Driving Around In the Sierra Arana

13 months. That’s how long it is that we live in Iznalloz. And we are still not used to the sight of the mountains.

Of course, we both come from countries where there are no mountains. The highest point in Belgium is a little less than 700 meters high. This means that here in Iznalloz – about 850 meters high – we live higher than we ever could in Belgium!

Denmark is even flatter. Its highest point is located at around 200 meters.

The way the mountains look changes very often. It depends on the season, the weather conditions, and the time of the day.

Peña de la Cruz. That’s the name of the highest peak of the Sierra Arana (2027 meters high).

Slowly, you reach a height of 1100 meters.

The road becomes more and more narrow, steeper and steeper. Finally, you find yourself at a height of more than 1600 meters.

Take your time to admire the landscapes.

So much beauty, so much silence.

We could see cars and trucks drive on the nearest freeway, but we could not hear any noise.

A picnic with a view and a multitude of peaks.

The time came to say goodbye to this magnificent world of silence.

See you later this week for more content!

What about you? Do you prefer the mountains or the sea? Or both? Do you like to drive around on mountain roads?


When Randonautica Goes Completely Wrong

6 weeks. That’s how long we have been using the Randonautica app. 6 weeks of fun, exploring and interesting discoveries. But also… frustration!

The Locations

The first location we chose was our hometown of Iznalloz. Until then, we had made this choice twice while experimenting with the app. And twice it sent us to more or less the same location. Lars and I found that very odd and wondered where exactly we would end up when we chose our village again.

Anyway, we spent the whole afternoon in the following area:

This is the area formed by the triangle of Iznalloz, Domingo Perez, and Piñar. For your information, Granada is about 25 kilometers to the south of our hometown.

The Intention

As usual, Lars chose the intention: wildlife. Until today, I am not quite sure what animal(s) Lars wanted to see…

Anyway, at that moment, it sounded interesting enough. Would we discover a horse refuge? Or meet a shepherd and his flock of sheep/goats?

The Results

Let’s start with the good news! The app finally sent us to a completely different location in Iznalloz.

And now the bad news… That location was a small factory. We didn’t see (or hear) any animals at all. Moreover, most of what we did see were olive and fruit trees.

Basically, we struggled with 2 problems:

  • The point that the app generated was on private property.
  • We couldn’t reach the destination because the road was in a terrible condition.

One failed attempt? No problem. Two bad results? Let’s hope for the best. Three? Are you kidding me!? Finally, at this beautiful spot, we stopped and decided to call it quits. Five attempts were enough.

It would have been nice if there had been a frog in that water. Funny detail: when driving from location 1 to 2, we crossed a huge truck filled with… pigs! Was that a sign from heaven?

The Aftermath

We decided not to make a video this time, because we can’t show you much. And starting every segment with the sentence “We can’t reach our destination” is not very exciting either.

On the other hand, although we couldn’t reach our goal, we had fun. And that counts too!

More Randonautica adventures next week! On Friday, we are back in another corner of Europe.

What about you? Have you had any bad experiences with the Randonautica app? Would you write about them on your website or not?

Randonautica Adventure Number 2 – Looking for Wine!

This was an adventure with very surprising and very mixed results! Did we reach our goal however? Keep on reading to find out!

The Locations

The app kept us busy for a whole afternoon:

The Intention

Again, it was Lars who came up with the purpose: winery.

It’s almost 3 years now that we have been living in Spain and during that whole time we have visited exactly 1 winery. And it was not even located in Spain, but in Portugal. Not very impressive for 2 foodies like ourselves!

The Results

Location 1

We started in our hometown of Iznalloz. Strangely enough, the app sent us to more or less the same place as during our very first test run! More precisely, Lars and I found ourselves next to a… cemetery!

I think we can safely say that there is no connection between Location 1 and our intention.

Location 2

Lars and I headed towards Piñar, a very picturesque village, quite close to us. It’s known for its caves that attract quite a lot of tourists. Anyway, I reprogrammed the app, which took us to a very pretty (and interesting!) place, about 11 kilometers south of Guadahortuna.

Location 3

Was this the place we had been looking for?


This is actually a restaurant, where you can rent a room as well. And there is a mini-zoo with domestic and exotic animals.

The restaurant is called Las Encebras. It’s specialized in meat and game, and it’s not that cheap. Check out their official website, and their menu.

Conclusion: very nice result, but not exactly what we were looking for…

Location 4

I have no idea why I chose Montejicar as our next destination. Blame it on my quirky mind.

Anyway, I reprogrammed the app upon our arrival. Unfortunately, the app chose a place in the province of Jaen. And due to Covid-19 measures, we are not supposed to leave the province of Granada.

In order to avoid such a result again, we drove off to Domingo Perez (again, don’t ask me why). As you can see on the map, it’s located to the south.

Location 5

By the way, in order to reach Domingo Perez, Lars and I drove through Montejicar. And I wouldn’t mind revisiting it!

It took us about half an hour before we found the place the app had generated for us in Domingo Perez. We were in the middle of nowhere, not far from a farm. But why? In the video, you can clearly see on my face and hear it in my voice, that I was frustrated, disappointed, and even sad.

(Insert GIF of angry panda here again) 🙂

The Aftermath

Luckily for you (and us as well!), I am blessed with a very good visual memory. I had memorized the coordinates that the app had generated for us in Montejicar. And once we were back home, I asked my good friend Google for some help.

Joy, oh joy! Look at this Facebook page! And this Instagram account.

So, after all, the app did send us to a winery (or at least, tried to)!!! The bad news is that at this moment we cannot visit it due to the Covid-19 measures that I have mentioned before. But as soon as we can, we will go to Arbuniel. The good news is that this location is not far from the Sierra Magina, one of the most stunning places in the province of Jaen.

The Video

Let’s hope you like it better than the first one:

What about you? Have you ever used the randonautica app? Or do you intend to? What are your experiences/thoughts/…?

See you soon in another corner of Europe!

How to Drive To (and Through) the Gorafe Desert (and How Not to!) – Part 3

First of All

Earlier this week, I had promised to publish this post yesterday. But then something happened…

Probably like many of you, the last days I have been experiencing many problems with my Gmail. I can imagine that many of you were frustrated or angry as well, but it had a far worse impact on me. And that’s because of my ASD.

Because I am hypersensitive, and communication and social conventions can be difficult for me, the outside world can be overwhelming to me. In order to cope with this, I rely on certain habits and routines. From organizing my day to arranging my food on my plate, I live according to strict routines. One thing that I do every day, even before breakfast, is reading my emails. You cannot imagine how soothing it is for me to check my emails and then visit your blogs.

When something disturbs a certain routine, or I can’t perform them, I feel very unwell – on a mental level. I can feel restless or uneasy, or I have a breakdown/ meltdown. And then it’s impossible to focus and write. That’s the reason nothing happened on this website yesterday.

Anyway, the problems seem to be resolved now.

One more thing. You probably have noticed that when I visit your blog/website, I leave a “like”, but I hardly comment. It’s not that I don’t want to, it’s because I don’t know how to. Yes, even when it’s written communication, I have problems. In real life, people accuse me of being too direct and rude. That’s the reason I keep a low profile.

Back to business.

Read part 1 here. And here is part 2.


Simply put, the Gorafe desert is a unique and one of the most spectacular landscapes in Europe!

“The Guadix-Baza Depression is an inland sedimentary basin, surrounded by mountains and relatively high above sea level and fluvial in nature. In the centre there was once a lake teeming with life. Some 100,000 years ago, its waters spilled into the Guadalquivir River Valley by way of the River Guadiana Menor, leaving evidence of millions of years of activity etched on the rocks and ground. (…) Erosion is one of the main features of the landscape in this region, which has created spectacular badlands, so named because of their dry, ravine-like nature. These shapes give the region its unique character, and they are especially varied and extraordinary in the central part of the basin.” (source: http://www.andalucia.org)”

Most prefer to visit this remarkable landscape with a guide. Check out freetour.com and Al Andalus Photo Tour.

Budget Adventure

Yes, it’s possible to do this on your own. I am not going to lie: these organized tours are not cheap!

We recommend:

  • Take snacks and drinks with you.
  • Preferably drive an SUV.
  • Don’t do this during bad weather or when it gets dark!
  • And follow our route!

After your visit to the Megalithic Park, keep on driving on the same road (Mirador del Llanos de Olivares).

The Olive Trees

With a bit of luck, you will see this…

Does anyone know what kind of animals these are? Let us know in the comments!

The Entrance

Keep on following the road. Your adventure will start soon… Do you want a sneak-peek?

At your right, badlands, badlands and,… badlands! At your left, when you look down, you will see Gorafe. You will also see signs towards a cave hotel. And then the road goes down and the fun begins!

Welcome to the Badlands

You are now driving on a dirt road. It’s narrow and steep sometimes. You will encounter some potholes now and then. But, trust us, it’s still safe.

Take it easy. Don’t drive fast. And let it all sink in. You are now surrounded by badlands in all shapes, sizes, and colors.

Mother Nature was clearly inspired here…

You see that lonely mountain with that blue spot in the background? At the right of the picture?

That’s the Embalse de Negratin!

The Big Silence

Silence can be overwhelming…

The dust on our car was also impressive…

Keep on following the road!

Slowly but surely, you are reaching the highlight of your adventure…

Los Colorados

Also called Los Coloraos.

“Close to Gorafe and within the “Desierto de Gorafe” Geo-Route, Los Colorados is the name the locals give to a landscape where a reddish colour dominates. This tone justifies the name (“red-coloured” in Spanish is “colorado”), the cause of which is found in the ground, comprised of the dismantling of rocks due to the oxidant nature of sediments.” (source: http://www.andalucia.org)

In other words: you are looking at the smaller version of the Grand Canyon!

And Then…?

You turn around, and you go back to where you came from: the Megalithic Park. Don’t worry: there is enough space to turn around.

Don’t do what we did. We kept on following the road. DON’T DO THAT! The road becomes a lot more narrow, steeper and rougher. Going on an adventure is one thing, taking unnecessary risks another!

And it got a lot rougher!

When you are back at the Park, check your car. If you can’t read your number plates, because of all the dust, clean them!

This was our biggest adventure of 2020. If you follow the whole itinerary, take 2 days. If you don’t go to Villanueva de las Torres, 1,5 days, with at least half a day for the Gorafe Desert. And again, follow our instructions!

Interested in more adventures? Come back tomorrow!

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