Total ascent: 1464m
Time in the saddle: 5hrs 9
It turns out that Murtas is on and just below the highest peak of the Alpujarras. The only spot where you can see the whole of the region and all the surrounding coastline. That makes me a feel a little better for slogging it up there...
In the end there was one other person staying staying at the lovely hostel..an older chap from London. He was in the area to scout out properties as he was bored of all the paperwork and politics in his places in Italy and France. We had a chat about money, politics and the lack of petrol stations in the area. He liked to talk and I found the English conversation refreshing. I ended up having lunch, dinner and breakfast at my hostal..and that plus the room came to a grand old total of 37€! Bargain.
In the morning before I left I told the host I was going to Granada and he said oh no problem..it's all downhill. Now I had done my homework and yes some was downhill but it was still upwardly downhill as you can see in the total ascent for today. Damn Spanish and their 'downhills'. I set off up the final bit of the road to the peak along beautifully smooth new tarmac. Indeed a further along they were there laying some more. The road then undulated at about 1300m along the range, giving a beautiful view down to the sea. After about 20km there was some downhill toward the river valley, where the main road went along. The descent gave a fantastic view of the otherside of the range..towards the sierra Nevada and thé Pico valeta. And also of the big rain cloud hovering over it.
The Alpujarras is quite strange..it's very beautiful and all that but it'd quite unusual. You have the mountain ridges, and some dips/valleys between these ridges, but then down in the valley between the sierras you have mini mountains (hills?!) ..almost like a miniature version if the big scale sierras surrounding it. This was quite pronounced the Almeria side..but as I came to the edge of the other side it turned much more into normal valley like formations.
It was here that I got a surprise. I got rained on! What's all that about! Nice and refreshing, but luckily it didn't last too long. Rain and descending..not my favourite. The rain clouds soon left and it was blue sky and haze all the way to Granada. There was also a tailwind! Finally a tailwind home. Well it was mostly tailwind. It was a fickle and gusty wind, that seemed to randomly change direction and blast you, just to keep you on your toes. But it wasn't a full headwind so I was happy.
So into Granada..I had a little pootle about just to see what's what and of course find the supermarket. I soon realised though that Granada is a huge place and wandering completely aimlessly was perhaps not the best idea. I did find the cathedral which is a hotchpotch of styles if ever I saw it. Every side to it seemed to take a different facade and look. Kinda like a split personality. I found food and a map and headed home to cone up with a plan of attack and to get some sleep.
Woke up feeling horrible, think I have a cold coming but not to be put off I headed up to St Nicolas mirador to distract myself with the climb there and thé view across the plain and over to the Alhambra. But that was about all I could manage so tomorrow will be much more of a doing day. Tempted also to brave the peluquería and get my hair chopped..will see in the morning...