So we went to Sierra Elvira instead. It's only half an hour's drive away, in the direction Granada.
As you turn off the main road to the sierra, you pass an intriguing sign to the Thermal Baths or 'Aguas Termales'.
They're currently closed, but we peered through the gates and saw quantities of steam rising from where the pool must be.
(I do wonder why the baths don't open until 18th June. The waters have medicinal qualities (allegedly and I believe it) and stay at a constant 30 degrees.
I'm sure there must be more like me who really fancy the idea of being submerged in warm water in the the sun - in February!)
Anyway, they were closed....another day we will go but I was very tempted to climb the gates!
We continued up the hill and left the road and most of the civilised world behind us, entering a pine forest between the trees of which were strewn lots of small stones and boulders - and grass! The children were delighted and Darwin was so excited that he jumped out of the car window. (We were going very slowly and I knew he wanted to go, so I let him - all under control, don't worry!)
And we found a clearing where we parked up and had our picnic and then, whilst FR read his book, I wandered off and Mateo and Ruy set to and built fortresses, trading with an ambulant stick vendor, whilst Darwin ran in more circles than you would imagine possible.
|Beginnings of a wall|
|Another bit of wall|
|Darwin chewed pinecones to his heart's content|
Everyone thought it would be a good idea to make a fire.
|So two sticks were prepared|
|And much friction was applied|
|Lots and lots|
|Why can I never capture all three of my children at once? Oh well, here's a nice one of two of them.|
Later that evening, I called in to one of our neighbours and told them where we'd been. They asked if we'd noticed whether the rocks were warm underfoot - apparently, the whole area is supposed to be a dormant volcano and the local myth is that you can feel earth tremors most days. I can't say I noticed either hot rocks or unexpected movements but the steaming baths indicate that the subterranea is pretty close. There are underground caverns as well as the baths and many people come to investigate them but so far, the volcano remains a myth.
At least I hope that's how it remains.