I started 2018 with a 2-days (32 km) trek in Parque Natural Sierra de Cazorla with two friends from college. We decided to visit the abandoned villages in the most remote areas within the natural park. These settlements were expropriated around 50 years ago. After a 4h30min drive from Sevilla we parked the car by the river birth of the Guadalquivir and started to trek at around 12.15h. The trail ascended through amazing pine forests until a plateau at around 1200m. Griffon vultures (Gyps fulvus) were very abundant. Close to sunset we started to see fallow deer (Dama dama), red deer (Cervus elaphus), and the Spanish ibex (Capra pyrenaica). We only saw wild boar (Sus scrofa) on the second day, and a roadkill red squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris).
The sunset tinted the mountain landscape yellowish and we arrived at our destination just before dark. This was Los Centenares, one of the abandoned villages, where we found a room with a cheminee to lay down our sleeping bags. Surprisingly, it was relatively warm for being in the mountains at around 1400m and this time of the year. We lit a fire and cooked some noodles for dinner. We had not crossed anyone in the whole day and we were very isolated, probably a around 10 km from the nearest human. Next morning we picked up the camp and started walking down the mountain. Leaving Los Centenares we found an old washing place which was a deadly pitfall for salamanders (Salamandra salamandra). We found 6 adults inside, one of which had drowned. The other 5 were liberated. We set several pieces of wood as exits for future victims. We finished the trek at around 6pm, tired and knowing we had had the privilege to visit the 2nd largest protected area in Europe.