Sunday, 20 November 2016

Hitchhiking in the Alpujarras

Me with Sarah from Germany
Travelling for me is all about meeting new people as well as going to new places. This is one of the reasons that I do the HelpX placements as you meet not only the hosts but very often there are other helpers staying at the same place. Sarah, from Germany, is one such person and with a day off from our duties we decided to do a bit of exploring.

Villages left to right - Capileira, Bubión and Pamaneira
With the advice of our hosts we decided to visit the three white villages, Capileira, Bubión and Pampaneira, located high up in the gorge of the Poqueira river in the Las Alpujarras district of Granada, Spain. This is one of the best place to see the Moorish influence on the architecture of the area as the buildings here are well preserved. It is a very popular day trip for tourists and we saw many coaches despite it being the middle of November.

Sarah thumbing a lift from Órgiva
Getting there was the first challenge but we soon discovered that hitchhiking in this area is extremely easy. The first people to pick us up were this lovely Spanish couple from Granada who not only stopped at the best view points for us to take pictures but also went 10km beyond their own destination to take us to the highest of the three villages, Capileira, officially recorded as 1436m (Ben Nevis in Scotland is only 1345m).

Sarah with our first hitchhiking ride
Somehow I have neglected to get any pictures that adequately show off the architecture of the area but I did catch this one of a local pizza chef.

Thankfully I did manage to capture at least one half decent shot of the views. It was incredibly peaceful so high in the mountains and we found this great spot to sit at, have a long chat and enjoy the scenery.

View over the rooftops of Capileira
On the way back down we had a tasty, very large and very cheap meal (only €8 for 3 courses) at Casa Julio in Pampaneira where some of the menu options looked a bit suspicious.

However, I did try the Patatas a lo Pobre (poor man's potatoes). Anyone that has read Driving Over Lemons by Chris Stewart will understand the connection of this dish to the area.

All in all it was a great day out and if you're ever in the area then make sure you put these three villages on your itinerary.

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