Feb 2016 to Casarabonela and Yunquera

Venta Pelegrino

Venta Pelegrino

John Campbell

Photos by John except where noted and those are from Camile.



This run was organised by Kjell & Kari Helgesen.

Kari and Kjell, by Camile

Kari and Kjell, by Camile







Inside the venta, by Camile

Inside the venta, by Camile





The meeting point for the start was at the Venta Pelegrino, near to Ojén. The Venta is notable as they have an amazing collection of cigarette-lighters here, and they make “killer” bacon sandwiches.




From here, the run was through Monda and Guaro and then via the back roads to Casarabonela, to the Cactus Garden. This is the second-biggest collection of cacti and succulents in Europe – the only one bigger is in Monaco.


Arriving at the gardens







There is good parking just in front of the gardens. Once we were assembled, the guide took us on a tour of the gardens and the very large greenhouse.



Guide in the gardens








Despite being born and bred in the village, the guide speaks with a broad Scots accent, of which he is quite proud.



As we followed him up the path, he was explaining many interesting facts about the various plants.

There was a cool wind blowing, so we were glad to get inside the greenhouse. The plants are arranged according to areas from which they come. At the end of the greenhouse are several very large tables where many of the smaller plants are arranged. Some of these are the original cacti that started the current collection many years ago.

An exhibit in the greenhouse







There are nice views from the top of the gardens, looking across the village to the surrounding mountains. Clouds were gathering and a few of us wondered if we should fit the roofs on the cars.

View across the gardens







Most elected not to fit the roof, and on the way to Yunquera, there were just a few spots of light rain, but then it cleared nicely for us.

It was about an hour to get to Yunquera, on some very twisty roads. That suited the sports cars more than Qasim’s Bentley, which does not have power steering.

Eventually we all arrived at the Venta Enara.

Restaurant Enara in Yunquera







The parking was a bit of a jigsaw puzzle but we all fitted in the end.

Parking at Restaurant Enara in Yunquera







This was the first run that Kjell and Kari had organised, and I think they both breathed a big sigh of relief when we all sat down to eat. I would say a good day was had by all…..

Eating at Restaurant Enara in Yunquera