Lost hikers rescued from ravine in Andalucia

by Deborah Cater
La alpujarra looking towards sierra Nevada

ÓRGIVA – At 1:00 am, Spanish emergency services rescued a couple of lost hikers from a steep and overgrown ravine in La Alpujarra; a nature reserve on the southern flanks of the Sierra Nevada in the province of Granada. The lost hikers were a couple from Belgium.

The two 65 years old, were found completely exhausted, according to Cope.es. They had been on the road since the morning, but got lost in a difficult area. At one point, they could not walk any further, various Spanish media report.

According to the newspaper Ideal, the two had parked their car in the municipality of Capileira in the morning. The lost couple wandered around for hours and finally called 911 around 7pm. A specialised team of the mountain rescue service of the Guardia Civil set out. Upon reaching the ravine, they left their vehicle and began to walk to the coordinates provided by these hikers.

Steep terrain 

The terrain they had to pass through was very steep. Also, the vegetation was so abundant and aggressive with thistles and thorns that it sometimes completely obstructed the passage; so the officers had to find another route.

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After descending about 300 meters, they finally found the couple at 1 a.m. The two Belgians were exhausted, scratched and cold. The officers gave them water, food and warm clothes. They started looking for an exit path to lead them to their vehicle after it became clear that the hikers could no longer climb the slope they had descended. It took until 4.15am for them to reach a road. There, a patrol picked up the couple to take them back to their own car.

La Alpujarra

The area on the southern flanks of the Sierra Nevada is a popular destination for hikers. The most famous villages are Pampaneira, Bubión and Capileira. From the latter, excursions often depart to the top of the highest mountain on the Spanish mainland, the Mulhacén (3482m).

The villages are located on the edge of the valley carved by the river Poquiera. From the three villages, routes lead through the river valley that, thanks to the abundant presence of water, is lush throughout the year, but also difficult to access if you deviate from the routes.

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