Two guys, two bikes & two tents.

A 1999 journey from Plymouth to Santander and onward to the Costa del Sol via Portugal.

Goats drinking from a river

Goats drinking from a river.

Leaving Camping El Pino, we travelled due east following the coast until we reached Motril, where we stopped for a ice lolly before turning north and continuing our journey heading for Granada. Stopping on the way to take a photograph of some goats which were drinking from a river. The river was full of fish and I saw a snake swimming in it. I think this must have been the first time I'd ever seen a real live snake other than on the television. We stopped again in Dúdar, a village in the Sierra Nevada national park, where we ate almonds from a tree on the side of the road. We ended up at a picnic area in the Sierra Nevada national park near the village of Dúdar. Paul decided to sleep on a concrete picnic table for the night, just in case there were any hungry creepy crawly things wandering about in the dark. I slept on the ground, as it was marginally softer, and therefore more comfortable than the concrete slab Paul was laid on.

 Sierra Nevada National Park

The Sierra Nevada National Park.

The Sierra Nevada are a range of mountains near Granada. They contain more than 20 peaks over 3km high, the highest being Mulhacén at 3,479 metres, which is the highest point in Spain, and the third highest point in mainland Europe. The Sierra Nevada National Park was declared a national park on 14 January 1999, a mere seven months prior to our arrival. Although the place didn't look all that new when we were there, although I suppose they had been growing the trees for a while before the place opened. They do skiing there too, but only in the winter. There wasn't a great deal of snow about during August, except for a bit right at the very top, but we didn't go right up there. There are supposedly 70 miles of ski runs on the north side of the mountains, most of which are usable for 6 months of the year. It is also said that you can see Africa from the top of the mountains on a clear day.


oh look, a bed

Oh look, a bed.

The picnic area where Paul had decided he was spending the night, was four or five metres below the level of the roadway. To reach it on a bike, meant riding down a steep, narrow path between some trees, to a flat open space where there was a BBQ, a concrete table, (Paul's bed), and a small stream. Getting back up this track in the morning proved rather more difficult than coming down it because of the weight of the luggage on the bikes, which caused the front wheels to go skyward at the slightest opportunity, we managed by sitting on each others handlebars to counterbalance the load until we got the bikes back up to the road.

 The steep and narrow path

The steep and narrow path.

Once we were safely back on the road the following morning, we continued riding through the national park in the direction of Granada. We visited the Alhambra and Generalife, but there were no tour guides available and you were not allowed to just have a look by yourself, so we missed out there and went to Granada and had a wander around there instead. When we had had a good look around Granada, we then rode up a mountain following the sign posts for a campsite. Which was quite a way up this mountain, but we eventually found Camping Ruta del Purche, halfway up the side of a mountain 1.5 km above sea level. We stayed there for a couple of days before setting off to visit Almería, but at Guadix, Paul who had purchased a spanish haircut had a change of mind and decided he didn't want to go to Almería after all, so we parted company, I headed south towards Almería and Paul and my inner tube headed north toward Cartagena to look at some ancient submarine he'd seen in a tourist brochure while we were in Granada.