Granada, SpainMay 19, 2016 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 22 °C
This one is long but hopefully worth the read, once again I am way behind on updating the blog but I'm just having way too much fun on the trip. Will be working harder to update more frequently but no promises.
After taking an afternoon bus leaving Seville, we arrived in Granada at supper time. During our stay in Granada, we airbnd'ed with a lovely Spanish family. This was the first time I had used airbnb so I didn't know what to expect, but it was a great first exprience.
The son, José (a huge Toronto Raptos fan), was the one who organized the airbnb and gave us tons of great local food and drink recommendations. His mother was incredibly nice and a great cook who spent hours in the kitchen everyday cooking up delicious meals. Her apple cake she served us for breakfast on the day we were leaving was incredible.
When we arrived we were craving tapas, and José directed us to his #1 spot located on a street opposite the university. Popular with students for the cheap beer and food, it did not disappoint. $2 for a beer and two big plate of tapas, it was the cheapest meal so far on the trip. After getting back to the house we did a bit of trip planning and got some sleep for day two.
Our second day in Granada we explored the old Muslim neighbourhood, a colourful and vibrant part of the city that stuck out with the narrow winding streets that seemed to be neverending. After making our way out of the neighbourhood we arrived at the river beside the famous Alahambra muslim castle to admire the view. That night we headed to a famous spot at the top of the city that overlooked the entire town. The view was incredible, we went right at sunset and the sun hitting the town and surrounding area was amazing.
The most unbelievable part of the trip so far (and I'm finishing writing this almost two weeks later), was hiking Los Cahorros. Los Cahorros is a hiking trail in the Sierra Nevada National Park in Spain, taking roughly 4 hours to complete. Accessed from Granada by taking a bus to the nearby village of Monachil, nestled at the edge of the mountains of the national park. We arrived at the village and followed the colourful graffiti signs to the start or the hike.
I'm glad I was able to record most of the hike on my gopro as it was breathtaking. Following a river most of the hike, you are surrounded by heavy forest with rare breaks of sunny skies. Waterfalls and swinging bridges covering ravines 50 ft below. The path was steep, and some areas you had to grasp iron handles attached to the rock face to shimmy your way across as the path disappeared into the rock wall for multiple sections. Our problems started the signage of the trail, there was none.
There were signs early on with the name of the hike, but on three different occasions we came to an area with two separate paths to take. With dense forest everywhere, it was hard to tell which way to go. We spent way too much time walking down a path and then hitting a dead end 15 minutes later. At one point "the path" lead to the side of the gate of a hydroelectric dam building. This was one of the scariest parts of the hike as the path was just a rock face to the right and two feet to the left was a 100 ft drop to a raging river. No railings, nothing. After once again hitting a dead end we turned around and ended up at what we thought was the only option at the time (it wasnt), climbing a mountain.
We met another couple at the base of the path leading up the mountain, they had tried another path opposite the dam one we tried and it was also a dead end. So not wanting to turn back and with no other clear way to go (we thought), we started climbing up the mountain, thinking that it would lead across it and not over it. This unfortunately wasn't the case. We spent roughly two and a half hour climbing this mountain in 30+ degree heat with not nearly enough water. Having to take multiple breaks in shade provided by overbearing rocks, it was a very rough climb up. The path we were on was very wide, enough for a truck to fit on, and as we later discovered this was because the "path" was a service road for the hydroelectric company we saw earlier.
So our four hour hike through a beautiful national park turned into a seven hour trek up a mountain. When we finally reached the top however I realized it was all worth it. A 360 view of the surrounding area for about 100 miles. The most amazing view I have ever seen. Ben used his phone to calculate that we were at an elevation of 1600m at the top, and we had started the climb at 700m. After taking some pictures and video from the top of the mountain we started our climb down. Unfortunately the path down went over and to the side which took us in the opposite direction of Monachil. We finally reached the end of the service road to a gate reading, "Prohibited area, dangerous", and then the name of the electric company. We had a good laugh when we realized that we were not supposed to climb the mountain at all.
We started walking down the highway back to town and were lucky to hitchhike a ride back to Monachil with a German couple on vacation. After grabbing some celebratory beers in town we bused back to Granada, showered and went downtown to grab some amazing seafood tapas at Los Diamontes. In the morning Ben and I had breakfast with José's parents, and then took a 10 AM bus to Valencia.
About a week and half later in Barcelona, I got a tattoo on my arm of the Sierra Nevada mountain range to commemorate the scariest and funnest day of my life.Read more