By Rachel Webb
In the north of Granada province and the extreme north of Guadix municipality we find the Gorafe Desert. A huge area, also known as the Geopark Granada, a most unique countryside. A desert area filled with scrub land which is known, even in Spanish, as the ´Badlands.´ Why Badlands? Literally because the land is so bad that nothing grows there.
It´s a vast area sculptured during centuries by the wind and full of archaeological treasures. Gorafe, the town, is nestled in a gorge with a sheer backdrop rising to the plateaus, the area is one of the most important megalithic sites in Europe.
It´s not exactly the most beautiful area I´ve been to in Andalucia but different, dramatic and wild it certainly is. Add to that combination our weekend stay in a Podtel. An autonomous pod, a luxury eco, off-grid unit in the middle of nowhere, with never ending views made it possibly one of the most memorable.
Our route to find our District Hive Podtel, via Google Maps, took us through the town of Gorafe, winding us up to the plateau via several hairpin bends (and me being very glad I was driving, therefore in the middle of the narrow road, not on the edge) then another ten minutes or so into the wilderness, often with no vegetation, sometimes with almond groves very much behind the flowering season that we´d left at home. I had made sure (being the control freak and the planner) that we would arrive in daylight. Thankfully.
Track after track, Google maps wanting us to go one way when DH (District Hive) signs told us another! Then I spotted the Pod, a shipping container size unit in the distance. A huge sigh of relief and excitement went through me. Getting closer, the track became a dead end. Our pad beckoned and unfortunately grey clouds stayed with us. Our usual, no bags only cameras, came out of the car and we explored around, taking videos and photos before taking our belongings inside.
This amazing, the first placement of a Podtel, is just stunning. The design and ingenuity is that if it were removed tomorrow there would be no impact on the environment. Water taken from the atmosphere, solar panels, incinerator toilet. Just us, floor to ceiling, wall to wall views in 45 square metres of living space in a vast wilderness of, basically, nothingness. We saw hardly any life and sadly, because of the clouds, very few stars. But what a location!
A real escape. A rather vulnerable feeling which at the same time is liberating. Silence envelops. Darkness prevails. This wild camping in style.
Mine was a complimentary stay.
See more from Rachel at Luxury Spain Travel and Only Spain.
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