Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Walking in Nerja Aug 2012

Towards the end of August two members, Victor Hurley and Michael Carey were by a happy coincidence holidaying in Nerja and decided to take advantage of the situation by climbing two of the highest peaks around, Maroma at 2066m and the highest peak in mainland Spain, Mulhacen 3485m. Climbed may be an exaggeration as in truth they are two very fine hikes which assuming you can handle the altitude are both attainable by regular A or B level walkers.

MAROMA - From Nerja we drove an hour to the start at the Sendero el Robledal which I

believe is the easiest and most scenic route. Starting at approx 1050m (height of Carrauntoohil,it is approx 1000 meter ascent to the top (2066m) from here.
To begin with you climb steadily through forest and along a track to some beautiful viewing points. Continuing to climb we reach a plateau where we get our first glimpse of the sea. Need to be careful here as there are some steep cliffs. Stay away from the edge if you have any issues with vertigo. Another 300 meters and a few more kilometers until we reach the top and a most impressive Trig point standing 4 meters tall. Seeing this as a challenge up we went!!! Up on top with a wind blowing you are glad to hang on to the post. The terrain on top is not dissimilar to the Burren in County Clare.

MULHACEN - it is a much longer drive of approx 2 hours to the start at Hoya del Portillo located above the village Capileira at approc 2100m. From here it is a long hike of 25km with an ascent of 1385m. We allowed for a 7 hour round trip. There is a bus from Capileira to 2700m but that would be cheating!

Climbing away from the start through the forest we get to a dirt road which we followed until we reached Alta del Chorillo (2700m) where the climbing started proper. Along the way we pass the Mirador de Trevélez, a lovely viewing point on a good day but we were unlucky as the clouds had rolled in for most of our journey. We struck off up along a meandering track but soon started to take various shortcuts (steeper and rougher but ok when you have visabilty). Eventually we arrive at the summit-it has taken 3.5 hours. We are happy hikers. Having taken the obligatory photos, eaten lunch and explored a bit it was time to set off back down. Despite the long day we made good time on the return journey arriving back at the start 10 minutes under the 7 hours. Allowing for the break on top it took approx 2 hours 40 to return back down.

Equipment - Walking boots and a plentiful supply of water especially in the summer as there are no water sources available on either walk. No matter what season I would recommend you carry some warm clothing and a map & compass as clouds can roll in and effect visability. Indeed the Bishopstown Club were here in late April and had to forge our way through three foot of snow on our way to the top of Maroma whilst Mulhacen was inaccessable.

A link to photos is available Here

Michael Carey & Victor hurley