Friday, May 02, 2008

Andalucia hiking day 4: Capileira->Lanjaron

In order to offset the previous short day, this was a long one.

We rouse the service in the hotel restaurant at 8:30, have a blah breakfast and are on our way by 9:15. We start they day by repeating the path back to Bubion.

While figuring out the best way out of town towards Pampaneira, we notice a large group (>15) of Dutch tourists behind us on the road (at times it seemed like half of Holland was in Andalucia), so we speed up a bit to get out of town. Our "best way" out of town isn't as "best" as theirs, so they end up right behind us. We stop to let them pass and get in front of us in order to have some quiet. Just before Pampaneira (1055m) we pass the Dutch at somewhat steep bit of hill, which they are having trouble negotiating. Andrea, quietly: "The Dutch seeing a mountain is like Californians seeing snow."

Pampaneira itself is super touristy and rapidly filling up, so we escape as quickly as possible by heading down to the canyon bottom (~900m). We cross a bridge and then climb up, up to the ridge on the other side (1050m). After a bit more walking we have a quick break with a view over the valley and Carataunas. From there it's around the corner to Soportujar (975m, 1:00), which is pleasantly non-touristy after the madness of the last few towns.

Leaving Soportujar we head around into another canyon and have lunch with the nice bread from day 3 at the edge of the national park. Down a bit more and we cross the impressive Dique (dam) 24 before heading into Canar (1040m, 3:00), another nice little town with lots of flowers. From there it's out and into another canyon (with another +/- 100m climb that's not indicated on the official height profile... irritating!). As we're almost to the bottom we notice a very large herd of goats (and their goatherd) heading along the path on the other side. Luckily they continue on past the path to the bottom of the canyon and finish passing the junction with our trial a couple minutes before we get there. whew! We still have to climb out of the canyon on a path strewn with fresh goat dung. ew!

After a bit more walking up top, we pass the GR142 (heading down to Orgiva) and then head down, down, down, into Lanjuron on cobbled paths and concrete roads and some dirt. This bit is not as well signed as the rest of the walk has been. We hit the edge of Lanjaron (660m) at 5:00 and then walk most of the way through town to find our hotel. We've splurged on a three star hotel for the night and somehow end up in the Alhambra suite. whoo hoo! Probably the woman at the desk wanted to get our sweaty selves out of the lobby as quickly as possible, so she grabbed the first key that came to hand. :-)

There's some fun later as we try, unsuccessfully, to find the bus stop for the next day's trip back to Malaga and then a quasi-death march around town looking for a place to have dinner. Luckily the dinner search meets with more success than the bus-stop search and we end up having quite a nice meal of assorted raciones.

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