Christine shows off her punk cagoule at the summit of the pass.
Today was to feature our crossing of the Sierra Nevada at Puerto de La Ragua, 2041 metres above sea level, and Christine had left her cagoule behind at Alhama de Almeria. Putting just one item in a wardrobe is not a good idea. It was a cool and cloudy start as we began the ascent but we had only another 800 metres to climb from Bayarcal and we were fresh after a night’s sleep so it wasn’t a hard climb. We were soon into the mist, which progressed to drizzle so we converted Christine’s rucksack liner into a makeshift sleeveless cagoule. Luckily it didn’t get any wetter but it was very cold at the top and we were grateful for the shelter of the cafe at the top, though it wasn’t very warm in there either. We were the only customers and each had a hot drink, which didn’t warm us up much.
The long descent through pine forests deposited us in the village of La Calahora where it was still very cool under the grey cloud and again we dived into a cafe to warm up over cake and peppermint tea. We pressed on over the altiplano, still around the thousand metre height and into Guadix where we booked into a hotel for the night. We’d arrived in good time to tour the city with its fascinating cave dwellings, many of which have been extended outwards with modern frontages and still serve as dwellings. There are many interesting looking old buildings in a state of disrepair, the city really needs some investment but it’s off the tourist route and is too small to compete with the likes of Cordoba.