Sunday, 15 June 2014

A walk in the Poqueira Gorge

A recent walk up the Rio Poqueira was a delight, the Poqueira gorge in this area provides great shade in summer and this combined with the effect of the river itself leads to relatively cool walking even in mid summer. What also made this particular walk special was the return spring flowers en route. The middle section of the walk about three kilometres from the start in the now near deserted hamlet of Cebadilla passes though a very lush section as it passes above the river. This area lies at about 1700m and was full of spring flowers which have long gone from my area of the mountain. The flowers included varieties of purple orchids, forget-me-nots and some very nice specimens of broomrape, a parasitic plant with distinctive brown stems. Whilst not a rare plant these are not common and depend on a suitable host plant being in close proximity. After about an hour and a half in the cool of the valley the route climbs a steeply up to cortijo las Tomas at about 2,100m. Unfortunately this section is in full sun and at this time of year was extra hard work. We returned via an acequia on the west side of the valley leading to the Rio Veleta . The start of the acequia section is one of the few sections of what are known as ‘’protected path’’. A short section of the acequia has been cut through section of rocky outcrops and is quite exposed. This section is ‘’protected’’ by lengths of cable which , in theory at least can be used to safely cross this short section of path. To be honest one particular piece of cable is so loose that if you where unfortunate to slip and held on you would end up dangling some way down the rock face below the path. There are a couple more of the se sections of protected paths here in the Sierra Nevada. One lies just east the Refugio Carihuela south of Veleta whilst the other is on the ‘Verada Cortada’ in the Lanjaron Valley.