Blog: El Paraje de las Alpujarras and Sierra Nevada walks · nature · culture · events · publications · weather
blog by: El Paraje
Berchules, Granada, Spain

28 August 2008

Sendero Sulayr Tramo 8

Today we checked out one of the less accessible sections of the Sendero Sulayr. Tramo 8 starts in the middle of nowhere at the Loma de Lastonar and ends in the middle of nowhere at the Fuente del Espino and is 16,5 kilometres long. If you´re not bivouacking high up, you need a transfer with a fourwheel drive as the dirt track from Mecina Bombarón is in a regular state. The access to the GR240 is badly indicated so you need to follow the GR7 signs for about 4 kilometres to find the first Sulayr marker post.
Once you´re up the views are spectacular and the walking is a joy for the first 10 kilometres. The route takes you through beautiful scenery and is well signposted. Going down towards the Río de Mecina you need to pay attention. Large flocks grazing here have made many paths and the marker posts are scarce. On the Cuesta del Diezmadero the signs have fallen off and are incorrect. The Fuente del Espino is still further away than the 2,9 kilometres indicated. After having crossed the Acequia de Válor the track has become overgrown. After having crossed the Río de Válor the marker post at a crossing of dirt tracks indicate again a wrong number of kilometres and the climb up the Peñón de la Loma is poorly waymarked. Having reached the end of the section at the Fuente del Espino, the nearest village is still 16 kilometres away. As there´s no mobile coverage in this area, contact with somebody in order to change the appointment for a transfer is impossible. So if anything doesn´t work out as planned you could get into a difficult situation. Walking all the way down would not be the most attractive ending of a splendid day high up in the mountains.
Note: the maps of the guidebook and of the Junta de Andalucía of this section do not coincide. The route as drawn on the map in the Penibética guidebook is the correct one. Sendero Sulayr tramo 8 Loma del Lastonar - foto: casa rural El Paraje

Related articles
- Special about the Sulayr

22 August 2008

Sendero Sulayr Tramo 6

The most accessible section of the Sendero Sulayr is Tramo 6. It links Capileira with Trevélez and there´s a bus connection between these two villages. The total length of this stretch is 17,4 km with a height difference of about 920 m. The Penibética guidebook describes this section from west to east, so starting in Capileira, but we tried out if the reverse gives any problems in finding the route. It turned out that only on leaving Trevélez it is not so clear where to pick up the route. Knowing that within a kilometre the GR7 and the GR240 join each other on a dirt track, it is not a problem to follow the red-and-white waymarks of the GR7 on leaving Trevélez. Apart from this, it is a well waymarked stretch that can also be walked from east to west without a description. The map from the guidebook of this Gran Recorrido might be useful though. It´s a diverse section, as you walk on broad tracks as well as on small paths, through open terrain as well as through pine and oak woods. One of the attractive aspects of this stretch is its impressive vastness of space.
Sendero Sulayr Tramo 6 Loma del Jabalí - foto: casa rural El Paraje

Related articles:
- Special about the Sulayr

16 August 2008

Papilio machaon or Old World Swallowtail

The Old World Swallowtail or Common yellow Swallowtail is a regular visitor of El Paraje. This striking butterfly flies from April to October and has two favourite spots on the finca. One of them is the old threshing circle, the highest point of our terrain. This swallowtail, or subspecies of this butterfly, is protected by law in various countries.

Related key words: macaón, koninginnepage, schwalbenschwanz, vlinders, schmetterling, tagfalter, familie der ritterfalter, papilionidae, familia papilionidae, grote pages, alpujarras, sierra nevada, wandelen, wandelingen, trektocht, wandelvakantie, standplaats vakantie, hiking, trekking, bérchules, B&B, hotel, wanderungen

12 August 2008

A pool with a view in Juviles

Juviles, our neighbouring village at just three kilometres from El Paraje, has since 2007 a public outdoor swimming pool. Today we had an opportunity to visit it. It was a pleasant surprise to see how Juviles has managed to give the pool the right proportions. Apart from this, a good spot was selected, natural materials have been used and the views to the Sierra have not been blocked. From the pool you stil have the feeling of being in one of the most beautiful parts of the Alpujarras. On festive days it might be crowded, but most days you will probably experience a haven of peace.
The ´piscina pública´ is open from the first Saturday of July till the first Sunday of September. Entrance is two euros.
Public swimming pool in Juviles - foto: casa rural El Paraje

10 August 2008

GR 240 Sendero Sulayr

Today we incorporated some information on the Sendero Sulayr into our website. This Long Distance Path, the GR240, circles the Sierra Nevada. It was inaugurated in 2007, and this same year a Spanish guidebook on this trail was published. We are about 6 kilometres away from the Sulayr, halfway stage 7. This stage that connects Trevélez and the Loma de Lastonar has a total length of 24,9 kilometres. On our website you can find information on how to get to our Casa Rural from the Sulayr or vice versa. Having a look at the website of the Junta de Andalucía or at the guidebook, you can see that most stages end or begin in the middle-of-nowhere, like at the Loma de Lastonar above Bérchules. It´s therefor interesting to know that overnight camping is allowed with prior written notification. This form "notificación de acampada nocturna" needs to be send to the Park authories. Please take notice of the leaflet "normativa de acampada" on which you can find the norms regarding bivouacking.

6 August 2008

Walking in high summer

Although in southern Spain in July and August the temperatures are in general a little bit too high to be very active, walking in the high mountains can still be very pleasant during this time of year, especially when you start off early. Today we checked out a route that starts at the Puerto de la Ragua, a mountain pass at 2,000 metres height. The Puerto de la Ragua is about an hour and half drive from Bérchules. We chose to go up the Morrón del Mediodía, a route of Top Walks which we can definitely recommend. It is the height of the tourist season in Spain, nevertheless two other walkers and a shepherd were the only human beings we saw. Special encounters with animals were more numerous.
 Collado del Realejo Alto - foto: casa rural El Paraje

Related keywords: Alpujarras, Sierra Nevada, wandelen, wandelingen, trektocht, hiking, trekking, Berchules, B&B, hotel, wanderungen

Parnassius apollo nevadensis

The Parnassius apollo nevadenis is according to some people the most emblematic butterfly of the Sierra Nevada. The endemic Sierra Nevada subspecies can easily be recognized by the yellow-orange ocellus. On the website of Waste Magazine it is explained that there are few colonies left since collectors have had a great interest for this specimen and therefor paid a lot of money to obtain one. We were able to spot this injured Parnassius apollo near the top of the Morrón del Mediodía at about 2,700 metres height.

Parnassius apollo nevadensis - foto: casa rural El Paraje

Sempervivum minutum

One of the best aspects of checking out a new walking route is the thrill of spotting special flowers and to capture its beauty on a photograph for the ´El Paraje Flora Book´. Special are certainly the unique species  like this Sempervivum minutum, endemic to the Sierra Nevada and Sierra de Baza. We took this picture of the ´Sierra Nevada Liveforever´ just before reaching the top of the Morrón del Mediodía, at an altitude of about 2,650 metres. According to Gabriel García Guardia, author of ´Flores Silvestres de Andalucía´ people used to recollect this Siempreviva because they believed that it could attribute to a longer life. The name ´Sempervivum´ has its origin in the Latin ´Semper´ (always) and ´vivus´ (living). Sempervivum are called `always living´ because this perennial plant keeps its leaves in winter and is very resistant to difficult conditions of growth. This ´Nevada liveforever´ likes fissures of siliceous rocks of he slopes higher than 2,000 metres. The ability of this succulent plant to store water in its thick leaves allows it to live on rocky slopes of the high mountain summits. Rosettes of  this sempervivum propagate asexually by lateral rosettes (offsets), which secures its reproduction.
PS On the 18th of July 2010 we saw large numbers of this Sempervivum minutum while walking from the Plaza de Lobos to the Cerro del Gallo, the highest mountain of Bérchules.

Related aritcle:
- Parnassius apollo nevadensis (2)

Related links:
- On-line magazine Waste: La flora endémica del macizo de Sierra Nevada
- On-line magazine Waste: Series de vegetación,  rocas verticales

Related key words: sempervivum vicentei, siempreviva de sierra nevada, sempervivum nevadense, crassulaceae family, familia crassulaceae, famille des crassulacées, perennes suculentas, crasas, succulenten, plantes succulentes, vetplantenfamilie, familie der dickblattgewächse, houseleek, hen and chicks, huislook, donderblad,  hauswurze,  joubarbes

2 August 2008

Expo Cádiar 2008

From the 14th to the 17th of August the IX Feria Agroalimentaria, de Artesanía y Turismo is organized in Cádiar. The fair is open to the public from 12:00 to 22:00 hours and apart from a demonstration of local products and services there will be some performances and other cultural activities. Click here for the programme.

Festival de música tradicional de la Alpujarra

On Sunday the 10th of August 2008 the XXVII edition of the festival of traditional music of the Alpujarras is celebrated in Alboloduy.

Related links:
Festival de Música Tradicional de la Alpujarra (wiki pedia)