Friday, 18 February 2011

Fairy tale walk in Los Riscos de Cartajima- Serrania de Ronda

Today its a beautiful sunny crisp day here in the mountains of Ronda and I thought about all the lovely walking that can be enjoyed here and that it would be nice to share the details a walk that we did last weekend when visiting some friends in Cartajima.

Cartajima is one of several white villages that sits in the Alto Genal Valley that is a short car journey ( about twenty minutes from Ronda going out on the road to San Pedro). Perched at an altitude of 826m and surrounded by steep valleys covered in Chestnut trees and ringed by impressive limestone outcrops known as Los Riscos its a truly beautiful place to relax and enjoy unspoilt countryside and discover some of the local flora and fauna.

Luckily we were visiting some good friends in the area that know all the more out of the way walks and they took us to a newly marked route that takes in the hidden pastures of Los Riscos. Just a short car journey from Cartajima on the way to Juzcar about four kilometers out of town there is a sign on the right for Los Riscos, and a well maintained track takes you several kilometers up hill to a parking area, where there is a well marked map of the route. There are wonderful views towards Juzcar and back towards Cartajima across the Alto Genal Valley. Across the track from the car park is a newly made wooden gate that marks the start of the path- go through and just follow the path that is marked with natural limestones on either side. The walk starts gently circling the limestone outcrops on ones left and on the right is a field of Almond trees that at this time of year were all in blossom. As one ascends, the path takes you into Los Riscos that from the outside look craggy and closed off but once inside there are small glades and its really like being in another world. Craggy rock formations with nooks and crannies are all around and the floor was carpeted in wild iris it was really magical. The path is dotted with 5 threshing circles where the local farmers would have brought their wheat or chickpea harvests to be threshed by a mule or donkey. Along the route there are information posts that explain how these threshing areas would have worked and a little bit of history about the area. Once deep inside Los Riscos its surprisingly open, with larger glades and flat areas ideal for picnicking and just taking in the wonderful views or watching the birds fly overhead. The walk takes you through Los Riscos and back around the mountain peak to finish where you started back at the carpark. If you fancy there is also a longer round trip walk from Juzcar to Alpandeire and back to Juzcar that also starts from the same car park area.

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