Kiri and


Mountains and mud

February 4th, 2014 (by Steve)

Who would have guessed that the highest altitude of our trip so far would not be Switzerland or Austria, but Spain?! Yup, the mountain range to the east of Granada took us to an altitude of 1372 metres according to our GPS tracker (or 1429 metres according to our paper map). It would be lying to say that Bertha sailed up the slopes, because it was engine power that pulled her to the top, but it didn’t seem to be too much of a struggle. We experienced quite a contrast in weather though; two days previously we’d been basking in temperatures in the mid twenties, but in the mountain pass we drove through sleet and spied snow ploughs at the ready on the slip roads.

View from Bertha - stunning light and snowy mountains

So were we in Granada to visit the famous palace? Nope (although given the number of people that have recommended that we go there, we probably should at some point in the future!). Were we there to go to a luxury spa built over one of the hot springs? Nope (budget constraints… plus we’re not really spa people!). Our quest was to find the hot springs near Santa Fe that haven’t been commercialised yet. Unlike the hot springs we visited near Lamia, Greece, these are not sign-posted; in fact it took a little bit of research to find the GPS co-ordinates of them. The latitude and longitude were accompanied by a warning about mud, but we hadn’t seen that much rain, so thought that we would be fine in Bertha.

Now Kiri has quite a bit of experience in driving off-road vehicles (tractors, landrovers, quad bikes, etc) in mud. I have none… but then again Bertha isn’t really an off-road vehicle… well, she hadn’t been up until this point, but I reckon you can teach an old dog new tricks! As we headed down a muddy track through the middle of an olive grove, Kiri started to warn me that we should probably go back. I wouldn’t say that I ignored her, but… ok, I ignored her. We reached an impassable puddle (ooh, that would make a good band name!) and I conceded defeat… for this route. We reversed and I plotted another route on the satnav. This route had even softer mud, but with the promise of hot springs at the end, I was keen to persevere… especially as at this point we’d been washing out of a bucket for the previous 2.5 weeks. I’m not willing to give up on something until I’ve exhausted every avenue… but after finding a lake blocking this route and performing a 17 point turn in soft mud I reluctantly agreed that all routes would probably be the same. Having almost doubled Bertha’s weight with additional mud, we returned to terra firma, re-planned our route and headed for the coast instead.


What followed was a lovely couple of days beside the beach along the Costa del Sol. We’re not talking about the touristy areas with pristine beaches; we’re talking about places where learner drivers practise their manoeuvres; where all of the local joggers go. Going to sleep with the sound of the sea is something that has been a real privilege on this trip. People pay good money to have a sea view on their holidays; this is the sea right on your doorstep.


Mountains, mud, sea; we love Spain!

All posts about Spain

Pilgrims, fuses and more waves

Stormy seas and myriad motorhomers

The joy of networking

Mountains and mud

The rain in Spain…

Such a beautiful horizon

2 Responses

Hi K&S, another visitor who arrived via, and we have really enjoyed your Blog and Videos. We bought our 12 yr old Autosleeper Nuevo about 12 months ago and did a couple of trial runs: Norfolk and France. Then set off for three months to Greece, with a 125 scooter on the back. Picked up some of the same places as you, loved Meteora, Ljubljana‎, Bled, Saltzburg and our favorite was Prague. Now planning to visit some of the places you have been to in the
future: Pompei sounds right up our street. We are setting off in a couple of weeks to head towards the Cadiz area so we’ll keep a look out for you. Good luck and God’s speed. P&L

Hi Patrick + Lorraine; great to hear about your adventures. We can really recommend Pompeii! We may or may not pass by Cadiz, as we’re heading back to the UK for March, but we’ll keep an eye out for you too if we do end up there! Safe travelling 🙂

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