I wonder why he rather films my leg tattoo instead of the actual act of getting my chin over the bar :D oh well
Have you ever felt such overwhelming happiness and bliss and gratitude for your life?
I feel it a lot here, and I swear, this is a magical place (maybe just for me). The view from my balcony in the mornings and evenings, the light above the rolling hills, the many birds in the sky, it cracks my heart open every time and makes me feel endlessly happy and grateful for living this dream. This feels like home base. This is the place I want to live for the rest of my life.
So when I go traveling now, I will probably encounter many many other beautiful places, lush tropical beaches, jungles, cool cities. But THIS is my heart-home. Where I will always return to.
I am so grateful this morning. Blessed to the bone.
Photo found on Pinterest
When living and working in a yoga retreat center, chances are you are surrounded by 99.9 % women. Which can be lovely (women power! Female sacred sisterhood!) but it can also be a plain nightmare. Too many vaginas that all get in sync with their cycle - do I have to say more?
Common topics in our all-female kitchen are breast tenderness, men, pregnancy tests, lack of men, male genitals and how they compare to carrots, cucumbers and courgettes, female genitals and how they compare to ripe figs, men, the lack of men....
I don't quite believe this is just happening in our kitchen, I think it's a kitchen thing world-wide. Cooking has such sensual vibes to it, that it seems very natural to exchange about sex practices, favorite shags, and how long it has been since your last time. But in our kitchen the lack of men is sometimes overwhelming. I often catch myself glancing out of the window to see a hot dude from behind, getting all excited - until I realize it's our same old maintenance guy. Anything male catches our attention, and the few men that are actually working here, must be in absolute paradise.
They are surrounded by young beautiful women, many of them yoga chicks, in their teeny weeny yoga tops and leggings, lush hair, and bendy bodies, often topless at the pool.
It is no wonder that Spanish people think our yoga center is a cult, or a mystic heavenly place full of willing half-naked women. Somebody had told us just recently that he got asked by a Spanish mechanic from the neighbor town about the work here, and that he heard that there are lots of women running around naked on the lawn - no wonder he was asking if we had any open job positions.
Well, for a girl working here, especially one that is not a skinny super young yoga bunny, it can be a bit daunting at time, with all that female energy.
Our lovely shop keeper for example is taking it to the next level, by giving menstrual cycle workshops, and selling yoni eggs and vag necklaces in the shop. There is even a book where you can have a look at the different types of fannies that nature has ever produced.
Don't get me wrong, I think this all has it's place, and it is wonderful empowering women about their feminity and their yonis and all. But I even catch myself labeling leftover roasted vegetables as "Roast Vag".
Sometimes all you need is simply - cock!
Have you ever made that mad move, and changed something substantial in your life? Moved to another country, quit a job, left a partner, went on a long travel. Chances are you felt a bit uncomfortable at first. Change makes us feel insecure and quite fragile. Which is probably why I remember so well the first moments of any changes in my life, the first days at a new place.
I am a natural worrier (thanks genes) and a melancholic soul, so with changes comes always the feeling of missing what I had. Already before the big change I start feeling uneasy because suddenly I see all the good things in my life, ignoring the rest which made me want to change.
BUT here is the secret (probably not so much a secret at all): Change is good! 99.9 % of the time, changes are great. Yes, you lose some good things - but Newsflash! The world is full of other good things!!
For example, if I would have never left my first place in Spain where I lived and worked for 2 years and which I absolutely loved (especially since I was coming from grey Germany where I had hated 99.9 %), if I had never left (because I couldn't ignore my heart much longer who in the last months there was telling me something was rotten) - I would have never ended up in a much more beautiful place (where I live and work right now).
If I had never left my beloved cat in Italy (broke my heart but he is living with a good friend and has a fabulous life in the Italian countryside), I would have never lived in Malaysia, would have never met the amazing people I met, and would have never launched my own healthy food line.
Change is not always for the better, but usually there is something good, no matter what we do or where we go. The world is full of beauty.
And still, change feels uncomfortable. Which is why I advise everybody to still go for it. Feeling the fear and doing it anyway is the best way of growing, learning and becoming more resilient. And resilience is something we all need more. Because one thing in life is for sure - Change.
Nothing stays the same forever, loved ones leave or die, money comes and goes, and also you will change, get older and one day might get sick and, yes, you will die, too.
As funny as it sounds but the realization that we all gonna die one day, helped me immensely with my depression. Don't take life too seriously, Caroline. Nobody gets out of here alive.
This is why it is good to get used to change. You cannot hold onto anything anyway. Nothing really belongs to you. Not even this body and the air you are breathing.
What a freedom!
Some of my favorite quotes:
If you never say goodbye to the best things in your life, there are things you don't appreciate at all.
Once we commit ourselves to doing it, we change. We change ourselves from just sitting on the fence thinking about it to actually jumping in the field making a mad dash or a slow walk. When we get beyond that bend in the road, we see opportunities that we didn't see while sitting on the fence. We see opportunities that we couldn't have imagined.
Easy Choices, Hard Life. Hard Choices, Easy Life.
2 weeks ago we had our farewell party for Tamzin, my best friend here and flatmate of 1,5 years. We planned an epic party on our massive roof terrace and invited everybody we know (which basically means half the village). The afternoon before the party, we were busy bringing all the stuff up to the roof, chairs and cushions, food and drinks. We had a cable roll for the stereo, and then the door got slammed close from the wind, with the cable in between - and it was stuck!! Even though the key was in the lock, we couldn't open the door anymore, so we were locked outside in the staircase, 2 hours before the first guests would arrive. Since we were also in our underwear, all sweaty and dusty (since it was still bloody hot), we had a minor problem here. While I was contemplating letting myself down with my hammock hanging over the edge of the roof terrace and then á la Tarzan (or Jane) swinging myself over to our balcony, Tam luckily had her phone with her, so we called our emergency guy from the yoga center - our good soul whenever we are in need with broken cars, accidents or cats that needed feeding. But he was having a meeting and was not able to come soon! Last chance we had was to call one of Tamzin's new friends from the community yoga classes she teaches, a Spanish fireman from the village - who would be better to open a locked door??
He came immediately to help the (dusty, dirty and half-naked) damsels in distress, and was indeed able to open the door - what a hero! We quickly finished the last decoration and hopped under the shower, when the door bell rang - already!? Well, I guess we had mentioned something like we would start to party around 6 PM - but since nobody in Spain comes in time, we had expected the first guests earliest around 8! But no, I was still wrapped in my towel, and the first guest was at our door at 6:15 PM :) (Of course she was not Spanish, but French, and luckily she didn't mind waiting a bit until Tam and I were ready and made up.
It was a great evening and night, so many people and friends came, Tamzin had made an awesome playlist, and even better margaritas, and everybody had a great time. Then it was performance time. 2 friends of Suryalila were playing "Home" on Harmonium and Ukulele, and I had practiced a little piece on the guitar about my "chocho".
The night continued with more drinks, more music and more dancing (including limbo) until at 5 AM the police was standing at our roof terrace. While Tamzin just made a comment about the hilarious hair of one of the officers, they seriously took my ID number. But Prado being a party town, it was not really an issue.
The Monday after Tam and I went on a little vacation to the beach. Our new colleague at work owns an apartment in Benalmádena, directly at the beach, which she generously offered to us! Driving down to the coast it was raining! The first rain in ages! But that couldn't stop us. We sipped cocktails at the beach, and went from one happy hour to the next, until we danced at night along the beach making our way back to the apartment, hugging and screaming "I love my chocho!" (oh dear). The next day we had to get up at 7 AM because I had a super early appointment in Málaga to order me a new passport at the German embassy. My new passport photos, taken at the embassy, hungover, on an empty stomach, might not be the prettiest sight I will have to look at now every time I check in at an airport ;)
On the way back we visited the Stupa in Benalmadena and had a late lunch in Marbella before heading home - it was lovely.
Now Tamzin is gone, and the apartment feels very empty. I will miss her dearly, and can't wait to see my "chocho" again.
Many people think the expat life in Spain must be fabulous - and they are right!
Okay, I am not talking about the British and German enclaves at the Costa del Sol, with white pensioner's legs in even whiter socks and sandals, and Irish pub's at every corner. Sure, the weather is fantastic, but I would rather boil in oil than living there.
But here, in the deep Spanish countryside, the Sierra de Cadiz, life IS good.
The cost of living are super low. I pay 2 Euro for a whole day at the gym! No membership needed, and if I would pay in advance, it would be even cheaper, like 20 Euro per month (I usually go 3 times a week). And the gym owner gives me a full personal training program.
Rents are super cheap. Of course, the people here often have no to very little income. My colleague from work and I rent a 3 bedroom flat with 2 bathrooms, balcony, lovely kitchen, and stunning roof terrace for 230 Euro! It is fully equipped, too. Every 3 months or so we get a water and electricity bill which is never really high either (around 25 Euro/month for electricity, and maybe 12 Euro/month for water if I remember it right).
Eating out (and drinking!) is cheap as chips, too (literally). Okay, the food consists mostly of chips with meat or fish, but there are several places in town that make super nice dishes (one also offers organic meats from their own farm, and generally, the meat you get is good quality, and most likely from the pigs that run around here in the countryside). A good meal usually doesn't cost more than 9 Euro (12 Euro for organic meat). And the drinks - heaven for alcoholics! Beer 1 Euro, Wine 1,50 Euro (and yes, it is really good wine! You are in Spain!). Gin Tonic used to cost 3 Euro in our favorite bar, but recently they upped the price to 3,50 Euro! Oh well, we're not complaining, especially since we get free tapas with every drink, and they usually pour the gin until we say stop.
And so it's no wonder that the Spanish's favorite past-time is sitting in one of the many bars of Prado del Rey, to have a cervezita (a little beer) with a tapita (a little snack) and to socialize and chat along.
Nothing is super serious. Shops can basically open whenever they like, or just take a break. The gym owner often is not even at the gym while people are training there - in Germany that would cause a riot - speaking of insurance and safety.
People help each other out. If you are my friend, I make you a good deal with whatever I can and vice versa.
You can walk home alone at night. I have the saying "nothing bad ever happens in Prado!" and I believe it. I just can't see any crimes happening here. Because everybody is on the same level, and basically everybody knows each other. Passing people on the street, one usually greets each other, even if you don't know the person. Which had been strange for me in the beginning but I got used to it, and think it is quite nice. Possible phrases can be "Hola" (Hello), "Buenas dias" (Good Morning), "Que tal" (How are you?) or "Que hay" (what's up?). Advanced speakers also say "Que pasa" (another version of What's up) or, my favourite, "Que dice el hombre/la mujer" (What does the man/woman say). Ah, Spanish conversation.
Yes for an introvert like me it is not always easy. Spanish people have a hard time understanding why I am so quiet and withdrawn. It is not only my lack of Spanish (which has improved quite a bit since living here) but just my personality. I am not very outgoing, but 99,9 % of the Spanish are absolutely extroverts, and they love their loud chatting.
Talking of loud. Yes, Spain is one of the loudest countries I believe. People don't talk, they shout at each other. Any scooter or motorbike needs to be reared up and driven up and down the road to show how much noise it can produce. The cars that deliver the gas bottles, bread and other goods, honk every five seconds to announce their coming. Which is charming though, like the cars that sell clothes or fruit and drive from village to village, marketing their latest products via the speakers - it always reminds me of Spanish or Italian villages in the 50's - it's so old fashioned.
I am proud to have lived here for almost 4 years now. Prado del Rey is such a special place on this planet that I was seriously considering getting it's coordinates as a tattoo. It is a magic little bubble where time still stands still a bit.
Prado del Rey is a little white town in the Sierra de Cadiz, the South West of Spain. It is about an hour away from Seville, Jerez de la Frontera and Cadiz, and pretty close to the National Park of Grazalema, with stunning mountains and lovely hiking treks.
Seriously, it is the most beautiful place I have ever lived.
This little town is also home of more bars per inhabitant than any other village around. The people of Prado del Rey love their fiestas. They are the most friendly, sweet and kind people. Almost every afternoon and evening you see them getting together in the little bars, drinking a wine or a beer and having a tapa, watching football games, or simply chatting loudly about God and the world. On Sundays everybody is dressed up for church, in the typical Spanish old-fashioned way.
Prado is surrounded by stunning views over rolling green hills, and olive groves. In May, tons of wild flowers cover the countryside with a carpet of colors. In June the wheat fields are golden, and the sunflower fields bright yellow.
I have lived here for 3,5 years now as I write this. The first 1,5 years I lived in the yoga center which is about 5 km away from the village. After that I moved to Prado del Rey. At first I had a little apartment in the old part, but 1 year ago I moved to a more modern apartment together with my kitchen colleague. We have a stunning view from our balcony, a huge roof terrace all for ourselves, a bright kitchen and living room,3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and everything for a price you could not even rent a room for in London.
I got me a new car! Well, okay, it is not that new. Actually it's 23 years old.
But I love it! It's a Suzuki Vitara 1.6 and unfortunately it had already quite a few issues from the start, but now it seems more or less fixed.
And I fulfilled the first steps of my dream of a campervan: I build a foldable bed for the back so that I can now sleep in it!! So proud of my own construction and it was dirt cheap too. I even made little curtains. The bed can be folded behind the back seats and when I want to put it, I just need to fold down the back seats, and I can lay comfortably there :)
One year ago I started working out with a friend, Paddy. He is a super fit guy who years ago won a "From scrawny to brawny" contest - he is one dedicated and disciplined and buff guy!
Me, I hadn't done much exercise lately (and not much before that either) :) I loved vinyasa yoga and hiking. Here and there a few push ups. That's it. Then I broke my shoulder and exercise became even more limited. I had just gotten back more regularly into yoga and gained some strength back. But now I seriously wanted to up my levels.
There is a gym in Prado and a session costs you incredible 2 Euros! So, inspired to become the fittest me, I went there one day with Paddy, so he could explain to me how everything works and what exercises I could do. I did not expect that he had constructed me a whole workout plan for the next months! So for the next weeks we went together to the gym, starting at 2 times a week for me. I soon learned that I was weaker than a feather in the wind (without being as light). Paddy told me that my push ups were not low enough so I re-started with knee push-ups. He asked me about goals, and I said a pull-up would be absolutely mind-blowing for me! He said that it could be possible in a few months.
The training felt really good, and I was happy he joined me every time because otherwise I might have been too intimidated to go regularly, surrounded by all those tough and fit guys there at the gym. Paddy was such a good help and teacher - if I was not able to do an exercise (and a lot of them fell into that category) he helped me finding an easier variety to start off and build strength. Soon we added weekly hill sprints to the training, and geez, they were tough.
But I soon noticed a definite increase in strength (not too hard if you start at zero, haha).
And one day, it happened! I did my first pull-up. And then two more. To say I was thrilled is an absolute understatement!
In the meantime Paddy had done a Spartan Race in Madrid. This is a 13+ km obstacle trail run, often including a lot of mud (and fun I heard). It is incredibly tough, and he ran a fantastic time for his first obstacle race! I got intrigued, and loving challenges (2 years ago we had done already the Travesia together, a 65 km marathon hike through the mountains of Grazalema), I wanted to do a Spartan Race! There was one coming up in Barcelona in 3 months, so I decided to sign up!
I had 3 months to train. I started doing more jogging because a lot of the race includes running distances between the obstacles, often with inclines. Running in and around Prado always includes some more or less steep hills in the countryside, so it was the perfect condition to train for a Spartan Race. The hills killed me. I had two trails I ran regularly from then on. One was 5 km run which included 4 hills, and the other one was a more or less steep incline up to a hill above Prado.
Besides that I just continued a bit of strength training, doing some push-ups, pull-ups - and burpees. In case you don't know what a burpee is, it is a very much hated exercise, which includes most muscle groups. At a Spartan Race, if you fail to doan obstacle, you have to do 30 burpees. Now let me tell you, 30 burpees in a rested state is hardcore work (at least for me). In the middle of a 13 km run, covered in mud, it is insane.
So the weeks went by, and then suddenly it was only one week to go. And I realized - I was definitely still not prepared and fit enough for a Spartan Super Race! I hadn't practised on any obstacles, like climbing a rope or getting over 8 foot walls. My running had improved but I hadn't run a single 10 km so far. My repetitions of pull ups hasn't improved. I did the Spartan Test - how many burpees can you do in 5 minutes - and I did only around 55 or so. They say in my age group I should be able to do 75 to be Spartan proof.
Add to that an increased amount of stress over the past weeks before the race. I work a busy job where I am standing on my feet all the time, which is not the greatest for full recovery. I didn't have much time off before the race. The race would be one day before or directly on my period (for you guys, that usually means a reduction in energy). 3 days before the race I had worked a 10 hour shift (read: standing and walking around for 10 hours straight), 2 days before the race I had another shift where I literally had a melt-down. The same day my journey to Barcelona started, which included taking a bus to Seville, where I would stay overnight. Unfortunately my hostel was bloody noisy, and I had to get up again at 4 am to catch my early flight to Barcelona. I managed to get maybe 2 hours of sleep that night, and then 1 more during the flight.
I had thought already before that I would not participate in the race because I had just felt run-down, stressed-out, and totally not fit enough. So when I arrived in Barcelona I even felt more convinced. I thought about how I would feel not doing it, and decided that I was fine with my decision. My health was more important. I would not regret it. So instead of just chilling somewhere and save energy, I left my bag at the lockers of the train station, and explored Barcelona a bit before Paddy and his wife would arrive by train. I went to the Sagrada Familia and enjoyed Starbucks, then further to La Ramblas.
Finally Paddy and Lidiya arrived, and we had a fantastic late lunch at one of the bext vegetarian restaurants I have ever eaten! Check out Teresa Carles if you get a chance! I had a fabulous tasty mushroom dish and a heavenly gluten free buckwheat sponge cake with vegan cashew creme and chocolate sauce. We joked that after that food I definitely would have to do the run!
Then we drove to Manresa where we would stay over night, because the race was further out in the countryside. It took us a while to find the airbnb apartment - and unfortunately there was a festival going on! It was Saturday night, Paddy and I just wanted to get an early night of good sleep, and our apartment was directly on the square where a concert was going on, plus no parking spots were to be found. But we managed in the end, and tried to get some sleep at 9 pm (while lucky Lidiya went out to explore the festival).
I didn't sleep to well, and we had to get up again at 6 am to drive to the race. I was still dead-sure I wouldn't run but sure enough put on my gear just in case I would change my mind lastminute. We got there early, parked and registered. We got our little plastic wrist bands, head band and the chip that would measure our running time. We did a little warm up. I did everything still with the thought in mind, that I probably would not start.
Then it was 9 am. Elite Heat for Paddy. It was so exciting, seeing all those fit people (did I mention the hot ripped topless duded everywhere?), and then they ran off. The next heat got in and did their warm-up, while Lidiya and I were watching. My heat was at 9:30. I still wasn't sure. By then, a part of me wanted to do it, but a big part of me knew that it would be madness and I wasn't ready to do this.
I mean, there was a wall you had to climb over to get to the starting line, and I wasn't sure if I could get over that. But Lidiya convinced me more and more to at leats give it a try, and then I saw a way chubbier girl than me trying to get over that wall, and she got help from some people cheering her up. I thought, how brave she was, and that's what this race is also about: to challenge yourself, to cheer on others, and just to give the best you possibly can. So I went to the wall, tried to get over - and couldn't of course, ha ha. Lidiya pushed my bum up, and then I was there, amidst all these people doing their warm up. I felt pretty scared but there was no way back now. I also felt quite lonely because many people had their teams supporting each other. But here I went.
We started running. The run included a LOT of mud and water holes, also because it had rained heavily the day before. So very soon after the start we had to walk through a mud and water hole. I was covered in mud up to my belly and wondered how I could run with those wet muddy and 2 kg heavier shows now. But on we went. The first walls came. I tried. And failed. People helped my at every single of the walls. I felt grateful but also embarrassed. I knew I was not ready for this. Strength-wise I might have been fine but I had no idea about techniques to get over walls. Anyway, I could only do my best.
Surprisingly, the running and the distance of 13+ km wasn't the hardest, it actually felt fine. Of course there were parts when I was walking to catch my breath but overall, my endurance qualities were not too bad. Also the carrying of logs, ties and buckets full of stones wasn't that bad.
At the slackline I asked a guy if we wanted to get over it together, to help each other with balance. A short Spartan romance, holding each other's hands while balancing over the slack line, ha ha! We ran a bit more together after that, but then lost each other. I wasn't much in the mood for Spanish small talk anyway at that time!
Balancing over more logs. More water holes. At times I thought I would lose my shoes in the mud. Sliding down muddy hills on your bum. Actually, this was fun! Then it got steeper up the mountain. Up there the view was amazing!! But sure enough I didn't have my camera with me, and certainly no time to enjoy the view much anyway because I had to watch the trail while trying to catch my breath.
The hardest part are the last kilometers. Until then I had managed to run without having to do burpees. But now the obstacles got harder. The first one I failed was a wall you had to climb along to ring a bell around a corner. I sliped off. 30 burpees. Which took ages. Then the rope climb. By that time I was too scared to even try getting up that high and risking falling, so I went immediately over to the burpee space. 30 more burpees. Which took even longer. Then the spear throwing. I took my time, thought of all the tips I got from Paddy, threw - and hit the strawbale!!! I was screaming of joy - until the guy standing there told me it was invalid because the spear was touching the ground with the end. WHAAAT!??! On to more burpees. By that time, I couldn't be bothered anymore about disqualification or time or even pride, so I only did 10 burpees. Further on. The monkey bars. I had trained swinging myself from one ring to another at the gym, and knew I was able to. Thing is I couldn't even reach the first bar. So I had to jump to catch it - and missed it of course. B.U.R.P.E.E.S. Again, I only did 10. Who.gives.a.fuck. Certainly not me anymore by that time.
Then the last obstacles. Getting yourself up on a slippery muddy wet wall using a rope. I tried two times, and slipped. Guys who were on the top grabbed my arms and in the end pulled me on my legs and arms up. Very elegantly. NOT. Ha ha. Then I was there. Getting under cars and then jumping over the fire (I was just scared I would be too weak to jump over the fire!) and then I stumbled into the finish.
WAAH! I did a Spartan Super Race! I got a medal, an apple, a bottle of water and a Spartan T-Shirt, and there I was, all muddy and cold but real happy too. It took me only 30 minutes to find Paddy and Lidiya, walking around. I found out it took me 3,5 hours to finish! I had read before that an average Super time was 2:40. Well, I certainly didn't rush, because my goals had been a) to survive and b) not to break anything. So all was good.
I got showered by a nice guy with a water hose, and then we left already. We drove all the way back to Barcelona, where Lidiya was about to meet old friends, so I took the next metro to the city center and tried to find a hostel. I felt and looked a bit like a homeless person I guess. Mud still on my feet and in my hair, dirty fingernails, a plastic bag with the muddiest clothes and shows you can think of. But I was lucky and found a nice central hostel.
First thing: HOT SHOWER! There was still so much red mud coming off me. When I was drying myself afterwards, the fluffy white hotel towel was brown! I just had a shower!
I went out food-hunting, and wandered around the area. I got me a "Party recovery-Juice" (almost the same) from the place we had eaten the day before, but ended up buying some food at the supermarket (hummus, crackers, smoked trout and a bag of kale), and ate that at my hotel room. One tipp: if you have just done a Spartan Race, do not go to the Corte Ingles Supermarket in the city center of Barcelona. Too.many.people. WAAAH!
I fell into my bed around 9:30 pm. But didn't sleep too well strangely enough.
The next morning every muscle hurt. Everything. I was so sore. My knees were covered in little wounds from robbing through the mud under barb wire. I felt wrecked. But I had a day of sightseeing before me. I left my bag at the hostel and wandered off. Starbucks! Another amazing lunch at Teresa Carles (rice spaghetti with creamy vegan mushroom sauce and a take away dessert of rhubarb and strawberry buckwheat tartelette). After walking for 6 hours through the town with sore muscles I made my way to the airport.
Of course by then I got my period. INserting a mooncup hygienically on an airport toilet was probably the hardest obstacle this weekend!
Flew to Seville, arrived at 11 PM, checked into my hostel, fell into bed, got up at 6 am, caught the bus to Villamartin, and drove home. Oh the joy of a hot bath!!!
Would I do it again?
Hell, yeah! But with more proper training on obstacles. I feel I should at least be able to climb a wall and a rope. But yes, I am hooked!
Many thanks to Paddy who made it possible that I had a minimal fitness level to survive this - and to Lidiya who literally pushed my bum to the starting line. AND to everybody else who pushed my bum numerous times over obstacles during the race! Thanks!
So I felt like a long hike today. Staring around midday. July in Andalusia. Silly me.
Nah it was fine. But at the end I had really licked off the last drop of my two full liter bottles of water, and was still thirsty. God never did a coke (a COKE! Yes with sugar and caffeine!!) taste better than after those 4 (YES 4!!) hours of hiking in the desert sun.
The hike starts in Benaocaz, a little mountain village. The sign at the entrance promises an hour of walking so I was already a bit disappointed since I was prepared for a longer hike. But I could just continue walking, on and on, not knowing where I would end up (I looked it up later at home - I would have reached Grazalema after 4 hours). But I turned around after 2 hours of walking - and got lost! I must say I panicked a bit, being on my own in the middle of nowhere in the burning heat, running out of water - and really NO SOUL around, just here and there a goat. And everywhere just rocks and thorn bushes.
It felt like a real survival and adventure trip so well, that was good.
After 4 hours I reached the village and got me the ice cold coke - damn deserved.
Nice hike but a bit boring. Although great if you really don't want to meet anyone (like me most of the time).