Description: A there and back walk on a good, wide bridlepath.
Distance: 7 kilometres, 2 hours
Grade: Very Easy
Essential: Wind and waterproofs, good shoes, trainers or boots
Start: At Km 44.9 on the Algeciras to Ronda road
The Fisherman's path (Verada de los Pescadores) is a track that was used from the 15th century to the 20th by fishermen, daily taking their catch by donkey, from the coast at Torreguadiaro, to the inland villages of Casares, Jimena de la Frontera and Gaucin. This walk takes in part of that route in a there and back walk although those with a car at both ends can do a one way walk from the starting point to Secadero, a similar total distance.
Although this is a very easy walk it is a delight to three senses, smell, hearing and sight, just right for a pre Sunday lunch stroll.
There is an area just off the road at the starting point suitable for parking and the beginning of the route is marked with a Junta de Andalucia map. Take the bridle path that winds very gently up the hill. Within a few metres it flattens off and the most you have to cope with after that is a couple of gentle dips and corresponding rises.
As soon as you go round the first bend, taking you out of sight of the road you are presented with a panoramic view of the valley to your right with San Pablo de Buciete and Jimena de la Frontera. Stand still and smell the air. You will find that typical aroma of herb, mainly thyme, and mesquite. Keep your eyes on the sides of the track, following the first autumn rains there are hundreds of wild flowers starting to flower but be careful of this one, Mandrake (Mandragora autumnalis), all parts are extremely poisonous. In Medieval times it was believed that the human form shaped tuber, when pulled out of the ground, screamed and promptly killed the collector. Since it was prized as an efficient poison a starving dog was used to pull the tuber after which the dog died and the tuber was then safe to handle.
The track takes you through mixed woodland and more open areas. In the thick woods you will hear, but rarely see, songbirds including thrushes and blackbirds. One thrush accompanied us for about a kilometre, never seen but serenading our passage, singing fit to burst.
Further down the track you will start to see Gibraltar ahead, then, as the track moves into the hill you lose sight of Gib and see the top of Crestellina on your left. Finally, as you crest a small ridge after 3.5 kilometres you are again presented with a panorama, this time the valley with Casares and Crestellina on your left and Gibraltar dead ahead. There is another Junta map here at the turn round point. The track continues to Secadero.
On the return journey notice the fine villas and fincas, including one totally occupying a small hill.
© 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.