About Richard & Kiersten

Richard & Kiersten live in the Alpujarra in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada. They write about this and their many expeditions to Patagonia and Kamchatka

Richard Hartley

I'm an ex-boring accountant, now mountaineer & adventurer, living & working full time in Spain's Sierra Nevada. Cicerone Guidebook author with expeditions to Patagonia & Kamchatka. Love my dogs. Don't take things too seriously!

Linux user 10+ years. Self taught web developer, currently enjoying SSG #11ty + #TailwindCSS. I don't like the way BigTech has taken over, hence my move towards decentralized & federated social sites. Our data is our data. Right?

I'll write some inane ramblings about the above. Can be a bit of a Grumpy Old Man!

In December 2002 I packed my pickup truck with my worldly possessions, my black labrador dog (Rocky - the original El Perro Negro) and headed south. I never looked back. The first place I arrived at was Lanjaron in the Alpujarras and funnily enough, I'm still here. I love the people, the culture, the tradition, the history, the weather and of course the wonderful Sierra Nevada mountains. I'm still living the dream. I have kept a record of my adventures here in the Alpujarras ever since.

My Day Job: Spanish Highs, Sierra Nevada
Microblog: Somewhere South of Granada

I use Signal and Telegram Messengers

Old traditional boring social networks


New exciting open social networks

Mastodon @elperronegro@mastodon.social

How come?

Mid-life crisis? I had mine at 45. I walked out of the well-paid Financial Directors role and turned to that great passion of mine, the mountains. I had been training as a mountain guide on a part time basis since 1983 so it was a logical move. Now for the dream? We ran trips to Scotland and the Alps. I always thought I would buy a place on the west coast of Scotland.

Then in 2000 I was forced to go on a group holiday to Mallorca. I was expecting lager louts but found and discovered wonderful mountains and sunshine! What a difference to the grey drizzle of a scottish morning. Instead I was able to walk in t-shirt and shorts amid glorious mountain scenery, the constant smell of fresh herbs around me, and in warm weather. Bliss! That was a turning point, as my love affair with Spain began.

The opportunity!

A chance reading of an article in a magazine lead me to organise a 'boys trip' to the Sierra Nevada in southern Spain. There I discovered high mountains, wonderful snow and of course the sun again. Even more bliss! Not only that but the people were friendly, the food was good and it was cheap. Free tapas with every beer meant that we spent nothing on food for a week! Separating from my wife (she married an accountant who became a mountain guide!) late in 2002 gave me the opportunity to totally redirect my life.

Kiersten Hartley Rowland

I came out to the Alpujarra to live in 2005. Can't believe I have been here so long already. I love nature, my dogs and my life here in the foothills of Spain's Sierra Nevada.

I like to write about my experiences here but especially regarding nature, namely the wildlife, bird life and plants. I'm also a bit of an orchid fanatic!

I have been with Richard on all of his six expeditions to Patagonia and also with him to Kamchatka in 2013.