Monday, March 12, 2012

Road trip El Chorro


Road Trip: Camping and Climbing in El Chorro

Since I last blogged we’ve been out on adventures and driven the entire North to South of Spain in search of friends and adventure!


Our original plan was to drive south to Madrid and camp at one of the many crags that surround its West side. This however was not to be. Upon arriving in Madrid it was clear that it wasn’t the best place to be camping in February as the temperature was around -6 degrees and being outside for more than 5 minutes was unbearable even wearing multiple layers of thermals and a down jacket.

It was late in the night and we had already been driving for around 6 hours but we decided the best decision would be to continue driving south to El Chorro were we were sure the temperatures where higher and the climbing was sunny


For anyone thinking of driving through Spain the views are pleasant and the roads are quiet and easy to drive with plenty of places to stop on the way in the day and night.

We drove south for another 5 hours passing quickly and quietly through the Spanish countryside. We eventually arrive in Antequarra, a small town North East of El Chorro and became quite lost. The European road map we had was rubbish for negotiating the small and badly marked roads that lead to the gorge where we planned to stay and so we stopped to ask directions at a petrol station.

We walked in to find a lady around 5’10 making coffee and doing a general tidy up. In my bet Spanglish i asked which way it was to the gorge. I was surprised when she replied to me in perfect English, telling me that her husband was English and that we were very close. Two police officers then walked in and collaboratively between the three of them and the police radio we got some directions which took us to Campillos and then south.

We followed these directions but again got hopelessly lost. We stopped again for directions and eventually pieced together where we were and made our destination around 7am.
We couldn’t find a camping spot on the hillside and so decided for now we should sleep in the car. It was an uncomfortable night’s sleep in a packed out Fiesta with seats that would barely recline and a cramped foot well.

The next day we woke and drove down to the Olive Branch. This was the premier place to stay in El Chorro and get information on all the latest routes, access to remote crags and of course PARTY! My mates from Leicester were staying here and later in the week we expected our friends from Essex to arrive. I parked up and had a mooch about the Olive Branch but couldn’t see anyone. Just as i was about to leave I heard the familiar voice of one of my best mates Henry who had seen me searching about through the dining room window.

Everyone came out and we hugged and had a catch up and began planning the logistics of our stay and what routes we wanted to do. Now although our friends were staying at the olive Branch, Me and Joe had very little money and could barely afford the drive there and back let alone accommodation.

TEAM ESSEX

We spent a week here enjoying the sun and having a great time but had to return home after just 9 days but with great memories. Some of my favourite are the Camino Del Ray with the guys from Essex which we ambushed them on and on-sighting 7b which is always a nice feeling! 

Next blog will be about a little known climbing area called La Marea which is a new a hidden climbing area 20km south of Infiesto in Northern Spain.