"We were very scared. I tried to keep the girls calm and hide my desperation"

Daniela Cárdenas along with two of her daughters in Nerja.
Daniela Cárdenas along with two of her daughters in Nerja. / SUR
  • The Swedish tourist who got lost with five young girls near the Chíllar river in Nerja spoke of her ordeal

Speaking to SUR last week, twelve hours after she, along with her daughters and nieces were rescued from the Río Chíllar, Daniela Cárdenas spoke of her "impotence and desperation" as night fell and the group were unable to make their way back to the start of the trail.

"We were very scared," the mother-of-three confessed. "I tried to keep calm so they didn't realise the difficulty we were in, of my impotence and desperation," she added.

Cárdenas, who moved to Sweden from Spain with her family when she was four, works nights as a nurse in the town of Jönkoping, which is around 350 kilometres south-east of Stockholm. "I am used to not sleeping at night," she said, before explaining how none of them could sleep, "thinking that an animal might attack us". "I got them to keep moving and stretching their legs so they didn't get too cold."

When the group started to hear the sound of a helicopter at around 7am on Sunday morning, Daniela said, "We started shouting and waving our arms." She went on to describe how the emergency services asked her if she was Daniela and then guided them back to the start of the walk, where emergency vehicles were waiting for them with blankets.

Despite their ordeal, the girls were back in the swimming pool at their holiday home after a short rest, to enjoy the last few hours of their stay. When asked if they would return to Nerja, Daniela said that they would visit the town again but would "never go back to the Chíllar river", adding: "We'll stay by the pool or at the beach."