Almeria - Granada : description (en) (CaminoMozarabe)   

 

 

                                             Almeria - Santa Fe de Mondujar (25 km)

 

  We start the Way in the very core of the historical city centre at the foot of the Citadel and in front of the Big Gate of the Fortress-Cathedral. Behind we are leaving streets and squares full of joy and colour: Lope de Vega, Las Tiendas Street, Santiago’s Church, Puerta Purchena, Murcia Street, Rambla Amatisteros, Carretera de Granada until the arrow-monolite of Torrecardenas’ roundabout farewells us.

 

  Always heading forwards we enter Huercal de Almeria until we reach the railway station which reminds us of the splendour of the village mining past. We walk along Real Street until we get to the Camino Real of Pechina which will lead us to the Andarax River. Once in the River, La Rambla of Pechina shows us the way towards this important spot, origin of civilizations like Bayyana. After getting around the city centre we go down to the river again and when we leave the Puente de Rioja behind, the Camino del Duende will lead us into the village of Rioja.

 

  Among orchards and country houses the Way goes straight on the Vereda of Quiciliana until we get to Santa Fe of Mondujar, and we are pleased to know that our steps get melted over what is a Way full of History and patrimonial vestiges.

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                                          Santa Fe de Mondujar - Albolduy (15 km)

 

  We start this stage at the foot of the Nazari Tower of Santa Fe of Mondujar and we have to ascend towards the impressive railway line iron bridge attributed to Gustavo Eiffel.

 

  Once we culminate the summit, several yellow arrows and scallop shells will lead us to the very core of the Sierra of the Filabres. Friendly arrows which will guide our way among pine groves, broom and “albaidas” on

our search for Alhabia: a white “alpujarreña” village which links the Way with a timid river and orange tree meadows.

 

  The “Alpujarreño” and Mozarab Way where the terraced landscape, the toponyms and the irrigation system which remind us of the important mark of the Muslim colonization over the region, will go on upstream of the

main Andarax River affluent: the Nacimiento, which delimits the east and north of the Sierra Nevada impressive massif.

 

  The watercourses which bleed into ditches will lead us towards the oasis formed by the irrigated meadows which cross the “almeriense” subdeserts, generating this way a unique landscape full of contrasts.

 

  On our way we will cross the villages of Alhabia, Alsodux, Santa Cruz de Marchena and Alboloduy. This last village which marks the end of the stage and is one of the richest ones within the Region concerning its Historical Heritage, is also provided with an inviting hostel for pilgrims.

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                                                        Albolduy - Abla (27 km)

 

  Leaving Alboloduy, we will go upstream for 2,7 km until we reach an area where we can’t follow the river’s course because of the heavy vegetation all around. We will take a steep path going up the half hillside on our

right to get to the road which we will follow with the help of the signs all the way to the Llano del Campillo. Some metres behind the Water Cistern (“Aljibe”), we will take the path on the right which will lead us again to the river. Then, we will arrive at the village of Nacimiento through a natural reed tunnel of the Sierra Nevada Natural Park.

 

  From now on, the riverbed of the watercourse will be again the base of our way, already inside the medium-high track of the valley. Sierra Nevada will form the south hillside and Los Filabres Mountain will be the north wall along our way. Threshing floors, mills, olive oil mills, irrigation infrastructures, slate country houses and mine quarries are scattered along these urban areas: La Rambla Encira, Los Gregorios, Doña Maria and Ocaña, which will remind us of the mining and agricultural past taste from other times.

 

  Following the river, in its meeting point with the Rambla de Abrucena we will find “Las Juntas”. We will cross the river lengthways through the local road until we cross the former National one. Then, we will descend the watercourse of Abrucena and will go upstream until we arrive at Abla.

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                                                        Abla - Hueneja (26 km)

 

  Abla, one of the villages where the different prehistorical and historical periods are best represented by its archeological stages, hosts the pilgrim in the Roman Mausoleum. Along a simple walk through the urban network, the route, from El Paseo, offers a gorgeous overview of Sierra Nevada and the close village of Abrucena.

 

  We go on through the path which crosses the Nacimiento River to get to the Camino Real, a former communication via which, for centuries, was used by the people, troops, merchandise, etc. that circulated between Granada and Almeria. Numerous service and sale points for muleteers and the cavalry were established thanks to that via. We will return to the river and will go upstream again until getting to the village of Fiñana where, in 1489, the Catholic King and Queen passed the night in its Fortress-Castle on their way to conquer the kingdom of  Granada. It’s also worth mentioning Fiñana’s Water Cistern (“Aljibe”) and its Almohad Mosque.

 

  Walking up Real Street, at the church’s square, we turn right and look for the descent towards the Rambla de Almeria to continue through the abovementioned historical path, which will lead us to Venta Ratonera.

 

  Leaving this village behind, we cross a watercourse and an arrow-shaped monolith will farewell the pilgrim out of the province of Almeria. This same monolith will show the way to be followed straight on towards las 

Huertezuelas and Hueneja, already located in the province of Granada

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                                                      Hueneja – Alquife (21 km)

 

  We head towards Dolar passing over the road bridge and next to the Shrine of La Presentacion. When we get to the threshing floors, we will turn right among them to continue in parallel to the road. Without reaching the motorway, a small road, which passes over the petrol station, will lead us to a wire fence from whose gate the path heading towards Dolar starts. Dolar is a village with a simple castle, an outstanding church and interesting Arabic baths.

 

  From the top we can see the extreme change in the function of the impressive flat field of the “Marquesado” del Zenete (the former bottom of the intramountainous lake generated during the Alpine fold and drained by the opening of the rivers Fardes and Guadiana Menor). That plain was first a grain larder to become later a power

station due to its eolic fields, its photovoltaic and thermosolar power plants.

 

  From the Shrine of San Andres we take the road on the right after a detour. That road goes straight on towards the west until the village of Ferreira where we can find the Interpretation Centre of the Arabic Architecture within the Fortress-Castle. On our way towards La Calahorra we will cross the road of Puerto de La Ragua and then we will follow a track which will lead us to this village with an incomparable Renaissance castle.

 

  The straight-line road will lead us to Alquife, a village of a strong mining past where the largest open-pit mine of Andalucia is located. The iron mineral was taken out through its own Linares-Almeria railway branch line to that last city, Almeria. After a near shut down of this mine in the 90s, today a reopening is being worked out due to the mineral price increase.

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                                                        Alquife – Guadix (22 km)

 

  Leaving towards Jerez we can see the mass of the Picon de Jerez, the most oriental “3000 metres” of Sierra Nevada. At 1 km the road goes over the bridge of the Lanteira’s watercourse. Soon after passing it, the path, which after crossing the Guadix River leads us towards Jerez del Marquesado, comes out first on the right and immediately after on the left.

 

  We will take the Guadix road at 2,5 km. Then, on the left, we will find the small road which heads towards Cogollos de Guadix, where its Medieval water cistern (“aljibe”) is worth mentioning. We will leave the village through San Gregorio Street towards the Shrine under the same name leaving it behind to our left.

 

  If we continue straight on, at about 2 km, the road goes down until we leave the vast “Marquesado” and the second most typical landscape of the Guadix region opens up in front of us: the “bad-land” gullies generated by the progressive dismantling of the former lake’s bottom. When we get to the watercourse, we will descend along it for 200 m to take another road which follows the descent towards Guadix.

 

  We enter Guadix through Torremolinos Street leaving to our left one of the most typical brickworks which using the “bad-lands” clays have developed the ancestral pottery industry of the region. If we go straight on, we will cross one of the traditional cave neighbourhoods and we will pass next to their Interpretation Centre. Going down Cañada de los Perales and Carrera de las Cruces Streets, we will overflow the “Alcazaba” on the right until we get to Santiago’s Church. Finally, Ancha and Pedro Antonio de Alarcon Streets will lead us to the Cathedral.

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                                                    Guadix - La Peza (20 km)

 

  We leave Guadix through Granada and Cañaveral Streets and Paulenca’s road. Paulenca is a small village towards which we head. When we get to it, we will border the village towards the west, 40 metres after we reach a small triangular roundabout with a tiny tree. From this point, on the left, we will take a descending track which will let us go up the hill towards Marchal.

 

  When we get to a U-shaped crossroads, we will turn right to get access again to the plains of the former lake bottom. Inmediately after, on the right, we will take a track which will lead us in descent along the riverbed of the leafy watercourse of Zamar. When we get to the Alhama River we will descend along it for about 200m to get to Marchal crossing the road. The gorgeous gullies of Marchal have been declared Natural Monument for being emblematic of this landscape. After crossing Marchal, we will get to the watercourse of Alboroz, (which surrounds it from the south), and we will go up this watercourse along 1.300 metres until reaching the small watercourse of La Cañada del Carril. Going up along this small watercourse (only at 450 m far from the watercourse of Alboroz) we find an ascending path, obliquely to the right, which will lead us to the small road of La Peza and we will take it on the left.

 

  A longer but less rough alternative consists of leaving Marchal through the north following the riverside of the gullies until getting to Los Baños de Graena. In both cases, we will follow the historical road of La Peza, without taking the crossroads on the right which follows a route with much more traffic and less attractive. Finally, we will get to a viewpoint from which we will be able to perceive, at a bird’s-eye view, our destiny.

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                                                       La Peza – Quentar (23 km)

 

  Passing by the church and behind Los Caños Gordos Fountain, we will climb up the castle. Soon after passing it, the track towards Quentar comes out to the right. When it snows, only the pilgrims with mountain experience and well-equipped will be able to use this option. A lower alternative comes out just before we get to the castle, heading west, until getting to Quentar Road.

 

  Along the high track, at 2,5 km, we will get to a cross-shaped crossroads and we will take it on the right to go down the road. Through the road shoulder, we will cross La Gitana’s Gorge with its typical tumbledown dolomites. Inmediately after and parallel to the road it appears a small path which, about 300 m after passing Los Blancares’ Hillock, will get separated from that road to reach Tocón de Quentar. With snow, the ones with no experience must use the road to get to Quentar. In winter, you mustn’t leave Tocon after two o’clock in the afternoon.

 

  Following the road, at only 0,5 km, it comes out on the right, through the bare hill, a small track which goes up the path we will take on the left. We will go straight on for 4 km until we get to Puerto Blanco, a crossroads we will take on the left to get to the great abandoned quarry of La Unica. If it gets dark, we can use its abandoned huts as a shelter. From the southern opposite side of the quarry, in descend, it comes out the path which will lead us to La Plata country house. From here, we will descend 2 more kilometres until we get to a deviation on the right (where an enourmous cattle large yard is located) which will lead us to Quentar.

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                                                      Quentar – Granada (20 km)

 

  From the Square of Quentar we will go down the river to take the track which will lead us to the road we will follow until Dúdar. From the low opposite side of the village a path to the right comes out and, in ascent, will pass by the exit of the impressive siphon of Los Franceses Channel. A titanic work accomplished at the end of the XIX century by ingeneers of that nationality to carry water to the gold mining of the Darro River.

 

  Close to the highest part of the long slope a track comes out to the right. This track which has got a gate (with right of way) goes down until the Belén River. When we pass the Belén country house the road crosses again the river to go back to the track over the hillock. Once we get to this track, after half a km, we will get to a crossroads. Crossing Los Franceses Channel’s threshold on the right, we will immediately go up a path on the left which will lead us to the Dehesa del Generalife. We will go along the north border of the Llano with an overview of the Darro River until we see the Sacromonte neighbourhood and its abbey at the bottom of the valley.

 

  In our descent, we will pass next to the “Aljibe de la Lluvia” and after crossing its plateau, we will go along the edge of the highlands until our arrival at the Silla del Moro, fortress which used to protect the access to The Alhambra. From there we will go down till The Alhambra’s entrance.

 

  We propose to go down to Granada through the slope of the “Chinos” which starts at The Mimbre restaurant, between the Alhambra and The Generalife, to get to the “Paseo de los Tristes”. From here the spectacular

Carrera del Darro will lead us to the Plaza Nueva.

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                                                                       01/02/2015

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