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 Walk Across Europe

2006-12-28 - Trip 7 - Leg 50

Spain, Andalucia and Malaga

Maro to Almunecar

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24.5 km today.
105.4 km this trip.
949.7 km from start.
4 metres minimum height.
215 metres maximum height.
390 metres ascent.
492 metres descent.
 Track Log: Logged.
 Travel: Bus.

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Busy mountain coast road with occasional beach and bypasses.

The Walk

Before dawn, we caught a bus to Maro. This involved very early a bus to Rincon town centre followed by a bus to Maro. The walking route included superb views of the mountains and sea. Tunnels had been built to speed up the road traffic leaving the old road quiet and traffic free. The old road was often four times longer than the tunnel. This walk would be a "hearts desire" were it not for the unavoidable traffic on long stretches. This walk was through a region we have coined "Google Void". Google Earth has low resolution images so advance planning and main road avoidance is much less easy.

The route involved some climbing away from sea level making the walk more interesting and giving excellent views.

In order to catch the 7.30 bus which goes directly to Maro we took the 6.45 into Rincón centre and crossed the road to pick up the bus to the caves and Maro. I asked for the roundabout before the caves. This is not a legitimate bus stop. Spanish bus drivers certainly seem to like you to know the name of your stop. Unfortunately, we don't always.
Any way our system worked well, and we were able to catch our bus.

We were at the stop rather early because my bedroom clock has become somewhat fast and I thought it was later than it was. On the bus, the dawn was rosy fingered, the ships were black but the sea was not especially wine dark. The bus did not stop at our redonda but went into the centre of Maro where we got off. We had got tickets to the caves in the absence of anything better than well you know that roundabout just before the caves well we want that stop.

We walked back through the village to the redonda to join the walk on with yesterday's. We arrive at 8.45 so we have plenty of daylight but are aiming for the 4.15 bus back from Almuñecar which will be a forced march. Neil measures the walk at around 14km but you need to add on at least half as much again to compensate for bends in the roads etc. In Maro itself, we go into a little minimarket to get some drinks as we were very low. Everyone was chatting away happily but in the end, grand-dad came and asked us what we wanted. I showed him the drinks and he said 57 cents - very cheap for real juice.

Neil is logging on and I now remember I forgot to turn on a tellingphone (telephone) for Mini so we shan't be able to tell her if we are late. On our right is a parque natural. It is very beautiful on both sides of the road but, because the coastal strip of land is so narrow, we daren't go into it as there is almost certainly no woo (way) through. On our far left, we can see the new motorway under construction. It would be nice to walk on because it is not yet open to traffic. The viaducts across the tureens (ravines) are most impressive. At one point near the paper mill called Jerja, we are on the oldest road, but can see the two newer ones spanning the tureen (ravine) ahead and above us. We daren't risk using it as we may not be able to get down again.

It is 9.45 and we are having a break off the fierce (main road). It really is lovely up here. We decide to use the side turning to go through the next tureen as we can see it goes all the way. We can hear the water rushing past the mill. Up here, we also meet a man with his horse. He looks just like Don Quixote. We have not yet seen a new plant. We divert from the fierce just beyond the tureen and head up a narrow track close to the fierce. The other road looks as if it is going down into the valley. There are naturist beaches down there but really it is not yet the season.

10.05 We are back on the fierce again and stay on it except at two points where the road goes through a tunnel. Fortunately, each time there is a narrow road round mainly for bikes who are not allowed in the tunnels. The side routes were a wonderful relief but lengthened the walk by a couple of kilometres each time, which wouldn't matter except that we have quite an early desired arrival time. Once we get to the outskirts of Almuñecar, we ask a passerby if there is a bus station and, if so, where is it. He explains where it is. We get confirmation further on from another man with a bucket of cement and, finally, from a lady who points it out just over the other side of the square. It is opposite Macdonald's so what our first man should have said was follow the signs to Macdonalds, love. It's opposite. Indeed with hind sight, perhaps that is what he did say because I thought he had said there is a Madonna near there and Neil thought he had said a Mercadona. Macdonald’s works out as a good compromise. Indeed also outside the bus station in Almuñecar, there are three fallen madonnas in bronze with big boobies but no heads.

On our second tunnel detour we decided to walk along the coast through Herradura for a change. We also wanted to locate a bus stop but saw them only for the new local bus. We joined the main road again to enter Almuñecar in case the stop might be on the main road. It is quite a large town with a magnificent castle and church, each prominent on its own little hill. On the way back we discover that the stop in Herradura is just off the fierce and shared by the local bus so unmarked as an Alsina Graells stop. We get back to Torre fast. Our bus was the 4.15. Once there we see that the quacker shop (roast duck and chicken place) is shut, so we get our tickets to Los Rubios for tonight and to Almuñecar for tomorrow. Then we go to Eroski and make a small shopping.

We check on whether we can get to Torre by bus in time for our 7.30 departure. We can't so I ring Antonio the taxi driver and he is picking us up at 6.45. We can arrange our airport departure then. I have shown Mini how to turn on the tellingphone in case I forget to turn it on again but we have also said we shall almost certainly be late. Perhaps we'll be late enough to get a duck. I don't understand Differo (MP3 player). His pile is full but he has failed to record my last two tracks. I don't know why. I haven't got the full measure of him yet.

Today we did 25.7 km and at our highest point were 360 metres. As we went up and down a lot this is a greater amount of ascent than one might think.

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