Thursday, 30 January 2014


When we said to our Spanish friends that we want to visit the region of Murcia they were all looking at us with a puzzled expression and asked ‘WHY?!’. It is true that apart from the fact that it has an average 300 days of sunshine in a year it’s not really famous for anything else. Not even the Spaniards themselves know much about this region. We had been visiting the many different parts of Spain and we loved all of them therefore were determined to show the world that Murcia is also beautiful and it has a lot to offer outside the beach zones, too. Our first destination was the capital which has the same name as the region.  

Well. To tell the truth we weren’t exactly taken with the capital. It is nice enough but I guess we had been spoilt by the best sights of Spain. After staying in Barcelona, Granada and Seville, Murcia just seemed … well … boring. Here are the photos we took in the town.

Read about our New Year’s Eve in Murcia here.

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

The walk of the High Sierras

How can I say no to a walk that has a name like this? We found this hike in the Walks in Andalusia book and as I am the number 1 fan of the author, Guy, I will use the same name, too.

This was our third and also our last hike in the Cazorla Mountains. This is a circular route that took us around the best spots of that part of the mountain range. Guy said it is a strenuous walk and we realised he was right as we had to walk up a continuous 900m ascent which took us 3 hours. We were rewarded for our efforts often though as at the first bit of the walk offered great views over Cazorla and its castle.

Later we saw the Five-Cornered Castle that looks like somebody bit a huge bite out of it.

As we walked higher and higher we could see more of the surrounding mountains and we even spotted the snow-capped summits of the Sierra Nevada. Finally the sun came out, too.

We spotted some vultures circling close above us and saw a Spanish Ibex looking down on us from the top of a cliff. It turned away but its kid also came to have a look at us and Paul caught it on camera.

Just when we got to the mountain pass the sun finally won over the clouds and warmed us while we had our lunch. Paul continued the trend of trouble shooting from mountain tops.

We decided to do the last bit: climbing to the summit. We had to scramble a bit but after 15 min we saw an amazing sight, Andalusia in 360 degrees.  Wow! We couldn’t get enough of the views, it was all worth going through the 900m ascent!

The way back was equally scenic although it seemed very long. We returned back to town from the direction of Iruela. This little place is so close to Cazorla that there’s only about 500m distance between their first and last houses. Even though Iruela is small it has its own awesome-looking castle.

What an amazing view from the top! We agreed that after our weekend in the Pyrenees this was the best walk we have done in Spain.

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Walks in the Sierra de Cazorla – Rio Borosa

I chose this walk to be the first one as apparently this is the most popular route in the whole mountain. So far the ‘most popular’ walks have been very rewarding whichever part of Spain we were in so it was an easy choice. We made our packed lunches, put Guy in the bag and drove to the car park where the walk started.

We had to drive there for an hour and our car was the only one in the parking lot! Only we were crazy enough to go hiking at this time of the year, it seemed.

As it was the 30th December in places the path was still covered in frost and was a bit slippery.

The path and Guy’s instructions lead us into the mountains along the river with strange rocks that looked like coral. 

The route was very nice, leading us along the Rio Borosa with little pools where during the hot months people can stop for a dip.

Everywhere we looked the scenery was beautiful. No wonder this is the most popular walk here. I’d love to come back and do the whole thing in summer.

Then we found the first tunnel. We went into the first one that was 350m long and so dark that we needed to use Paul’s phone as a light. We got through it even though the floor was full of huge puddles.

Then we had lunch in a lovely spot.

Soon we came across another tunnel and here the puddles were so deep that we couldn’t cross them and had to turn back. We were pretty disappointed as the walk is supposed to finish at two lovely lakes but there was no way to cross that second tunnel.

On the way back we cheered up as by then all the ice and frost disappeared and we saw a completely different side of the gorge. The colours have all changed and came out beautifully.

While driving back we stopped at two miradors or viewpoints.

Later that day I saw a brochure that was advertising a 4x4 Rio Borosa trip. On the pictures that were supposed to entice the guests to sign up were two beautiful lakes…the ones we couldn’t see! Rub it in, rub it in, I thought.

The route originally is 22km long but we were forced to cut it short. Although it is rated as ‘strenuous’ we didn’t think it was anything special, I think the rating is due to the length of the walk. As it is a linear walk if you don’t want to do the whole length you can just turn back at any time. Here are the detailed instructions for this lovely walk.