Take a remote refuge with superlative mountain views, a few good friends, tasty food, a wee dram (or two) and a reason to celebrate and you have the makings of a birthday to remember. Last week we tried it out in the Sierra Nevada mountains of southern Spain. Our friend David Thomas wanted a 50th birthday party with a difference so we headed up to a high trailhead above the town of Güéjar Sierra, just east of Granada.
The 3 hour gentle walk in to the Refugio Peña Partida provided incredible views south to the peaks of Alcazaba (3371m), Mulhacén (3482m) and Veleta (3394m) whilst above us groups of Griffon vultures searched for the thermals. This northern section of the Sierra Nevada is very different from the busy Alpujarras foothills we are used to in the south of the range.
Due to it’s position along the long distance Sulayr path (GR240) the refuge is in a very good and clean state. It sleeps about 15 on it’s concrete floors. Sat on the rocks outside, we spent the rest of the afternoon toasting our friend’s birthday with cheap cava and whisky. The low valley cloud kept ebbing and flowing up and down the mountainsides and gave us atmospheric photo opportunities.
Good food, drink and companionship in an amazing mountain location. You just can’t beat it! We were the only ones around as the sun dropped down beyond the city of Granada. The hustle and bustle of normal life seemed far, far away. Sometimes it’s good to slow down, to stop charging up and down mountains, relax, enjoy nature at a leisurely pace and just take it all in!