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

25 February 2009

Video Berchules

We found this artistic video taken in and around Bérchules on a quiet February morning 2009. It is made by Alvaro Bernal Alejandre and can be found on Vimeo. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but only artists are able to reproduce their experience for others to relive.

The music is of Vicente Amigo of his cd Vivencias Imaginadas.

24 February 2009

Bike route Andalucia - Sierra Nevada

The ´Bike route planner for Europe´ or Fietsroute planner voor Europa´ is a Dutch initiative, helping long distance cyclists planning their bike holidays in Europe. When planning a trip through Andalusia, circling the Sierra Nevada is an obvious challenge. Raul Gonzalez suggests a route leading from Granada along the north side of the Sierra Nevada, passing Guadix and climbing up the Puerto de la Ragua (2000m) to arrive at the southern slopes of the Sierra Nevada. The scenic route goes then westwards, calling in on the whitewashed villages of the Alpujarras.
About two kilometres passed Bérchules, on the A-4130 at 23 km, the route passes the entrance of ´El Paraje´. From here it is fifteen kilometres to reach Trevélez, probably through one of the most beautiful parts of the Alpujarras.
A sunny February 24th on the A-4130 cycling from ´El Paraje´ to Trevelez, with the Mulhacén in the background - foto: casa rural El Paraje.
Related links:
- mountain bike road cycling holidays with South Side Cycling in Bérchules

related keywords: ciclismo, bici de montaña, BTT, fietsen, wielrennen cycling, cyclisme, radfahren

22 February 2009

Almond blossom routes in February

The ´Calendario de la Naturaleza´ in the El País of Saturday the 21st of February suggests going out to enjoy the almond blossoms. Javier Rico writes that areas with height differences are best to admire the beauty of the blossoming flowers. He gives three suggestions of destinations in Spain to enjoy this natural spectacle, of which Sierra Nevada as seen from the Alpujarras is one. Living in the Alpujarras, we can be more specific. This weekend and the coming week the almond blossom in the Sierra de Contraviesa, between Torvizcón and Jorairátar, is at its peak. Walking the Sendero Local, the PR 32 or Ruta de la Contraviesa, or following a dirt track from Cádiar towards Jorairátar and back on the GR142, would be two of our suggestions. These two routes give you marvellous views towards the steep sided slopes of the Contraviesa with endless fields of almond trees, all bursting with delicate pink and white flowers.
Note: The two Senderos Locales of Cádiar are not included in the recently pusblished guide with nineteen walks that have beem newly waymarked. The waymarking of this PR32 is not to be relied upon.
Related links.
- Pequeños Recorridos Andalucía (wiki)

Almond blossoms on the southern slopes of the Sierra de Contraviesa with the Cerrajón de Murtas in de the background - foto: casa rural El Paraje

19 February 2009

Finding articles by labels

Labels identify the articles by their contents. They indicate what the articles are about. An article may have more than one label. If within a group of articles (let´s say ´food and drink´ quite some article on wine occur they may have an extra sublabel ´wine´. While our blog grows, new labels or sublabels may arise in the future.

* The label links will list the complete articles
* You can also list the table of content, showing only titles per label
* You can also search on keywords in the search box in the side column!

Casa rural (all articles on our country hotel)

Events (all announcements and reports of cultural events)

Walks (all articles related to walking and walking routes)
sub: local walks, GR7, GR142, GR240, sulayr, mulhacen,

Fauna (all articles on fauna of the alpujarras, sierra nevada)

Flora (all articles on flora of the alpujarras, sierra nevada and our own finca)
sub: birds, butterflies, flora-endemic, flora-finca

Food and drink (all food and drink)
sub: wine

General news (news about the Alpujarras that does not fit in any special category)

Publications (articles on books, leaflets and guides)

Villages of the Alpujarras (click to go to the special village list article)All villages have their own label once an article is related to that village. You can choose the village from the right hand column or from this special article on villages


Other labels:
acequias (the centuries old irrigation system of the alpujarras)
heritage (the cultural roots of the Alpujarras)
music (articles with online music)
photo-journey (photo series by guest of Casa Rural El Paraje)
sierra nevada (articals related to this geological part of the Alpujarras) sub: mulhacenvideo (articles with video)

Sendero Local ´La Atalaya´ not to be recommended

Today we did the second walk in the guidebook of the Senderos Locales de la Alpujarra, called ´La Atalaya´, a route that starts and finishes in Pampaneira. Information on this route and the GPS track can be found on the website Alpujarra Turística of the Mancomunidad. On this website they mention that this route is 2,5 kilometres, but this is the length mentioned for all the walks, which is clearly not correct. In the written guide it says that the length is 8,2 kilometres which seems plausible. We set off from Pampaneira towards the power station, which is situated in a sharp bend before entering this village from Orgiva. This is not explained in the description. After having crossed the river Poqueira a wooden sign leads you to the right, but apparently the path has disappeared with the recent precipitations. When you have the track on a GPS you can find your way up the hill. At a crossing with a wooden signpost, the arrow points in the direction you come from, whereas it should point to the left. After a few hundred metres you come to an area where a small landslide took place. Again with the GPS track you can try to scramble your way up the hill. Higher up you can pick up the path again which leads you to a ruined farm building. There are no signposts but the GPS track clearly crosses through a fenced off field. There´s no possibility to enter the terrain, so we decided to retrace our steps at this point. Because of the problems mentioned above, the poor waymarking and the insufficient description, this is not a walk that we recommend.
Sendero Local ´La Atalaya´ with Pampaneira in the background - foto: casa rural El Paraje

18 February 2009

Publication ´Senderos Locales de la Alpujarra´

In the Alpujarras there is a network of Senderos Locales. You can find these yellow-and-white waymarked walks on maps and described in brochures of the different villages. A few years ago, they started to renew existing routes and also add new walks to the selection. The new signposting with green-and-white stripes and white arrows on wooden marker posts was finished some time ago. At the beginning of each route, there is a big information panel with a map and a short description of the route. Now the documentation is ready in the form of a guide and with information on all the walks on the website of Alpujarra Turística of the Mancomunidad. The website is only in Spanish and not all the information is correct. In each route description it says that the length of the walk is 2,5 kilometres and takes 45 minutes, but of course they all differ. The guide is bilingual and ´Walking routes in the Alpujarra region´ is its subtitle. Unfortunately there are many mistakes in the English texts. An ´era´ is translated as ´period´ instead of ´threshing circle´ for example. The guide has been distributed over the different town halls and tourist information points in the region, where they give them out for free. Only in the tourist office in Orgive they charge five euros for a copy. In previous posts we already mentioned the changes of two routes of Bérchules, the ´Junta de los Ríos´ and the ´Acequias´ and of the change of direction of the walk of Gerald Brenan walk in Yegen. Some routes like the ´Vereica Misa´ of Bérchules have been dropped of the list completely. We will try to comment on all the different routes in the course of time.

Senderos Locales de la Alpujarra or Senderos Loales de la Alpujarra - scan: casa rural El Paraje
This is the list of Senderos Locales in this publication. The links in this list, link to our blog posts on the particular walk.
Almegíjar - La Cuesta - 1,7 km linear
Almegíjar - Panjuila - 2,6 km linear
Bérchules - Acequia de Bérchules - 4,2 km circular
Bérchules - Junta de los Ríos - 9,5 km linear
Laroles - El Castaño - 8,7 km circular
Laroles - Joplón - 7,8 km circular
Mecina Bombarón - Acequia Alta - 2,5 km linear
Mecina Bombarón - Acequia Baja - 1,7 km linear
Mecina Tedel to Cojáyar - 2,7 km linear
Murtas - La Solana - 4,2 km circular
Órgiva - Los Mineros - 8,2 km circular
Pampaneira - La Atalaya - 8,2 km circular
Pitres to Ferreirola - 3 km linear
Torvizcón - Pedro Antonio de Alarcón - 8,3 km linear
Trevélez - Molino Altero - 2 km circular
Turón - Cabrahigo - 2,8 km linear
Túron - Chorillo - 4 km circular
Yegen - Gerald Brenan - 1,9 km circular
Yegen - La Salud - 3,6 km circular

14 February 2009

First almond blossom on Valentine´s Day

The night chill was driven away fast and so our guests chose to have breakfast outside on the terrace. High up in the mountains the white snow contrasts beautifully against the blue sky. Closer by, at El Paraje, the first almond blossom does the same.

First almond blossom on Valentine´s Day - foto: Casa Rural El Paraje

related keywords: el tiempo, het weer, le temps, das wetter

13 February 2009

Publication on the ´Ruta Medieval´

A small guide has been published on the ´Ruta Medieval´, an interesting and attractive route that was waymarked in 2006. This is a linear short walking route through the historic site of the ´Alpujarra media´ and the Tahá valley. In this protected area there´s an extensive network of medieval paths. This route of 21 kilometres takes the walker on some paths that were already mentioned in documents drawn up in 1574. The route is divided in four parts and officially starts in Pórtugos and ends in Juviles. It passes through the villages of Atalbéitar, Ferreirola, Busquístar, Cástaras and Nieles. There are numerous signs on the route that give historic and cultural information on the water channels, the threshing floors, the steep paths, the mines and the old drover´s routes. This same information can be found on the website of Alpujarra Turística of the Mancomunidad and the GPS track of this PR-A 299 can be downloaded from this site as well. The information on the signs along the route, website and in the guide are only in Spanish. Several copies of this guide ´Huellas del medievo en la Alpujarra´ have been distributed over the different town halls and tourist information points to hand out for free to people interested. The tourist information office in Orgiva charges three euros for a copie, but all the information can be found on the website of Alpujarra Turística as well. Of course the route can be walked in both directions. For the people who would like to walk the Ruta Medieval from east to west, we have a map and description in Spanish, English and Dutch of the first three sections, up to Busquístar. Adding up the extra kilometres to get to Juviles, it is almost half a marathon from ´El Paraje´ to this village as well. There is also a small booklet for children on this route, called ´La Ruta de Mateo´, a copy can be asked for at the different town halls in the area.

Related links:
- gps track data on wikiloc by carlosgps

9 February 2009

Road between Bérchules and Cádiar open!

The provisional passage is ready, so the road A-4127 that connects Bérchules and Cádiar is open again. This passage has been made because an old bridge collapsed on Monday the 6th of February. Read more about this in the article in the Ideal.

3 February 2009

Sun dominates against predictions

When we had a look at the local weather forecast last week, we saw a report we had not seen before. An eighty percent - or higher - chance of precipitations for seven consecutive days, and a snow line under the thousand metres on several days. It was the first time that we decided to contact the people that had made a reservation, to tell them that maybe they should reconsider their booking. On Saturday it still felt strange that we did that, because the weather was just fine. On Sunday morning we had to admit that it had been a wise thing to do. There was snow on the ground, and we hardly had any visibility. Monday we had some more snow. Today it has been a completely different day from what the weather forecast predicted. We had a beautiful warm sunny day with spectacular cloud formations in a blue sky. The snow is melting away rapidly.

related keywords: el tiempo, het weer, le temps, das wetter