Saturday, 28 August 2010

Monachil Gorge

The Monachil Gorge walk is one of the gems of the Sierra Nevada. Just on the outskirts of granada itself it offers wire bridges, rock tunnels streams and a load of fun.

To get to the start from the village a there are a couple of routes however to get the most out of the walk I park in Monachil itself head upstream to cross the last bridge across the river turn Left and uphill for about 1km until a track heads left away from the tarmac , a finger post at the end of the track point uphill. Follow the track downhill to a small hydro plant then turn right up a flight of steps to an obvious path. Follw this as it descends to the river and the first small bridge. A description of the gorge itself would not do it justice however if you dont like the small bridges you have to cross the last big one may well be unpassable, beware.

After 2 - 3 km in the gorge itself the valley widens and you can picnic here or anout half an hour updtream at a small building and weir. Retun down stream to return to monachil either via the gorge or on either side of the valley making use of narrow paths that zig zag above the cliffs and river.

4-5 hours giving plenty of time for photos /picnic. easy walking with very narrow sections, no drinking water en route but often plenty of shade.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Puerto Palo, Alpujarra.

Whilst this route has recently been waymarked it is clearly an old route up to Puerto Palo. To get to the start of the route turn off the Orgiva to Pampaneira road as you pass the hermita at Padre Eterna, there are signs here for horse riding and the tibetan monestry. Follow the rough track, tarmac then dirt for about 3km to a point where a pine tree marks a sharp right hand bend and a board gives information about the walk.

Follow the obvious track west passing a small building on your left after about 1km you reach a tree nursery/research plantation and the track narrows to a path and begins to climb via a series of zig zags up the valley side through a wonderfull section of native woodland. The route is obvious and after about an hours ascent you reach a wide track , turn left to descend to the Puerto Palo bridge. from here ypou can continue up the track 500m to a picnic area.

To return retrace your steps allong the track passing the point where you joined it. Easy walking downhill takes you past two distinctive fuentes (neither marked as drinkable). About 500m after the second fuente a track joins from the right, you pass this to a second track marked with sign posts for the Sulyar route take the track to the Right and drop steeply passing a ruin, the track is wide but rough and occasionaly overgrown it eventualy brings you back to the track you started out on, here turn left back to the car.

Time 4-5 hours with break, distance 8km, No drinking water en route.