Walking in Andalucía, Spain

The main purpose of this trip was to get away from the hustle and bustle of London, get “back to nature” and go trekking in the Parque Natural Sierras De Tejeda, which is near to, but less hilly than, the more famous Sierra Nevada.

On that front there were absolutely no complaints. I was there for a week and went on four walks. They were fun and varied, passing through tiny, white-washed villages and abandoned inns.

It’s been a while since I’ve done any walking and so was wondering about my fitness levels before I set off but I didn’t have too much trouble — I got a little bit out of breath on some of the steeper uphill sections and my knees groaned when going downhill. The worst bits were the steep downhill on lose rocks and scree. Fortunately I stayed mostly upright with just a few minor scuffs to show for it.

Some of the hardest parts of the trekking were down to the weather. It had been an incredibly hot summer, even by the standards of southern Spain. Fortunately there was only one day where, shortly after lunch, I was wilting under the direct sun with little shade and a dwindling supply of water. A few weeks earlier and I would have had difficulties on most of the walks, even with factor fifty sun cream and more water than I would have been comfortable carrying!

On the plus side, the streams were almost dry which made the many crossings significantly easier; staying dry would have been much harder back in April or May.

Despite having enjoyed the walking, I did chicken out of the last day — an ascent of Cerro Lucero — in favour of a more thorough look around Competa and some well-deserved relaxation. This was, after all, a holiday!