Thursday, 1 May 2014

La Axarquía – The Walk of Stepping Stones & Mountain Chapels

After all the excitement of Semana Santa we were ready to get away from the crowds and headed for the surrounding hills. Armed with Guy and his hiking book (Guy Hunter-Watts - Hiking in Andalucía) we tackled a relatively short, 11km long walk with medium difficulty.

We started off in Canillas de Albaida which is a quaint white village nestled on the side of a hill (read more about it here). The first part of the walk took us along the Cájula River and through lovely orchards of orange, lemon and avocado.

We had to cross the river many times using stepping stones (just like the name of the walk suggests) and it caused great excitement but luckily none of us fell in the water. Quite an achievement, considering how clumsy we are!

The second part lead us a bit higher up and provided a lovely view over the Sierra de Tejeda. 

We stopped for a lunch break under one of the many olive trees in the area. Lucy even had the cunning idea of putting our sarongs up on the branches to provide shade.

After lunch we passed next to an orange orchard. We couldn’t stop ourselves and tried the oranges. I don’t think I’ve ever eaten an orange so juicy, so sweet and so refreshing like that one! After a few minutes of walking we even came across a fountain where we could wash our sticky hands. Could this walk be any more perfect than this?

The walk finished with a steep climb back up to the village and we rewarded ourselves with cold drink on the main square.

Guy claims that this is his favourite walk in La Axarquia and we completely agree with him. In many places our route was lined by oleanders. I would suggest doing this walk when they are in bloom, must be an amazing sight! I’m not sure which part of the year that happens exactly but I can confirm: not in April.

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