WHITE VILLAGES OF SIERRA NEVADA
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?
Probably the last day when we walked in the home valley of our guide George. This was a valley full of varied flora and views. We had an excellent lunch in a village hotel and as we walked through the picturesque villages and countryside, we enjoyed eating figs, almonds and walnuts washed down with mineral water from the local springs, including a naturally sparkling spring. Or maybe it was sharing a beer in a village cafe and discussing the day with the group as we waited for the hotel minibus to pick us up and return for a shower, more beer, a swim and supper. Or perhaps just walking with a great group of people.
What did you think of your group leader?
Our original group leader Jeremy had a medical emergency, so having met us at the airport he was only able to walk with us on day 1. He was friendly and sensitive to different walking speeds of the group. He was replaced by another local british guide, George. George had a great knowledge of the area, an interest in the history of the Sierra Nevada, a good command of Spanish and knew many of the locals. He was an athletic walker and inspired confidence and curiosity.
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?
I found the area to be hotter than I expected, and only wore half the clothes I took. I washed my walking kit every night and it was ready to wear in the morning. I didn't spend much money as there were few shopping opportunities. Food and drink was limited in the villages as this is quite an impoverished region. Having said this it was wonderful to meet shepherds in the hills with their flocks of sheep and goats, and to see the "cowboys" who still roam the hills on hores-back checking their stock. My wife and I spent a day in Granada visiting the Alhambra. The visit was very worthwhile but Granada was hot. Great ice-creams and tapas. 6 of us went together in a taxi to make it cost effective. The hotel organised the taxi for us.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
We opted out of walking on one day, to explore the village of Berchules and to enjoy the hotel pool. We had personal service - the pool and garden to ourselves - bliss. This was our 4th Exodus holiday and our guides and hotel exceeded expectations. The hotel was very comfortable, twin-bedded rooms with ensuite bathrooms, plenty of hot water, balcony with view over the surrounding countryside. The hotel staff were friendly, food plentiful with a large packed lunch provided every day. Even the dog was friendly, excitedly accompanying us all day when we walked from the hotel. If you've ever considered this holiday - take it!