Monday, 18 April 2011

Round trip walk Barrio Sanfranscisco- Virgen de la Cabeza- Barrio San franscisco

Its been a while since I did a walk, but yesterday it was another beautiful sunny day here, and since we had visitors we decided to take them on a longish ( 2 hour) walk just outside Ronda, taking in the Hermita de la Virgen de la Cabeza and the fertile valley that lies infront of the gorge itself. With wonderful views of Ronda from below, the surrounding hillsides and ancient olive groves its a gentle walk that is mostly off road.

The walk starts at the Barrio Sanfranscisco; if you have the city walls behind you and the square infront, take the right hand road that leads out of town. Keep on this road for about 500 meters and then at the second mini roundabout theres a sign indicating right for the Virgen de la Cabeza. Keep right and follow this gravel track through ancient olive groves that are dotted with a myriad of wild flowers for about 2 kms. The views of Ronda to the right and the surrounding mountains are really spectacular. Once you get to the head of the track that leads down on the right to the Virgen de la Cabeza itself, there is a clearing on the left and a large gate. Just to the left of the gate is a small opening in the fence go through and follow the path that leads downwards, there is a stone wall to the right which you follow all the way down heading into woodland. Once at the bottom it levels out and there is a little clearing, where you need to turn right down a smaller path that leads you through ancient Encina forests (evergreen oaks), the forest floor was full of cistroses in pale pink and white. This path continues for about 500 meters until you reach a gate, go through the gate and follow the path through two fincas on either side. After about another 500 meters you will come to a wider track, here you have to turn right and keep following this track back up the hill through the fertile valley infront of the gorge, which is on your left. The views of Ronda from here are really spectacular and the sides of the path were full of wild flowers, wild gladioli, daisies, periwinkle, and poppies. Eventually you will come back up to the old walls of the city, turn right up hill at the horse riding stables and continue up for about 200 meters until you come back to where you started from.

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