Today’s walk in Andalucia had guests wandering along an ancient bandit mule track which was once used to transport Silk from Competa to Granada. In more recent years, this track has become part of the GR7 route through Andalucía and is one of few paths which lead you straight into the heart of the Sierra Almijara Natural Park.
Once again the morning sun gave the impression of mid-summer as we set off on a short 15 minute drive to the start of the route. As the car wound its way up the valley to the top of Competa, the guests seemed relieved that some of the ascent had already been knocked off. I soon changed that by pointing uphill and the realisation of why this was classed a ‘hard’ walk soon became apparent.
After a short trundle past an old lime kiln and through some scrub, we emerged onto a wide track which enabled the group to mingle some more. Our keen bird watcher of the day, Stephen, kept an eye on the sky for the infamous Golden Eagle as the ladies enjoyed smelling the Rosemary and Lemon Thyme which covered the area en masse.
As we reached the highest point, views across the Sierra Almijara opened up over the rolling mountains and down to the coast of Torre Del Mar. A slight haze from the sun created a picturesque scene around El Lucero, a pointy peak which is a popular route for walkers and one on offer later in the week; the lighting up of a few faces suggested some guests would definitely be up for the challenge.
Stepping off the wide track and back onto a narrow, rocky path the out and back route allowed guests to set their own pace without the worry of getting lost. A mix of woodland walking and open pathway was enjoyed along undulating terrain and the passing of kiln ruins added a sense of Spanish history. Arriving at the second ruined ventor (Ventor Pradillos) we decided this would be a great place to stop and have a picnic in the sunshine to admire the coast.
Although walking back along the same path is not always preferred, this particular stretch deemed perfect for bird watching and allowed a new view in the opposite direction. Once we hit the track again we began our descent back to Canillas de Albaida, without meeting a single car I might add.
Arriving back into the village mid-afternoon the last bit of sun was enjoyed in the square with a beer. Oh and by the way, Stephen was very pleased with himself as he did spot a Golden Eagle today after all! Note to self, always remember to take binoculars on walk because you never know what you might spot here in the Andalucian Mountains.