Tales of the Lecrin Valley

A personal view of life in an andalusian village.

It really is a labour of love, or at least devotion, to get up to the hermitage, El Cristo del Zapato, above Pinos del Valle, here in the Lecrin Valley. But needs must and my rapidly expanding waistline won Carmen´s argument so a decision was made. We had heard of the lightning/thunderbolt strike a few weeks earlier (hear it we certainly did and what´s more it put all communications in the valley out of action for three days,) so we packed water and camera and set off. At the start of the track we met Isabella who gave us yet another story about the legend of the “Christ of the Shoe” to add to the three we had already heard, so bemused we set off.

Isabella giving Ron intructions

Isabella giving Ron intructions

The full title of the hermitage

Full title of the hermitage

It is a steep climb up to the hermitage, through pine trees and with ever increasing views across the valley to the Beznar reservoir and the Sierra Nevada. The track is a series of hairpin bends and when we were there there were flowers in abundance.
It is a fairly stiff climb but eventually we came in sight of the hermitage and were able to see the damage.

I´m too old and fat for this

I´m too old and fat for this

Carmen showing her youth

Carmen showing her youth

Unfortunately the camera ran out of juice just as we approached so I can´t show you any photos, but I have linked to some on the Internet. But take my word for it, I have seen less damage from a missile strike. The concrete staircase had been blown away, the iron railings lying below, twisted and charred. At one stage there was a hole in the concrete where the stairs had been and as we clambered up past this we saw that the whole roof had been blown off and that the metal steeple was lying on the floor behind the chapel, the centre section blown apart. It was sobering to see nature´s force at work and we sat a while, contemplating, before we set off back down to Pinos del Valle. I hate walking downhill, my poor old knees play up terribly these days, but we were soon on the terrace of the Bar Venecia enjoying a shandy or two before setting off home for lunch.

I have been told that there is a fund to restore the hermitage and the people of Pinos seem keen to get the work done. They are thanking their lucky stars that the chapel and not Pinos that was struck and take this as an omen.

I have also picked up a sequence from YouTube if anyone is too lazy to climb up and see for themselves.