My wife has been wanting me to travel to Spain with her, so she enticed me into going by booking a tour with Home | Pure Mountains mountain bike vacations. We really did not know what to expect, being Florida riders. We were apprehensive about the altitude, cold, and the skill level required to ride in the mountains. We ended up having the best time we have ever had on a trip to Europe, made some great friends, and had the most exhilarating four days of our life. Captions are below the pics.....
Pure Mountains sent a van to pick us up at the airport in Malaga, Spain. We had previously visited Madrid, Sevilla and Ronda.Here's the group on the first day, My wife and I are on the far left. Four of the riders were completing their tour, and this was their last day.
This is the view from our hotel in Berchules, in the Sierra Nevada mountains, the Andalusia region of southern Spain. If you go in the warmer months you can stay in their farmhouse, but it isn't adequately heated(solar). The hotel was lovely and the food was excellent. Our guides, Tim and Jenny would come down in the morning to pick us up.
The bikes were excellent, Trance XOs with a nice XT spec level,tubeless and dropper posts. We brought our own saddles and pedals, and Tim had the bikes already dialed for us. (We had emailed our height and weight, etc)
It was just gorgeous here, the views are always this good.
They have two trail dogs that run with you, Jimmy and Lucy.
This is where it got tough on us. The climbing was very difficult for us. (Floridians don't get to climb)The first day, my first time riding at altitude, I took off at my normal pace and started climbing. I realized I could no longer breathe and had a metallic taste in my mouth. It was really quite humbling,as I like to think I'm in pretty good shape. Luckily Tim and Jenny are always ready to help you out in the Land Rover if you get gassed or just don't want to climb. The climbing did get easier as we adjusted to the altitude, and we started being able to climb with the others.
The Land Rover of shame, or fame, however you look at it.
My wife and I making a stream crossing, more difficult than it looks, and you really don't want to fall or get a wet foot in an icy stream on a cold day. We all made it.
Kelly making a rocky decent back towards town. She hesitated, but Jenny told her she could do it. She tried again and went right through it.
More stunning views.
This is my wife with guide Tim following on an excellent piece of singletrack the was an ancient Moorish irrigation channel high in the mountains.
A zigzagging decent.
Me walking off a grueling climb and enjoying the view.
A few pics of the crew, In the last pic, From the right, Myself, Ernst from the Netherlands, my wife and Magnus and Anna from Sweden. In the first pic, our guide Tim is on the right.
Looking down at the little village of Berchules.
Yours truly, on a bridge.
On the last day, Tim took the three guys and we endured some lengthy climbing to ride the best trail I may ever experience. We blasted down through a straight-ish,sunny track through some calf high bushes at a high rate of speed, then got on a shaded trail through some gorgeous woods with fast drops and surprising, rocky switchbacks.As if that wasn't enough we went to an extremely challenging rocky path down the side of the mountain. This feature is called the Xylophone, and the rocks really did make a musical sound when you rode them. I didn't know I had the ability to do it, but I found it somewhere. It was an incredibly rewarding experience.
My favorite pic...
Thanks for checking out my thread. We had an absolute blast at Pure Mountains. Tim and Jenny where extremely accommodating and really cater to the riders, but they will also point you in a direction, give advice and back off so you can discover your abilities for yourself. I wouldn't really call this a vacation though.That brings to mind images of a beach with umbrella drinks, which is not our cup of tea. It's really more of an experience- one we will never forget. After Pure Mountains we visited Granada, where luckily they had Turkish mineral baths.
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