genal-valley-chestnut-walkIn the middle of the month of December we made time to follow a walk in the excellent “30 WALKS IN THE RONDA MOUNTAINS” written by Eva Bratek and the late Tony Bishop.

We chose one of the shorter offerings from the village of Benalauria in the Genal Valley – and what a delight it was.

Leaving the village the walk is very varied passing the old communal wash house which served the whole community, then following a narrow path where we had to stand to the side to let a mule and his owner pass by before meandering through delightfully tended hillsides. We then climbed to a vehicle track between slopes of chestnut trees, all forlorn in this season with carpets of golden leaves beneath.

The views across the mountains are breath-taking with wonderful cloud formations on this Sunday. We saw no-one else except for one man cutting an old tree for firewood and another leading his mare from one pasture to another.

Pomegranate trees abound, there are oranges growing and gnarled olive trees, abandoned many years before, and an occasional mule watches disinterestedly as you walk by.

Another narrow path, cobbled in the steeper places presumably to help heavily laden mules keep their footing, and feeling nearly as old as the mountains themselves, climbs back up to our starting point.

High rewards for the effort expended was the agreed conclusion. 90 minutes in total as described in the book.

We’d love you to experience it next time you visit – and there is a great little restaurant in the village for a refuelling stop when you have made
the circuit.

If you’d like a copy of the book sent to you, please let us know.