We being hubby and I leaving two sons, one dog, four chickens, gardens and pots to be watered and plenty of food at home we escaped.
Leaving Jaén and heading south on the N323 to Granada (stopping to buy a replacement tent in Carrefour) we then headed to Las Aplujarras on the A348 to the town of Orgiva where we met Fred and Arpi Shively at their wondefully quirky Cortijo Los Piedaos with four self-catering houses of varying sizes and rusticiness.
I´d happily have stayed in any or all of the houses and wondered all day in the gardens complete with lily-pond, bullfrogs and darting dragonflies. Every path led to a secluded sitting area, all private, for a moment of peace or contemplation.
If you´re looking for a unique and peaceful spot to holiday yet close to all that the Alpujarras has to offer then head into the olive groves of Los Piedaos.
We then checked out the campsite, Camping Puerta de las Alpujarras, right on the main road from Lanjarón and almost in Orgiva this campsite has great access. It´s a sloped site but well-terraced with reasonable sized chipping-based pitches.
Nothing outstanding about this site but easily accessible with all the requirements and well-kept public areas.
Our next stop was to be the Balcon de Pitres campsite in Pitres, which we completely missed and over shot, only to spot a sign for Jardines de las Alpujarras, belonging to Cortijo Opazo, another stopping point on my agenda.
Wandering around an English country garden in the sizzling Spanish heat seemed a little odd and we chosen a particularly hot day. The tapestry of flowers that I haven´t seen for ages was lovely. Blooms brightened up borders and lounged in pots, many varieties I didn´t think would survive here seemed more than happy in the heat, while I wilted.
Afterwards we sunk into a shady corner with some delicious chilled lemonade and ice-cream filled bun with redcurrants, all home-made and home-grown.
The Alpujarras doesn´t get as hot as we do in Jaén province, but I´ll certainly be trying to grow some old time English favourites in my garden at home and in Casa El Regüelo our holiday home.
On the owners advice we retraced our route and wound up the hillside drive of the lovely Balcon de Pitres campsite, with lots of well-watered grass, a rarity here in Southern Spain, and loads of trees providing welcome shade.
Small, leafy, grassy pitches and the tones of somebody practising a clarinet drifted in on the breeze. We decided to stay.
Pitching our new snug tent, we (I should say he) had to pump up the airbed inside the tent or we´d never have got it in there, we relaxed for a while and had another sit-down in the garden of the campsite bar.
And had a glass of fino or two.
Day two to be continued.....