General Description: The walk is mainly on good paths but there are two sections where the goat track is narrow and the shrubbery is sharp so long trousers or gaiters are recommended.
Distance : About 10 kilometres, 3 hours.
Essential: Wind and waterproofs, boots, food, & water
Start at Gaucin at the petrol station on the Algeciras to Ronda road.
Walk to the right of the petrol station and turn immediately left and round the back past a smallholding with bedstead fences and gates. The path is hidden behind a pile of railway sleepers. The wide path winds up the hill past almond and algarroba groves with a couple of turnings to the right that you ignore. After ten to 15 minutes it turns right at a ridge.
Look for a small path also going right but running below the main track and alongside a fence to your right. There is a blue strip on the corner fence post. This is the original right of way. Continue on this path which becomes better further on until you reach a pylon on the ridge ahead. On your right is a conifer wood and ahead the terrain starts falling away. Just to the left of the pylon is a wire and post gate. If you get here early you will see the Griffon Vultures taking advantage of the early thermals over El Hacho. Go through this gate.
Follow a path down, keeping close to a fence on your right and after a few hundred metres of descent on goat paths you will come to a gate. Go through and into an open grassy area. Follow a track descending slightly to the left for a couple of hundred metres next to the fence. When you see a drinking trough on the left pass through a gate by the trough and head up the slope to the fence on your left. A path follows the fence to the right, slightly ascending but generally keeping along the contour line.
After about 15 minutes you will arrive at a gully on your left. There's a blue mark on a rock at the top of the gully. The path cuts through the defile. When you reach a wire fence coming up the hill from your right, carry on until you reach a grassy area with a new white house down on your right. The fence on your right ends and there are two blue splodges on the corner post. Turn right, looking for the driveway leading up to the house. Follow this track down until it meets a larger track. Turn left and this wider track curves to the left passing entrances to houses down on the right. Pass through a pair of gates. After about 100 metres you will see a large finca on your right and a group of 3 pylons. Turn left off the main track up a rough path heading for the ridge ahead. On the day we did this walk there was an organised clay pigeon shoot with the shooters on top of the ridge firing down the track. Red flags warned us of this event that only occurs very occasionally. Shouting and waving a bright jacket should work. At the top there is a new stone built water tank on your left. Just past, on your left, a track runs down to a larger concrete track that leads to the remains of a cement works.
Turn left onto this track and continue past the abandoned cement works on your right, taking the left hand track that continues along the contour lines in a SE direction. You will notice a ruin and a water trough below on your right. About forty metres after passing through disused fence posts take the indistinct path that drops gradually down the hill and then reach a gate. After passing through the gate keep on the path that takes you through a ruin before descending to the main road below. Turn left and follow the road back to the petrol station.
© Nicholas Craig Nutter 2004 - 2012. Nick Nutter asserts his rights as the author of this article and all associated images. This article and images may not be copied or reproduced in any way without written permission of the author.