Telephones, peaks and dilemas: Thurs, Feb 06, 2003

After waiting for the last 3 weeks for a telephone line to be installed, the little man from the telephone company arrived. He duly had a good look round for 15 seconds, spent 10 minutes asking if he could mate Rocky with his black Labrador, then said :

“The telephone. It’s not possible today. The house is too high up and we cannot run a branch line the 20 metres from the main line”. “What a surprise?” said I, with just a hint of sarcasm. “We can put in a new line by digging up the road”, he said. I replied with, “Well why not, the water man’s just put it all back after he dug it up.” “How long will it be before the road is dug up again?” I ventured, knowing the reply “Oh, only about 2 or 3 weeks, I believe” he said most reassuringly. Now, you all know what will happen in 3 weeks time…..that’s right…NOWT!

With an average of 320 days of sun a year here I would have to pick a cloud covered day for an ascent of Alta del Chorrillo (2,715 metres). Story of my life, I suppose (everybody say “Aah”). It was Rocky’s first major peak and I have to say that he coped a lot better than me. Whilst I was chugging uphill feeling the effects of altitude he trotted merrily along in front. When you think of it….he’s fitter, younger and has four wheel drive. Not only that, his four wheel drive system has built in crampons that make him grip well to snow and ice.

He’s also turning into a good guide. He always has to be in front and he’s developed the ability to choose the best path to take. Makes my life easy. Only when he’s not totally sure which is the more defined path, he’ll wait for me at the path’s junction, and wait for me to indicate whether he should go left or right. If it wasn’t for the fact that he can’t drive a car or speak English/Spanish then I’d probably be out of business!

Written by:
Richard Hartley

Richard is an avid blogger and the founder of Spanish Highs Sierra Nevada. He is author of the Cicerone Guidebook Walking and Trekking in the Sierra Nevada