Andalucia is a huge mountainous region. One sierra or mountain range rolls into another across the south of Spain meaning a huge network of tracks and dry river beds ideal for mountain biking, quads or 4×4 off roading.
I’ve often explored rugged tracks around where I live in my estate car, which is not ideal, so when the opportunity of driving a 4×4 Land Rover defender around the sierras in Granada came my way I happily jumped in behind the wheel. Actually I didn’t jump, they are higher than I thought.
There were three of us were in one Land Rover and we were six vehicles in all. Stage one was the easier bit, partly road and mostly dry river beds with jutting out tree trunks, large stones and at times slippy wet puddles. I chose to drive first, each stage being about an hour, so doing as told and keeping both hands firmly on the steering wheel with thumbs on the outside (in case of jarring), off we went. What fun!
We stopped for photo calls and driver swaps as the river bed terrain changed and the driver needed to be a bit more skilful. Lower gear ratio and careful manoeuvring were now required so I got in the back.
The river beds became open countryside with stunning surreal landscapes, steep climbs and hairpin bends on the pine-covered mountain slopes.
Now as the back-seat driver I could enjoy the scenery more and relax between jolts.
After winding and climbing with no other sign of life around we reached the Vereda de Chirlata, a spot of Natural Interest and at midday a lot of heat haze too! But what incredible far-reaching landscapes, disappearing into the horizon with no sign of life or habitation.
We then wound down to civilisation again, leaving the wild, stunning mountain views behind, an experience not to be forgotten but with wishes to repeat it in spring or autumn.
Many thanks to my co-drivers Abi and Jesu, TurGranada the official tourist board for the GXPerience blog trip especially Raul for his humour, joie de vivre, planning skills and lack of sleep, Garnata Tours who provide many different types of activities and tours around Granada province and Sports Adventures who own the Land Rovers and plan vespa, quad, Land Rover, car treks and rallies in Spain and Northern Africa.