Sunday 10th April Casa de la Callado to Cortes de Pallas

After yesterday's bee attack, last night's all night disco and the loss of my walking companion (and lift back up the mountain), I needed a break and sure enough, bang to order, I got one.

Getting a taxi a eight o'clock in morning, even if you can explain where it is you need to get to, was always going to a challenge. In the bar, over a cafe con leche, the barman was as helpful as he could be but fortunately the conversation attracted the attention of one of the other customers. Trying to show him where I was going with my IPad was really difficult, took me ages to find the right maps and when I did he kept spinning it round and the maps of course wouldn't stay still. Eventually he worked it out, told me to get in his car and took all the way up the mountain, at least 20 kilometres. Unexpected gifts, particularly from strangers are the best.

My Guardian Angel

I walked back up the trail for about three kilometres to at least cover some of the ground I missed yesterday. It was then downhill to Cortes de Pallas, about 26 kilometres. The weather was exactly the same as yesterday, a little bit misty in the morning working up to be very hot.

The scenery and trail developed in tandem. Initially I was heading downhill and then on the flat and on a metalled road travelling through a fairly wide valley. Saw some deer (saw some later as well) which is the first time since Andulucia. The valley starts to narrow, you get closer to some really impressive sandstone cliffs and then your now on forest trail.

The valley has been running north to south and after about 18 kilometres joins another valley/gorge which is running west to east and you turn right round the mountain towards Cortes de Pallas. The scenery which had been steadily improving is now really dramatic. At the bottom the gorge is a long reservoir and on the other side is a hugh sandstone cliff. Sitting on top of one of the peaks along this cliff are the the ruins of a castle. To the south and into the sun are the highest cliffs I think I have seen so far on the GR7 higher even than the cliffs approaching Cazorla.

Long north-south running ridge

Cortes de Pallas Reservoir

Castillo de Chirel

Meanwhile the forest trail has turned into a forest path. Most of the time it's good albeit tough walking as the trail is close to the cliff and inevitably there are a lot of ups and downs. The shade is also welcome as it's now getting towards 30 degrees. The scenery is amazing. Gradually the trail gets more overgrown and you're ducking under all sorts of spiky things you collect more and more rubbish in your bag and down your neck.

Eventually the path propels you onto the road above Cortes de Pallas. Lots of bars and I order a large beer and the menu of the day. Have arrived 5 minutes before they stopped serving. Staying in the Hostal Casa Fortunata and no sign of a disco. By the way no bee consequences apart mild panic whenever I hear a buzz.


  1. Oh John... poor you and the bees :( Sounds hideous. Was it as bad as how you felt about Peter Crouch last Tuesday night?! Amazing that you have already clocked 1000km... it's crazy just thinking about it. All's well here... the weather is glorious (about 22c) and the picnics and bbqs are in full swing. Unfortunately for me the sickness is in full swing too so can't enjoy it all as much as usual.... booooo! Looking forward to reading more of your tales. C xxxx

  2. Love hearing about your journey, impressed that you are a fifth of the way through. I expect with all this walking your looking forward to all the bank holidays coming up (easter, royal wedding, may day). Talking of Royal Weddings, just been going through the pictures of Ruth's wedding. I will endeavour to post some of these (with Ruth's editorial approval), as soon as I get the hang of this technology. I'm on my own metaphorical journey to getting to the end of the week at the moment. I suppose this weekly work challenge is a distant memory to you. Yours with a mixture of jealousy and admiration. Love Julie

  3. No idea if my comments are getting through. Send me a sign.


  4. You must be Superman's Big Brother, John! Even without bees and boars attacking me, I need a break after 3 or 4 days of walking - and then a real one, that is a day of rest. I seem to be the Lazy Man among the ramblers ... Menno