Posts Tagged ‘walking’

A week of walking

It’s been a very social, and active, week.  David and Gail arrived here in Spain on Sunday and Tony joined me at the apartment on Monday.

IMG_0166On Tuesday, Tony and I drove up to Mijas early in the morning and had breakfast in the main square. We then set off up into the hills, where there are a number of signposted hiking routes, about 9:30am. We started by following the yellow route. This presents a fairly vigorous climb, almost as far as what I assume is a fire break (green dotted line) before coming back down the mountain via the blue route.  We didn’t come back that way though, we continued as far as the fire break and then followed that, along with the green and red routes, all the way back.

These are tough routes, with more climbs than you’d expect. Still, we made it back to Mijas and had a well-deserved ice cream.

We met David and Gail for dinner at Marleen’s that evening, to make final arrangements with David about Wednesday’s walk.

Wednesday’s walk was to be along the now internationally famous Caminito Del Rey.  Sharon and I had done this walk back in September 2017 and enjoyed it very much.  Many of our friends have expressed a desire to do the same one day. For David and Tony – this was the day.

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Wednesday, like Tuesday was a superb Spring day, with temperatures in to mid-20’s. We set off about 10:45am to drive to Ardales, and then on to the lakes that signal the start of this linear walk, just N.E. of the town. The walk is ticket only (€10) and finishes at El Chorro. From the end, we caught the half-hourly bus (€1.55) back to where we’d parked, close to the lakes. We joined David and Gail in their apartment for dinner, which was delicious and most agreeable after our trek.

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On Thursday Tony and I re-traced the walk Sharon and I did in April.  This time however, we stopped for lunch in a bar we found in Benalmádena Pueblo. The bar served 3 tapas (we chose patatas bravas, berenjena con miel de caña and bacalao fritos), bread and a drink for €7, which we thought was a bargain. Furthermore, the food and the beers – under our sun shade/umbrella, was delightful. For dinner, we walked into Los Boliches for a couple of beers and ate at Mason Salvador, before catching the last bus back up the hill.

On Friday we drove down to the front and then walked along the front to the Castillo, which was closed when we got there. We wove our way back to Los Boliches via back streets and had a fairly early lunch at Bar Pepé. This was our second visit here – the food is delicious. Tony departed about 6:00pm to catch his plane back to Leeds.  Phew – what a busy, energetic week!

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Friday evening and most of Saturday was subdued by a heavy, rolling sea fret, but this cleared by tea time on Saturday, so I joined David and Gail to walk down into Los Boliches, via Finlandia. Here we had food and drinks and a jolly good time.

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Finding new places

Today, we found a village and a castle; and we visited a temple!

You’d think by now, that we’d know pretty much all of the local attractions and that we might have visited most.  Well, we haven’t.  It seems that every visit throws up new things to explore.

We set off walking up the hill towards Rancho La Paz and turned off right at the Paintball/Disc-Golf centre.  So far, so normal – in fact we’ve often walked almost as far as the Restaurant El Higuerón many times before.  However, the rest of our route was new and we were headed for the Butterfly Park aIMG_9995t Benalmádena.

We had avoided walking here before because there is no footway alongside the short stretch of road that passes the restaurant and leads to and from the motorway (A7).  However, we’d noticed that there was a well-trodden path next to the crash barriers and we managed to reach the road we wanted without incident.  It’s a fairly straight forward route then to the Butterfly Park, which cannot be missed because of its proximity to the Buddhist Temple that stands alongside it.

The Stupa-Benalmádena has stood here, just outside Benalmádena Pueblo since 2003.

“It is perhaps perplexing that the largest Stupa in the western world, and one of the biggest in the world, has been built in Southern Spain in Benalmádena City on Costa del Sol, overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, with breathtaking views of Gibraltar and the African continent.”

We didn’t go into the Mariposario, but I will, one day.

Benalmádena Pueblo is completely new to us.  Who knew there were three Benalmádenas?

Benalmádena Costa serves all the beach-loving, sun-seeking, ‘pints of beer for €1.20’ holiday makers and along with Benalmádena Arroyo is everything about Spain I’d previously dreaded. 

However, Benalmádena Pueblo is quite a few kilometres inland, up a huge hill and appears to be quite presentable.  We didn’t stay long, but there were narrows streets to explore, white painted houses, bars, restaurants, view-points and lot of walks for us to discover on a future visit.IMG_9996

The town was busy today as it seemed to be the day for young girls and boys to be confirmed. Lots of smart young men and white-dressed young girls to be seen around the church.

As we walked down the (very steep) hill to the station at Torremuelle, we passed a large park on the left, with a small white church on a hill (Ermita?) – to be explored another day?

We also saw a huge, anachronistic castle.  It was so out of place and unexpected, that we didn’t know what to think, so, it had to wait until we got home to find out that it was built to honour Christopher Columbus.  Castillo Monumento Colomares is another place to visit, one day in the future.  It is hideous though.

 

A day out – Ardales

Yesterday, for all sorts of reasons, we took a trip out to the vicinity of Caminito del Rey; about 40 miles north of Malaga.  We headed for the town of Ardales, as this seemed to be the better approach for the actual walkway.  It ‘sort of’ is better, but the parking area for Caminito del Rey is still 8-10km away, alongside the Conde de Guadalhorce reservoir and it is by no means adequate.

We eventually found a place to park by the Hotel la Posada del Conde, which is a fair old walk from the beginning of the trail. However, the walk back up the road is beautifully scenic as the road surrounds and crosses a network of lakes and reservoirs – all of them a stunning aqua blue/green in the September sunshine.

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The actual entrance to Caminito del Rey is either one mile or 1¾ mile from the road, depending on which route you take.  There is a car park of sorts but it does not have the capacity that this attraction requires.  Cars are abandoned all the way down the road leading to the lakes – hence us having to park right at the other end.  There is a walkway that heads out towards the Caminito ‘entrance’, which starts around the side of El Kiosko restaurant/bar, under a short tunnel (with cars parked along it) and then through the woods and along a winding forest track that covers some stunning views.

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Walking tunnel exit (away from road)

There is another route that starts higher up the road, opposite the inadequate car park, which is accessed by means of another tunnel; this time long and dark, just high enough to take a 6’00” person without stooping.  It comes out on a service road that leads to the Caminito ‘entrance’ – so watch out for service vehicles. We returned this way.

We could, I suppose have done Caminito del Rey ourselves yesterday but decided that as we were wearing sandals and had drunk all of our water – it wouldn’t be sensible.  We have tickets booked for later this month however, so now we know the way and what to wear on our feet.

We later went and walked Caminito del Rey – https://saturdaywalks.wordpress.com/2017/09/29/caminito-del-rey/

Easter 2017

This is not our first visit to this region at Easter. IMG_3809I know that we have been here at this time for the last two years, but it might be three – probably six times in all.  We like the weather here and the chance to get out and do ‘something’.

The weather at home, being what it is, means that doing ‘something’ is less likely to happen than it is when we’re here.

We’ve been here about ten days now and we will have been a month by the time we fly back.  We’ve already had a couple of good walks and explorations up in the hills behind us. We’ve had a picnic up there too.  A picnic! – I can’t remember when we managed to have one of those at home. We caught the bus up to Mijas one day and then walked back down the track via the wild-west Cabalista bar, where we ate jamón y queso. We’ve also been scootering a couple of times and we’ve been to Montemar (on the train) near Torremolinos so we could explore the park there and then walk back to Benalmadena.

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Apart from today (our second Saturday) we’ve been out and done ‘something’ every day.

Today, we’re resting before setting off for a few days to visit the Costa Tropical. This part of Spain is where the Sierra Nevada mountains come down to the sea and is about 130km away, about 90 minute’s drive.

More on this later (maybe)