Posted by: Stevie D | May 16, 2012

Sierra Espuna.

I’ve always been one to try to spend my money wisely, so toll roads are, for me, an unnecessary luxury. However, lessons are learned in life every day.

We left Calp and headed south down the old N340 coast road towards Alicante. The N340 runs, along much of this section, parallel to the AP7 autovia, for which the government charges a toll and therefore few people use. Down to Alicante, so far so good. Then something happens. The landscape turns from a predominantly rural one into a series of newly built towns spreading back from the coast. Each just the same as the last, with rarely any gaps between them. The road becomes a sea of speed humps, roundabouts and traffic lights which means forward momentum is restricted to short bursts before all comes to a grinding halt once more. Just as I felt I was going to be forced onto the toll road, we decided to cut away from the coast and camp up. A quick look through the guide and we were heading for El Berro, a small village in the Sierra Espuna. This in itself was not so easy, because the road out into the hills became twistier, bumpier and steeper as we moved steadily away from civilisation. Finally, we arrived in the tiny village and set ourselves up in what proved to be one of the friendliest campsites in one of the friendliest villages one could wish to find.

View through an El Berro street.

All the local residents were keen to help out their visitors, from the shopkeeper to the guy who ran the local bar, and especially the campsite owner himself.

Some of the local residents going about their business.

The village was placed amidst a lovely rural setting, and the coming days of exploring on the bike promised much.

Peace and tranquility was the order of the day.

We spent the next day swanning around in the sun and exploring the village. Then it was time to hit the road and see what was slightly further afield. We had a couple of things we needed, so headed down towards the local town Alhama de Murcia. The road, however was a nightmare of lumps and bumps, twists and turns. After leaving Alhama, we tried to see two other local towns, Pleigo and Mula, but the road conditions didn’t improve and Jayney decided enough was enough and she was heading for the comfort of her chair in the sun. I could see where she was coming from, so we returned to base. I was determined, however, to see the mountain which gave it’s name to the range, Espuna itself.

Riding into Mula in the Sierra Espuna.

A couple of days later, I set off alone to ride to the top of Espuna. I say the top, but the Army have taken control of the summit so it’s a no-go area. The ride was exhilarating, with the road becoming ever steeper and countless hairpin bends. The road surface however was far better than those at lower levels which made the ride far more pleasurable.

The Mirador Collado Bermejo, halfway up.

Stunning views make the trip even more worthwhile.

Looking out over the town of Alhama de Murcia.

A view from the summit.

Freedom has it’s limits.

Next morning we left El Berro to head down to the Costa del Sol. It had been a very enjoyable few days.
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Responses

  1. All the best places are off the beaten track. Those hairpins remind me of the drive to Applecross over the pass. Scary in a campervan! Have fun both of you, Avis x

    • Did the hairpins on the Harley not in the van Avis. You need to stay quite focused though, however you do them. I always think a huge drop off the edge helps to concentrate the mind.

  2. Such a wondrous place, I do need to ride out that way. To bad the Army would not let you up that mountain, those curves would have been fun! Thanks for the post.

    • Thanks for the comment TTT. The Army have only blocked off the very top of the mountain and I’d sampled enough curves by then. Would have been good to see the view from the very top though.

  3. I think it may be harder to take the bumps when you’re on the back. Maybe because you don’t see them coming…. Glad to see it didn’t stop you from exploring though! Great pics once again!

    • How very empathetic of you Shadowrun. I’d never looked at it that way before. I’d always thought she was just a big softy. 😉

      • Seeing some of the weather you all ride through, I wouldn’t consider her a softy. 🙂 I rode on the back of my hubby’s for about a year before getting my own, and some of the bumps knocked the breath out of me. He would start warning me of them by shrugging his shoulders, so I could at least brace myself. On the road you described, he’d have gotten a workout. 🙂


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