Madrid People

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Cartajima

Through The Chestnut Trees: Cartajima – Igualeja – Parauta 

We – my wonderful host Bots and I – did a hike to the white mountain villages of the area. 

Sendero Gaitanejo Ardales

GR 249 Gran Senda de Málaga, Sendero Gaitanejo

I don’t know if it was the right Sendero Gaitanejo but I saw a lot of signs during my hike. I particularly loved the enchanted section next to river and the view from above on the Caminito del Rey.

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On the Sendero Gaitanejo I met the Vergers with their son Matthieu from France. What a nice and funny family! I had a wonderful evening with them 🙂

GR 249 Gran Senda de Malaga, Ardales - El Chorro

GR 249 Gran Senda de Málaga, Ardales – El Chorro

Changing the hike

From the beginning nothing went like I imagined it would. On the one hand this is disturbing and makes me kind of nervous in the moment of desaster but on the other hand I got to know again, that nearly every kind of situation can be handled and for every door which is closing another one opens up.

Today I went to the mountains without my big backpack because I was able to leave most of my stuff on the camping area.
What a relief! Despite having packed nearly “ultralight”, I must admit that ultralight is not enough. Six kilos + two liters of water and some food makes it at least 8,5 kilos.

Walking and nearly bouncing I came to the result, that I won’t do it again. Those three things are definitely not working together:

  • Heat
  • Weight
  • Feet

As for this hike I can only change one of them I will look for a place to stay for the rest of my time in Andalusia and do some hikes starting from there.

The hike today

After a short walk on the road you enter a dirt road and just until the descent on El Chorro it will stay like that. You’ll hike through a diverse natural and agricultural landscape and the panoramic mountain views are wonderful. There is a short stretch of road again where you can visit Bobastro, an archaeological site of a mozarabic town. It’s a quite big area, so you really have to be interested to do it.

 

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Andalusias hidden lakes

After the road stretch you enter a nice and shady forest. So many lakes and I only saw them on my map but not in reality! La Laguna de Pietra, la Laguna Dulce and now the Embalse Superior Taja de la Encantada. I was just next to it, I saw it on my map but all I really saw, was a giant wall next to me. The scenery looked a little bit like in one of those sci-fi movies where there is another parallel world behind a big insuperable wall. At one moment there is a small trail leading 30m uphill and I went to see the barrier lake behind the wall.

Next to this “bad” world nature seamed still more natural and enchanted. Above all because I was in a little quite forest and when I went around a corner I stood right in front of a kind of capricorn-deer (big as a deer, face like a deer, corns like a capricorn) who was as surprised as I was and disappeared quietly and without panic between the backlighted trees. Magic happens.

 

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The descent on El Chorro is a little challenge due to plants growing over the trail and the trail being rough and quite close to the abyss.
In El Chorro I had something to eat in the restaurant La Garganta, as in the bar and the supermarket on the camping area there is a strict no-vitamins policy, and I went back by bus.

As it was already seven o’clock I was the only passenger and the bus driver let me out at the camping area.

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The base of Maslow: 

  • There is no accessible water on the road. Anyway: You will pass by a lot of fincas and if you have an water emergency you can surely solve it by knocking on some doors
  • I didn’t meet any dogs without bars between me and them on this stage.
  • In El Chorro you’ll find some, maybe expensive possibilities to stay at night. Or you go by bus (every 30 minutes until 7 pm) to Camping Parque Ardales, like I did.

The following night was a nightmare. My tarptent notch is good for every weather except of sandstorms. I woke myself up covered in sand. I had it in my eyes, my ears and between my teeth. Yummy.

As the following night will be as stormy as the last one I booked a bungalow and will have a big nights sleep today.

 

GR 249 Gran Senda de Malaga, Fuente de Piedras - Campillos

GR 249 Gran Senda de Málaga, Fuente de Piedra – Campillos

This is the fucking Meseta!

This is all I thought during the hike. When I thought that it can’t get more desert-like I looked around the corner and it was more yellow again. Even the plants got more and more hostile and showed up their thornes.

While visually, as shown on the pictures, it was gorgeous, vast and colorful. An ocean of wheat.

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Entering “friendly” Campillos:

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The base of Maslow

  • All the water I saw was stinky and dirty (turtles seam to like that)
  • The lakes which you can see on your map are not accessible
  • There is a hostel (San Francisco) in Campillos with a very gentle hostess. She ordered a taxi for me, while the lady in the bar on the central plaza shouted at me saying: “This is a village! There are no taxis in villages!”

 

I continued (by taxi) to the wonderful Camping Parque Ardales:

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