Berchules to Posada de Los Arrieros

Left our hotel at dawn to avoid the rush with a party of Germans at breakfast and walked through a silent Berchules.  Good news,  a tiny bar was open, full of local men having their constitutional brandy, but we made do were with coffee and cake.

Climbing over the dam
We set off down the hillside into a gorge, passing a gaggle of barking dogs. Got to the bottom to find no trail and no way marks. Followed Juan up the valley bottom we had to climb over a dam, on the other side of which we found a surprised family of mountain goats who shot up the hillside. Eventually the found the right path, an ancient paved path which climbed back up the side of the valley opposite to Berchules.
Up the valley from Berchules
Looking back to the other side we saw the path we should have taken, just behind the gaggle of barking dogs, and renewed barks signalled the arrival of the party of Germans at the same point. They went down the hill making the same mistake as us, although one late German went in the right direction. Surprisingly poor group discipline soon had the party in three parts, one person going in the right direction, one halfway down the hill and eight marching off in the wrong direction. Eventually the eight returned, joined the one left in the middle but they missed the path again and returned to the village. We spent the rest of the day wondering if they would ever see their colleague who actually found the right path again.

It then started to rain and for the first time we had to get our waterproofs out. Pressing on to Mecina Bombaron we stopped for another coffee and had Jamon on Toast which Juan proclaimed the best he had had in southern Spain.

Walking down the valley through the tiny hamlet of Golco over the next ridge to Montenegro we stopped at the site of the last stand by a group of Moors attempting to resist the conquest by the Roman Catholics. A lovely new house stood near the spot, a quirky Spanish cross between Gaudi and Salvador Dali.
House at Golco
On into the lovely town of Yegen and past the home of the famous British writer and lover of all things Andalucian, Gerald Brenan.

5 kilometres later in the village of Valor, Juan insists that we stop in a bar to try the local delicacy of partridge pate. Unfortunately the bar he wanted to visit was shut but we found another one enlivened by the presence of some 50 huntsmen just down from the mountain (apparently having shot 5 wild boar). Three glasses each of rosada, tapas, a racione of grandmother's croquets, an Andalucian sardine and fish dumpling stew followed by cheese, honey and walnuts, all wrapped up with a local liqueur to completely refuel us. The bar was a brilliant place to be on a wet autumn afternoon.

Final stretch was a 6 kilometre walk to Mairena via Nechite. The light was fading and although we had not had any sun all day, for the first time on this trip to Spain, this sort of weather has made a nice change.

We decided to get a taxi from Mairena to Posada de Los Arriernos as this means we can get to La Calahorra in time to get to Granada tomorrow night. It's also a really nice hotel, a beautifully restored stone and wood construction with warm comfy rooms and good food.


  1. Have stayed at The Posada de los Arriernos - delightful place. You missed a good walk up to it in a wild gorge. La Calahorra is worth exploring though it doesn't sound as if you will have time for the impressive Sierra de Baza - next time!

  2. John. Posada de los Arrieros. Arrieros were an ancient mule porters.