Around 4am the rain started soon followed by an extensive thunder and lightning storm. The power was cut at around 6am so breakfast was by candlelight. The trail heading from Bubion meandered up the hillside before descending to the village of Pitres. This is another suitable stop for a coffee and tapas of olives, bread, and ham, all the while listening to the pealing bells of the church. After filling up the water bottles from a gushing fountain, we headed southwards through terraces of olive trees with lemon and fig trees lining the path in places. Red peppers hung on the walls of the hamlets and other houses had two or three geraniums in pots in window boxes behind an iron grille. A roman bridge clung to a gorge side though we crossed the stream in spate at a different point. The air smelled especially clean here and the birds were twittering in the bushes. Just before our intended destination Busquistar, a steep path to the left led to a ruined mosque and with views over the surrounding valley, we gained an appreciation of Busquistar’s position on the side of a hill.

From Busquistar we caught a bus to Trevelez, the final destination for the day. At 1,500 metres, this is the highest village in Spain and is famed for its air-dried hams, which hang in special rooms like ham museums. It must have some of the steepest streets in any town in the world, one of which would be called a dry-ski slope in some resorts. How anyone walks down that street in icy weather I have no idea. Another pleasant surprise was the restaurant La Frague, which was owned by the hotel we stayed at. The menu was extensive and the food was uniformly excellent ranging from an Alpujarran cooked breakfast of eggs, ham, and fried potatoes, through stuffed aubergines, to light chocolate tarts.

To be continued the same time tomorrow