After getting off the bus we realized that we were not completely alone, a guy and a girl who had a similar mission had also gotten off the bus, and were heading to Los Gigantes. We came to talking and they confirmed what the bus driver has told me (which i did not completely understand) that we should ask in the first house on the right of the road when we got off, an old lady there offers accommodation, camping and some food. This sounded good comparing to the bad reviews of La Rotonda.
When we got there I realized that this was the place called Casas Nuevas that had a sentence or two on the internet if you looked really hard. Luckily for us it turned out that there were two beds available at the fine rate of €13 each, including hot showers and breakfast. And of course the friendly and loving service of Felipe, the lady who hosts everything, along with the other people who work there.
At first we had to sign a release confirming that we take full responsibility should anything happen, and that we understand that we can not expect any kind of medical assistance in a timely fashion. Mostly making sue that the state of Córdoba is not responsible for our bad decisions.
As we didnt have a guide I had downloaded a GPS track here and added it into OsmAnd on both my Xperia Z3 Compact and my old Xperia Acro S, both waterproof. We started out on a nice walk towards the foot of the mountain, not hard at all, but very beautiful.
As you can see in the picture the weather is not too bad, actually very nice for walking as it did not rain, and we were not cooked alive by the sun. All along our route were small piles of stones made by previous trekkers. When we reached the foot of the mountain and started ascending, one magnificent view after another presented itself. Along with complete silence except for our footsteps.
We felt rather small, exploring this mountain. And as the path got steeper we stopped a few times to drink some water, enjoy the views, the silence and the fact that we actually made it here!
A hole in the clouds light up a small portion of the view.
Small green patches in between the sharp stones opened up as we ascended.
After walking and climbing for about three and a half hours we sat down and had some lunch, and some well earned rest for two persons not used to this much physical activity all at once.
And here we are, happy to have reached the summit, but we can see the clouds in the distance getting thicker!
All along the path up we saw impressions in the ground from cows, apparently the mountain is used as pasture for some cows, but how they manage to get all the way up without tripping and falling toward a certain death is beyond us.
The clouds were now thick enough to leave some dew in our hair as the blew by.
As the climbing got harder, Linn got unsure about her capabilities, and at one moment sat down stating that she would stay there. When I reminded her that Los Gigantes was her idea, and the probable outcome from staying here would probably include starving to death she changed her mind.
On the way down the rain turned from dew to rain, and from rain to downpour. Our trusty GPS path also turned out to have some less appealing parts to it, including more or less gracious jumps over small rivers of water. As the rain increased, so did the rivers. The last three hours of the walk we were more or less soaked in water. We suddenly stopped caring whether we put our shoes in the river or beside it, as we felt that they could not get any more wet.
We did not take any photos coming down, my only focus was on getting the GPS to show the way, instead of doing other things because of the completely soaked screens of the phones.
When we finally reached La Rotonda and the road we were so happy, we just had two kilometers to go to Casas Nuevas. We felt a lot more hopeful walking on the road than in the steep hills flooded with ever increasing rainfall.
Safely back at the house we hang our clothes to dry and fell asleep. As the house didnt have too much heating on (we were mostly cold from the rain, heating was not really required otherwise), we felt very cold. Linn especially who can be quoted on saying “I am not sure I will ever get warm again”.
The day after we had a light breakfast served by Felipe. Her concern was total when she saw that we still had some wet clothes on, we didnt think to bring any extra, and the wet ones didnt go from soaked to dry just overnight. She lended us some old but dry clothes to put on while she sat down in the kitchen in front of the stove holding our clothes up to it until they were dry! Such an amazing care she took of us.
Very tired, but a great experience richer we took the bus back to Córdoba. There we got use of part of Linns Christmas present from her parents, hotel nights!