Day 215, Monday 06 August 2012 – Trevelez
I had a great sleep last night and was awake early enough to eat one of the muesli bars I bought yesterday and get out the door by 8:00 to go run the 7.1km loop I walked yesterday. Though there was no need to rush as the bus to Trevelez is not till 12:30, I wanted to get the whole way around while the valley was in shade , partly to stay cool and partly for the challenge of beating the sun round.
Today I broke my number 1 rule of trail running, NEVER RUN ALONE. Especially in a strange land, in different conditions to what I used to, no first aid kit, apart from a couple of band aids and no other emergency equipment. Plus no one would miss me for days either… Oh well – fingers crossed.
The first part of the loop is quite steep and rocky, probably climbing close to a hundred metres, so it was basically a walk : ) it was surprisingly cool, if I wasn’t doing exercise I would possibly have had a light jersey on – nah, I would have been relishing it….
Once at the top of the climb the first half of the run went pretty fast, some nice flowy bits of single track and a long downhill on an unsealed road to the bridge across the Poqueira at La Cebadilla. I saw no people until I got to the abandoned town where there were some farmers loading cattle into a truck, but I did see loads of rabbits, a couple of deer and heard the bells around the necks of goats tinkling on the other side of the valley.
There was a steep, but not so nasty climb back up from the river and I ran all of it to get to the lovely section of single track that went almost all the way back to the bridge below Capileira. I opened up the legs and really enjoyed running some sweet Spanish single track. I made it to the bridge in under fifty minutes and just before the sun came down, very happy. I walked the first section out of the valley as it is steep and rocky and then ran the last few hundred metres into town.
It was a great run and took me about an hour. I was pleased with that as I felt good and hadn’t pushed the pace at all – nor had I had my morning coffee.
After a quick shower I popped down to the cafe to get my coffee and toast and read the news on my phone – a contented man.
It was then time for a read before packing and getting ready to get the bus as at 12:30 to my next destination, Trevelez, about an hour away. Trevelez is the highest town in the Sierra Nevadas. I chose to stay at La Fragua, a hotel that apparently gets frequently booked out by English walking tours, with the hope that there may be some English speaking people staying and I can find someone to talk to!
I checked out from the hotel at 12:00 and went and hung it in the shade near the bus stop for the 12:25 bus. While I was waiting two tour buses arrived and discharged their mainly middle aged tourists on the streets of Capileira. I was horrified !! I have been quietly planning my next few months and plan D (esperate) is to join a European tour. Plan D only comes into effect if I cannot land myself a job in the UK in a reasonable amount of time. I cannot to live here without a job and at the moment I cannot face another long road trip on my own – and neither can I afford a long trip either. While a tour is not the cheapest way at least I will get to see the main sights plus have some form of company. Anyway – not time to think about that just yet – though it is approaching that time.
The bus arrived pretty much dead on time and the forty five minute ride to Trevelez cost me an entire 1.69 Euros (2.55 NZ), amazingly cheap for such a stunning ride through the Sierra Nevadas.
I found the hotel and checked in, fantastic view out into the hills ! I went for a walk around town in search of an ATM as I was almost out of cash. Trevelez is on quite a steep hillside and the walk from the top, where I am staying to the bottom, where the ATM is, took about ten minutes – and was significantly harder on the return. I had a sandwich and a beer at the bottom as well as a walk around as I won’t be heading back down unless I have too !
Trevelez’s claim to fame, prior to it becoming a tourist mecca, was Jamone (ham) – and there is still a lot for sale.
As in Capileira the water runs fresh through town, though this is the best water fountain I have seen so far
The houses here are not as cute as the ones in Capileira, I think some are a bit newer and hence bigger. the older houses had quite low doorways and the ground floor was used to house animals and barrels of food/wine/olive oil etc.
This guy has the answer to travel in town…
My legs were tight on the walk back up and I was feeling quite tired – hopefully this will remedy itself overnight as I have a big walk planned for tomorrow.
The rest of the afternoon was spent doing what I always do, hibernate in my room, listen to music, read and write. This time I had Spanish Olympic coverage on as well. Synchronised swimming, gymnastics and shooting – yawn…. Finally got around to watching another couple of episodes of series one of “The Wire”, it has been a while since I started the series and today it finally got a hook in, Ian has 5 series on DVD so I think I will be spending some quality time in front of the TV this weekend as I am dog sitting for 3 days, sans car so I wont be doing a heck of a lot.
At the reasonable Spanish hour of 9:00 I wandered round the corner to the restaurant linked to the hotel I am in. As usual I ate alone, which was a damn shame as the food was excellent , they even had vegetarian food and the eggplant lasagne was fantastic, so good I even had a dessert – first one in a while! And a coffee and brandy – I have had a couple (by this I actually mean 2 !) of brandies since being in Spain and I must say they are quite nice, they won’t replace whisky but as an after dinner snifter, hmmmm tempting.
No English speaking tourists so far, damnit !
For some weird reason my laptop will not connect to the hotel wifi, though my phone does, so no blog post today.