Camino Journey 2017
As I got more curious about the south of Spain, I "discovered" the snow covered mountains south of Granada. Much like Los Picos de Europa which we "discovered" last May, we spent part of our time walking in Las Alpujarras and part of our time walking on the Via de la Plata section of the Camino all the way into the historic city of Santiago de Compostela.
This glorious photo is taken in Las Alpujarras in southern Spain. We started our journey together in the nearby city of Granada and then traveled into the mountains. We walked village to village in Las Alpujarras - staying in cozy inns along the way. Upon our return to Granada, we visited La Alhambra in the lovely evening light. We then traveled by train north to Ourense and began our 100km trek into Santiago de Compostela.
May 1 Arrive Granada
May 2 - 5 Walk Inn to Inn through Las Alpujarras.
The region known as Las Alpujarras is an enchanting and remarkable part of Spain. Treasured by the Moors as a 'paradise' location this mountainous area is situated between the summits of the Sierra Nevada and the Mediterranean coast of the Costa del Sol. The southern facing slopes that ascend to the peaks of the Sierra Nevada are gentle in their incline but are cut by deep valleys and gorges, such as the Rio Poqueira, the Rio Trevelez or the Rio Grande. The hillsides are covered in ancient terraces that are still used to cultivate olives, fruit of every sort, wheat and vegetables. The legacy of the Moors is the extensive irrigation system, the 'acequias', that divert water out of the deep valleys and onto the broad terraces. This ancient system of watering has been responsible for the characteristic look of the area and for the fact that forests of broad leafed trees such as the emblematic Chestnut can survive as the water is spread and filtered across the landscape. Along with the cultivation of crops the land is still grazed by sheep and goats, many of which migrate to the pastures of the high Sierra Nevada in the summer months.
While hiking in Las Alpujarras we walked around 7 - 10 miles each day (with small day packs). We ascended and descended between 1,000 and 3,000 feet each day as well. Nothing extraordinary for mountain hiking but definitely not flat. And we will walk right into our cozy hotel rooms, hot showers and warm meals.
May 6 Return to Granada, evening visit to La Alhambra
May 7 A leisurely day as we sped north on the train to Ourense.
May 8 Explore Ourense - its historic Cathedral and its hot springs.
May 9 - 13 Walk hotel to hotel on the last 100 km of La Via de la Plata. It approaches Santiago from the southeast of Spain is often described as being one of the most beautiful ways to enter Santiago.
Starting in Ourense, a vibrant Spanish city gives you a taste of authentic Spain. From here head out into rural Galicia, and pass Barbantiño famous for empanadas, the Monasterio de Osteria, and Iglesia de Santa Maria de Magdalena. Arrive in the UNESCO world heritage site of Santiago de Compostela and complete your journey by gaining your Compostela.
We will be walking 10 - 13 miles most days.
May 13 Arrive in Santiago
May 14 Explore Santiago, attend Pilgrim's Mass
May 15 Travel home
The cost of the trip pays for nearly all your costs between May 1 and May 15. It covers all pre-trip workshop and training hikes, all accomodations, most meals, and the train.
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