the alpujarras

December 10, 2010 - Lanjarón, Spain

nuria had sent me a few emails while we were still on colonsay giving me some ideas for things to do in spain when scott and i visited. one idea she had was to visit the alpujarras, a mountainous region made up of valleys descending from the ridges of the sierra nevada, where there are many little high-altitude villages.

nuria drove on the way there, and the first town we came to was Orgiva (i think!) it had excellent views over the valley (all of them did) and we stopped here to climb some old castle ruins, and walk down the main street. we walked by a few olive tree plantations, and nuria explained that they use the olives that fall on the ground, and take them away to extract the oil by old-fashioned means. we even saw a guy with a donkey, sacks full of olives, walking down the mountain path on the way to his little factory or wherever.

the castle was in a cool spot, with great views, and had wild asparagus growing around it (sami found a small amount, and said the locals probably know about it and come here to pick it when it's ready!) they also showed us some trees that had nuts growing on them, and they open the shell by beating it with a rock and it tasted like almonds (i think! can't quite remember. sami said you could get sweet or sour ones)

when we were walking down the main street, every second shop seemed to be selling jambon, an agricultural specialty of the region. scott and i tried the day we had lunch in alcala.

the second town we came to, lanjaron, most famous for its bottled water of the same name. it was the first ever bottled-water company established in spain, and the product is sold throughout the countyr. we had bought a few bottles while we were in seville and granada, and nuria pointed out that this was where it came from.

we had lunch here, sitting on a bench in the liitle main square, watching the local bums, their dogs, and a british family playing catch with oranges from the trees. the bums were stuck in the 80's, and obviously thought they were axel rose or someone similar. quite funny : )  after lunch we walked down to the river and took a few photos, and then hopped back in the car to start our journey home (scott driving this time)

the next day, sunday, it was time to return to seville. scott drove, and our first stop were some hot springs that sami knew about. they weren't really on the way, it was quite a big detour, but we didn't have to return the car until later that night so we had plenty of time.  we lazed about here for a few hours, covering ourselves in mud and then washing it off after laughing at each other, looking like cave men or something (especially sami and scott with their beards!)  we ate luch over-looking the town, and then scott continued our drive back to seville.

we dropped our bags off at sami's house first, and then drove to seville to drop the car off. everything was fine, no extra charges (and no speed camera fines that we knew of!) and we caught the bus back to alcala. scott and i shouted pizza for dinner, to thank sami and nuria for showing us around their country for a week. the next day, monday, we said goodbye and caught the bus to seville, walked around a corner, and caught the airport bus from there. no problems catching our flight, we got a seat together (ryanair again!) and were son on our way to marakech, morocco : )

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