Cartajima Refugio

The Refugio Hostel In Cartajima – Traveling And Feeling At Home: Priceless.

I had quite a trip these holidays. As I hiked solo, the trail was more or less deserted and there were no other hikers around, I felt quite lonely on some of the evenings.

Most of the time this is not a problem for me because I need this kind of solitude. But on some evenings I just craved talking to someone else but an Andalusian senior citizen with a strong incomprehensible accent. Do not get me wrong: This is why I learned spanish and this is why I travel but above all a conversation gets interesting when you share at least some similar experiences. And neither can I deny the exhaustion which comes with talking to someone who is barely comprehensible.

In this case the best thing to do for me is to look out for a hippie-style hostel where I’m quite sure to meet some likeminded people and if the hostel is in a hiking area I’d maybe even meet some hikeminded ones 🙂

This is how I found the Refugio Hostel in Cartajima, 18 kms south of Ronda. I booked a room by phone and got there in the evening. Botz, the british host, opened the door and told me that there are no other guests, just us. A short disappointment came up in me, but volatilized quickly as I saw the 300 years old house with its fantastic roof terrace into the surrounding mountains. And above all when I sat down with Botz and we started talking.

What I want to say since the beginning of this article: There are those rare people in hospitality business who really know what they are doing. Who have this delicate intuition what to do and what to say while completely staying themselves. Who let you be yourself and let you feel like you’re belonging here since a long, long time.

This is Botz. I had some wonderful and crazy laughing evenings and even a long hike with him. He loves the mountains and the Andalusian countryside. He traveled a lot. He is completely in love with a girl from Austria. He was a drummer in Amsterdam. He was a chef and the food he is offering is just wonderful. He looks like an argentinian, younger version of Iggy Pop.
And he made the last days of my holidays a pure blast.

This days in places like this, are not about five star perfection. You won’t have television, room service or infinity pools. Sometimes you won’t even have hot water*. But you will feel like home.

So if you ever get to Andalusia go visit Botz and the Refugio in Cartajima. You won’t regret it.

*this is NOT the case at the Refugio! There was always hot water 🙂




I’d like to thank Jenny Stephens, from for my Liebster Award nomination! She writes a great travel blog.

The Liebster Award 2016 is an online award that is given to bloggers by other bloggers. The earliest case of the award goes as far back as 2011. Liebster in German means favorite. It’s a great way to explore new blogs and expand your network.


My Nominations

I just want to nominate those three writers. I don’t know them personally, but reading their blogs, I got the impression of some really extraordinary people and I want to get to know them 🙂


The Rules

Official rules of The Liebster Award 2016 if your blog has been nominated and you have chosen to accept it, are below.  I’ve found varying rules on the internet, so hopefully I have included them all!

  • Thank the person who nominated you, and post a link to their blog on your blog. Try to include a little promotion for the person who nominated you.
  • Display the award on your blog — by including it in your post and/or displaying it using a “widget” or a “gadget”.  Images you can use for your 2016 Liebster Award can be found here.
  • Answer your nominator’s questions and create 11 questions for your own nominees to answer.
  • Nominate about five blogs that you feel deserve the award, who have a less than 200 followers.
  • Give 10 random facts about yourself
  • List these rules in your post.
  • Once you have written and published it, you then have to: Inform the people/blogs that you nominated that they have been nominated for the Liebster award and provide a link for them to your post so that they can learn about it.


11 Random Facts About Me:

  1. I love the sunrise but I always miss it ’cause I sleep too long
  2. If I’m swimming in a lake I always think of sea monsters
  3. I’m a hiker and I’m afraid of heights
  4. I love Nutella (I just changed to another brand called Samba)
  5. I’m afraid of the world developing backwards in terms of tolerance
  6. I hate gender marketing (it’s one of the reasons the world develops backwards)
  7. My second toe is longer than my first one
  8. I hate clogged tubes and the bffff-sound when they unclog
  9. Sometimes I’d like to have a armpit hair-do
  10. Mosquitos love me
  11. I own R2D2 socks



My Responses to Jennies Questions:

What inspired you to start writing a blog?
I wanted to conserve my experiences and my photos. And I wanted to share.

Tell me three things people might not know about you?
I’m a Salsa Dancer. I took ballet classes. I work as an experience designer.

Where do you find inspiration for your writing?
As I write about hiking, nature is my biggest inspiration.

How has your attitude to blogging changed over time?
At the beginning I was less outgoing, now I know exactly what I want to share (and what I don’t want to share).

What’s one of the best places you’ve ever been and why?
Cuba. As a consequence of the system, people look at the world differently. And it is a beautiful country.

Name three things you always put in your backpack/suitcase.
Water, map, my Dad’s whistle.

Name a few favourite books (preferably travel-related) – I’m always looking for new recommendations!
Water Music, T.C. Boyle.
Zauberberg, Thomas Mann.
Cien años de soledad, Gabriel García Márquez.

What’s the first thing you do when you arrive in a new place?
Take a walk.

How will your blog look in 5 years time?
Really no idea.

How would you describe your travel style?
I prepare a lot out of anticipation. I read, I look at blogs, I learn languages. I will go there completely informed. But when I’m finally there, I will do everything spontaneously.

Any travel goals for 2016?
Not yet. Chile?



My Questions:

  1. Did you ever think about not taking a camera on your hikes?
  2. Are you afraid at night when you camp solo?
  3. What do you do against it?
  4. Which human quality/characteristic would you like to have (more)?
  5. What makes you angry?
  6. In which situation have you ever wanted to stop a hike and why did/didn’t you you do it?
  7. What is the best funny quote you found lately?
  8. What is the best serious quote you found lately?
  9. What was your favorite hike ever and why?
  10. Why do people vote for Donald Trump?


Why I Hike

When I set off for the first time to walk a long distance intentionally, I recognized, that the act of walking – as long as I’m on my own and I have only the idea of walking in mind instead of reaching a location – does something strange to my thoughts. They were different and […]