Why Spain is so great

April 19, 2006 Andy 0 Comments

In the Mongol Rally we covered 5 mountain ranges and 2 deserts. The fact that on our little tour of the south east of Spain over the Easter weekend we covered three mountain ranges and one desert is testament to the geographical diversity of the country. We started our 1600km round trip by heading down to Mazarron to see Chris and his new flat just before he heads back to Scotland. It was here were I was treated by Espe & Chris to birthday pizza. There was no cake (apparently as I’d been stressing Espe to be ready to leave Madrid), but the pizza did have a birthday candle. Shame it wasn’t lit due to the lack of a lighter or matches in the flat. As they say, its the thought that counts.

The following morning we followed the coast down from Mazarron into Adalucia and Cabo de Gata. A relatively unspoilt Mediterranean coastal area with a mountainous coastline and beautiful small coves thanks to volcanic activity from a time long since gone. We spent two days here in the Parque Natural Cabo de Gata trekking along the coast line, exploring the beaches and enjoying some mighty fine seafood and fish.

On the Saturday we decided to head north to reduce the distance we had to drive to get back to Madrid on Sunday. A scan of the map showed Spain’s largest national park, Sierra de Cazorla, conveniently between Madrid and us.

The drive there presented some fantastic views, in particular the snow covered Sierra Nevada, and some even better roads. Tight twisty mountain passes, driving at its best! Spain must have more than its fair share of the worlds greatest driving roads. At this point I have to say it doesn’t matter what car you’re driving to enjoy these. Obviously Niki’s Lotus would be awesome but there’s a lot to be said for coming down a mountain on two wheels in a 1 litre Peugeot. My thoughts often drifted to what it would be like driving these roads in what is arguably the worlds best cross country car, the Lancia Delta HF Integrale Evo 2. I think f’ing scary would be the answer.

Despite the mass exodus from Madrid that always happens at easter, apart from the return leg to Madrid, we were pretty much able to avoid the crowds. There’s not much more to say, except that it was wonderful to escape Madrid for 4 days and see more of the beauty of Spain. I could talk more about just that, but I think I’ll let the photos do the talking instead.

    Trip Photos

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