
I had been wondering what sort of pace I was making, the walk is supposed to take between 6 and 8 hours – a long time for a mere 6km, I know, but I was expecting to take about 5, which conveniently had me back in town for lunch at 2:00 ! I had kinda guessed I was doing between 3 and 4 km an hour and arrived at this sign almost exactly on one hour.
I reached my first rest stop at the refuge at La Campinuela after almost 2 hours and stopped for a muesli bar and sun block session, there was a group of walkers leaving as I arrived and I would pass them fairly quickly – they were damn slow. I saw a few people on the walk, I had been a little concerned about mountain walking on my own, but there were enough people around to not be worried once I was on the trail.
This really pisses me off !!!! I mean it was ok to carry it when it was full and weighed 1.5 kilos, now it is empty and weighs nothing it is a hassle !!! Grrrrrrrr. But no, I didnt pick it up either, there is no bottle carrier on my Camelbak and I wasnt going to carry it.
The view to the top.
The last 100 metres were really steep and the surface was really loose, I hate this stuff, I seriously considered turning round and not going all the way up, but fought my vertigo and took it slowly, stopping to get my bearings along the way. I am really glad I did as the top was really nice, well it is not really the top, the top is up there, were the patch of ice is ! but the lake and the cows of Sieta Lagunas were pretty cool.
I had a wee snack and realised I was close to running out of water, before making my way to the edge and heading back, slowly, down the shale bank. The three black dots in the middle are people coming up, they had walking poles and finally they made sense !
Soon enough I was back on single track and just ran for a while. Loved it !!
Though I had a bit of trouble with my walking shorts being too lose and ended up running for a while holding them up – the price you pay for losing weight – a happy price of course 🙂
I ran most of the way back down, but some of the sections were really sketchy and I was not in any rush, just enjoying myself. I was very cautious, with what I have planned in 6 weeks I could not afford to injure myself now, and to be honest breaking an ankle at 2500m in the mountains of southern Spain was probably not going to be a good idea anyway !
It took me under half the time to get back down to Trevelez and the whole trip to took 4 hours 15. It was a blast too. Beautiful mountain scenery and great walking.
Back in my room I spent ten minutes lying on the floor next to the open balcony doors enjoying a cool breeze before showering and washing clothes and then heading back to last nights restaurant for lunch. I had the Spanish big breakfast and it was big and awesome : )
After lunch I read for a while in the cafe over a glass of red and then retired to the hotel for the rest of the day, dinner was a pack of biscuits and another red or three. I had eaten enough today and couldn’t be bothered going out again. Finally some good track and field on TV as well.
The highlight post lunch was working out how to connect my Windows 7 laptop to an unsecured wireless network – internet yes !!!!