Walking in the Alpujarra

Breakfast at Hotel Real de Poqueira was a generous buffet so, as we intended doing a long walk, we filled up. Once organised with water bottles, snacks and cameras in our daypacks we headed north through the town to an entry point to a couple of the trails. The old sign showed several peaks in the distance but sadly didn’t mark trails but the starting point was pretty clear so off we went.Initially we descended quite sharply so I was glad to put my walking poles to work to maintain balance and take the pressure off my knees and hips.

As we passed a shady tree we heard a noise. I’m not sure who was more surprised, us or this goat.Along the way we passed a number of shelters which presumably the farmers used.

At a signpost it was decision time. We decided to maintain the trail towards the peaks we had seen on the map at the start. (As it turned out we took the other trail the next day.) Not long after the bridge came into view.

As we crossed the view we could see the stream going both downstreamand upstream.

Having crossed the bridge we continued along the rocky path towards the hills.

It was quite an ascent from the bridge again.

We passed the remains of a dwelling and a rare large tree at one point.Just as we thought we had the whole trail to ourselves we passed another couple walking back in the other direction.We came to a section of switchbacks that were sharply ascending. Would we continue or turn back? By now the scenery had a sameness about it so we decided it was time to return for a late lunch. It’s funny how you seem to cover distances more quickly when you want food. Also descending sometimes is easier. The stream came into view again

and in a short space of time we were crossing back over the bridge.

After a short sharp ascent we passed the small stone huts again

before another steep ascending section.

Eventually Capileira came into view.Itv was still sometime before we made it back into town, a very busy, noisy town at that. We had known but it had slipped our minds that October 12th is a National holiday to celebrate Christopher Columbus discovering the Americas. After looking around we decided to queue for a table at one of the restaurants, Café El Tilo. Finally we managed an outdoor table as all the others both inside and out were still occupied. Karen ordered a salad but I tried the local fish and prawn stew which had a lovely warm taste due to the chilis in it. Delicious.Sadly it started to rain a bit so we moved our table in towards the overhanging roof and ate quickly but in the end got quite wet!
Having paid our bill we returned to our hotel room to dry out and have a bit of a rest. It didn’t take long for the rain to stop. It was just after 16:00 so there was enough daylight to do another shorter walk. We strolled up the main road leading out of the town and took a signposted path away from the houses.Within minutes we were high above the townwith a magnificent view below to where we had walked earlier in the day.After a while we came to a signboard which explained the local irrigation system the farmers use.

Nearby was one of the channels shown on the signboard.

As our walk continued we could hear bells and were wondering what their significance was but we worked out when we saw a flock of sheep on the hillside in the distance.

Along the way we passed this area of rather nasty looking weeds. Perhaps the goat we had seen earlier in the day could eat them but otherwise they could be a problem for the farmer whose land they were on.

After about 75 minutes we were starting to tire so we turned around and made our way back to town. It’s a good thing most of it was gently downhill.It was also good to see the sun come back out again.

After making our way through the town we arrived back at our hotel with its lovely vertical garden ready for a shower and another rest.That evening we ate quite late at Restaurante Pizzeria in the church square near our hotel. Securing a table was easier inside. The pizzas were very reasonably priced and excellent and it had a lovely atmosphere. Clearly people everywhere love a day off work for a National holiday.

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