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.

What?

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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