24 September 2008

Woollie Spain - Part 1

I've been on a week long walking holiday in Andalucia, Southern Spain. It was a group holiday through a company called Exodus, staying in the beautiful Cortijo Rosario close to the small village of Algamitas, Andalucia. The location, the walking, the scenery, the Cortijo, the people and the food were all fantastic. Walking through olive groves, high sierras and pueblos blancos in beautiful sunshine, returning each afternoon the Cortijo's swimming pool with it's 270 degree views around the countryside, the home cooked Spanish dinner served on the terrace each evening, with red wine flowing and the conversation lively. 

I met my fellow travellers at the airport in Malaga and we travelled together to the Cortijo, a converted farmhouse atop a hill in acres of olive groves where we were to stay for the next 7 days. It truly was a home from home, but one where you didn't have to do any of the cleaning or cooking. 

The first day we awoke to survey our surroundings (it was dark when we arrived the evening before), the views that greeted us each morning like something from a film. After an enormous breakfast we set off for our hike to El Chorro Gorge, a limestone gorge carved into the mountains, with a crumbling iron walkway pinned to its walls, built for the King of Spain in the early 20th century, we luckily didn't have to walk along it. We had lunch high above the gorge watching the griffin vultures rising and falling on the thermals. The dam across the Guadalahorce River has formed 3 lakes, each with water a slightly different shade of blue-green, where you can swim and relax. 

The following day we had a "day of 2 halfs" - in the morning we hiked from the Cortijo, through the olive groves towards the Monastery de Canos Santos, which is being converted into a cultural centre where we had a beautiful picnic.


In the afternoon we walked to the village of Setenil de las Bodegas - a white village (pueblo blanco) built into the caves and cliffs, its blinding white houses seem to emerge from the rocks, where once wine was stored. 

Here's a few views from the first few days of walking:


Charlie P said...

It looks BEAUTIFUL! The landscape AND the food :)

Claudia said...

Wow!!! I never went to Spain but I must say that it looks wonderful! And if there is good food I might consider it for our next trip!

Manoute said...

Beautiful! More please :o)

amy said...

this looks like heaven to me right now! it's soooo cold in nyc!

Liz said...

Beautiful photos! I spent three weeks in Spain 5 years ago - and loved every minute of it. I'm glad you are enjoying Spain too.

Kate said...

How beautiful - what a fabulous holiday!

Bethany Hissong said...

WOW... your photos are incredible and I know you told me about your trip already, but this is truly awe inspiring!!!

Anonymous said...

Diane: Your photos are amazing. They truly captured our lovely walks throughtout Southern Spain. I only wish you could have been with us on the second tour!!! Glad to see that Sheldon is done! He had a few difficult 'starts'! lol
Your photography is so wonderfully creative! Thanx for sharing!!