Early rain and thick fog at Espiel when we awoke felt more like Broadbottom than Andalucia. We abandoned our plans to explore the upper crags at Espiel, and instead upped sticks and headed for Jaen.
The two-hour drive was a delight – olive groves as far as the eye could see in all directions, and a heady smell of extra virgin wafting into the van. It turns out that Jaen if the Province of Olives.
Sunshine was poking through the clouds as we entered Jaen, just 10km from the crag. We’ll be climbing in 10 mins! Wrong! Thanks to an over eager sat nav we spent a nightmarish hour in a maze of one way cobbled streets, barely wide enough for the van and overhung by first-floor balconies. Every turn seemed to spiral us inwards and further from salvation, expecting to arrive any minute at a dead-end and a heap of rusting campervans of previous victims.
Happily, we escaped, and found the steep winding track leading beneath the crag of Reguchillo – AND WHAT A CRAG! It rates 4 karabiners in Donde Escalar but is at least a 5 in our estimation.
There has been a lot of new routing since the Munilla guide, but we managed to find our way around with the help of a few names on the rock and a useful list here
…and talk about roadside!
We could have belayed from bed through the skylight!
At sector La Curvilla we did a great long route up the obvious ramp feature behind the van (probably La Rampa 6b)
…then a couple of excellent 7as to the left: Apuesta duro & La jula del bubo on gently overhanging ‘velcro’ rock.
There look to be a couple of hundred routes of similar quality, so we settled in for the night – confident we’d be first in the queue should there be a rush of interest ; -)
…only to wake to driving rain. We’ll be back though.