GR 249 Gran Senda de Málaga, Periana – Pulgarin Alto

GR 249 Gran Senda de Málaga, Periana – Pulgarin Alto

HYOH!

Yeah! This stage of the Gran Senda matched perfectly with my current status. My office legs hurt like hell and my feet are just getting used to work and walk. I choose the Gran Senda because I didn’t wanted to struggle again with horrendous climbs and crushed rock all day long like on the GR 221. I just want to walk! On the other hand: I love to be in the mountains. Why can’t I have both? With this in mind I skipped the mountain stages and went directly to Periana. And it was a very good decision.



Caminante que caminas detente y mira como pasa la vida (Wanderer, halte an und sieh wie das Leben geschieht)

It was a buzzing stage. Everywhere around me where bees, butterflies and other strange insects. I saw horses, sheep, goats, millions of different birds, squirrels, mice and lizards. And flowers! Spring kicked in like if there were a crazy beauty contest.


The hike


Compared to Nerja-Frigiliana it’s a very comfortable stage. Mostly dirtroads and even a village with a restaurant in the middle. If it’s like today 28C the only thing my thing missing is shadow. There is water to buy in Guaro, in Cortijo de Zapata you’ll find an outdoor tap and several other springs, at least there was plenty of water when I passed today.

At the house of Mirador del Tramo I was stopped by three dogs. I consider myself a dog whisperer but one of them went more and more crazy and I wasn’t able to calm him down. He finally bared his teeth so badly that I decided to take a walk around. Some 50 meters from the house and parallel to the trail there are some olive tree fields which are easy to cross and around 300 meters later I was able to join the trail again.

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GR 249 Gran Senda de Málaga, Nerja – Frigilina

GR 249 Gran Senda de Málaga, Nerja – Frigilina

Fear Is A Man-made Prison

I had this strange feelings in the last days. Not being prepared was one of them. And not being prepared could mean a lot. When I’m thinking of my tantalized feet and of all the things I did to avoid this kind of pain I can not speak of not being prepared. It was nearly impossible to do more. And maybe I still took the wrong shoe decision. Or maybe my feet are just like that.
Where is the border between just being careful and not doing it?
I have to accept that not being prepared is a part of life and above all I have to set the border like I did it to do this journey and other things in my life in which I jumped in lion-heartedly, and which turned out to be some of my best achievements.

The hike

I started to take the bus to Nerja Cuevas. It would have been a 5km walk along the road and I don’t wanted to start my journey between stinking busses and trucks.


At Nerja Cuevas I took a starting picture in the flowers and hit the trail. After only some hundred meters everything became calm and peaceful.


The trail starts with a 5 km ascent on a dirt road (some cars and bikes) to an “area recreativo” which is something like a picnic point. You’ll find drinking water from a fountain there.


After that it turns into a single trail and descents to beautiful Rio Chillar, a small river. On my map (MapOut, based on openstreetmap) there are two more small rivers but I didn’t see them.

I crossed Rio Chillar without problems with my bathing shoes. The water was just underneath my knees, month of May, with some rain yesterday.

 

The big problem was finding the trail again on the opposite shore. There were even some scattered red and white trail signs but there was no direction indicated and every trail I took ended in a total desaster. Once I even started climbing (!) but luckily I pulled myself together and turned around. I learned something from last year. Later on I saw the end of the “only” 200m climbing section and was very very happy again.

The right thing to do is to follow a crossed (no-go) trail sign which you see from the shore and just on the right side of the forbidden trail is the normal trail. As I saw the cross from the shore I didn’t even think of this direction.

I’m using a downloaded trail from gpsies.com and the guy obviously took the climbing route.

 

More than one hour lost and looking like a cactus because of the undergrowth I continued on the right trail.


On my map it looked like I would have only one third of my hike left but this last piece of trail took me much longer than the first two thirds. A lot of ascents and descents mixed with crushed rocks and numerous spots where I had to use my hands led to myself being very happy when I finally saw Frigiliana.

With burning feet and knees I entered the village and took a room in the Hospederia el Caravansar. I took a shower and laid on the bed for one necessary hour. Than hunger kicked in and I had to get up.

During my wonderful meal I decided to skip the next three arduous segments.

Tomorrow morning there will be a Taxi coming to my hotel. Thank God I’m not a student anymore.

GR 249 Gran Senda de Málaga, Nerja – Frigilina

GR249 Gran Senda de Málaga, Berlin – Malaga – Nerja

I started very early this morning. My flight was at 6:30 and I tried to keep my zen attitude during the transfer to southern spain. At least there was no aggressive senior citizen pushing me away at the baggage claim like on my last flight.

 

I had my baggage well prepared: The mat, the tent pegs, the trekking sticks and the swiss card knife rolled into the mat and put into a rubbish bag. Unfortunately at the checkin they weren’t able to weigh it because it was TOO LIGHT. Haha!
When I arrived in Malaga I had to take the bus to the central station to continue to Nerja where I wanted to start my hike. Due to a bad functioning selling system at the station this took incredibly long and I arrived at Nerja only at 14:30.


Being incredibly tired I took a room at the formidable Easy Nerja Hostel and the first thing I did was sleeping for five hours.
In the evening I did a little tour through the very touristic village, I did some food shopping and had some tapas. Hikers hunger didn’t kick in yet.

After passing some hours in the hostel kitchen with the Hungarian hostess and two musicians from Argentina and India I went to sleep and slept another eight hours.
The next morning I was very happy not having started yesterday.