What you don’t expect to find at the top of the Sierra Nevada is an unexploded, 80-year-old mortar round, even if you’re armed with goats.
Yes, a shepherd on the south face of the Mulhacén peak was busily throwing stones at his charges, indicating where not to stray, when he saw something that reminded him of trouble.
This piece of trouble in question was a 1933-design, 81mm mortar round, looking decidedly healthy; i.e., eager to carry out its purpose in life.
Yes, when the Guardia Civil bomb disposal team arrived – panting – it was to proclaim that the explosive device was intact and fully primed with 550 grammes of TNT – not something to play catch with, then.
The bomb-disposal experts looked around for somewhere suitable to detonate the artifact, mometarily contemplating the goats, but deciding upon a nearby depression offering good cover, before detonating it.
We sometimes forget that there was a civil war here and that the front lines carved through this province, so that unexploded ordnance dating back from then is not an uncommon discovery, even so many years on.
The advice given by the Guardia Civil is, don’t let your goats go near anything that ticks, unless it’s something strapped to your wrist.
(News: Sierra Nevada, Granada, Andalucia)