Locked into our "safe" campground until caretaker (he hailed from Senegal) came back to unlock heavy metal gate. Finally set off into humidity, dust and pollution haze - thank goodness for air conditioned cabs. Horticulture and gardens all under covered "hothouses". Looks like Prickly Pear and sisal pests. Sulphur smell from old mining ruins and tailings, shaft (we are in a silver, lead, zinc area).
|Let us out!!|
|Off into the desert....|
Big agricultural companies, mass plantations and hothouses, big well-constructed dams taking advantage of gravity irrigation systems, soft sediments and conglomerates, not hard rock country. And, a scent from home, decent sized gum trees. Oh my - a sign for deer? Desert deer?? (or goats with long legs??)
|Horticulture under wraps|
|Has to be water around here somewhere....|
Turned off major roads but disappointed in "Park Naturale" (even the wind farms are having siesta!) Turned west onto A92, and oh my goodness, movie sets/ theme parks in middle of desert - Texas Hollywood, and Mini Leone! Apparently they’ve been used for movies - Queen of Swords series, Town of Mercy, an episode of Dr Who. Observatory and solar institute on hill.
|Mini Leone, complete with teepees|
On to National Park, Tavernas Desert, more picturesque with red rock, valleys look greener with more established olive groves.
Lunch near Castillo de La Calahorra, in village just after turned south into National Park of Sierra Nevadas.
|GirlRob has run foul of some plant or insect|
Out of NP and going up mountains and down valleys, brilliant white adobe buildings all clustered densely on hillside around yellow/ red churches. Huge dam in distance, small dams on hillside properties growing beans, almonds, tomatoes - but so hot! Had right of way at one-way bridge but local almost hit us head on. Looped off secondary hill road onto dirt loop just for interest - saw el burro, raspberries, cherry tomatoes, picked almonds from tree. Bee boxes, small wildflowers.
|At least overhang is rock bolted...|
|Very distinctive chimneys|
Invited to park overnight in driveway of Boomers' friend Francis (expats from England) in Orgiva, near Granada. Wanted to ask why they live in Spain, so Frankie and Sally showed us other side of life than we'd seen along road. Lovely shady hacienda surrounded by bougainvillea, as well as Lady of Night (only scents at night), grapes, hammocks, olive grove. Kept picking up bits of sticky plumbago bush on our clothes every time we passed in front of it. Delightful swim in their deep cold pool, drinking wine, swapping stories, and asking our Spanish questions (eg apparently people are not allowed to paint their houses anything but white and are given free paint to do so!) Good food, great hospitality, sitting at outside table in candlelight.