The start of it

For a long time, whilst out walking in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, we have come across footpath signs to Sulayr but we were never able to connect the signs to any known path, they always seemed to point to somewhere high in the Sierra Nevada. Then in August 2009 whilst on the Mulhacen mountain bus Paco, the guide, explained that it was a 300 km circular path running around the Sierra Nevada National park.
Slowly my interest in this walk was aroused, but it always looked like it would be a ambition never undertaken. The path runs around the Sierras at about 2000 meters, and the thought of taking our poor little Renault Kangoo up all those access tracks to the start of a new section of the walk filled me with dread, it was our only car.
In 2011 the chance came to buy another car, and the thought of walking the Sulayr path gained momentum. What was needed were some good buddies to share the experience. My wife has always classed the “The A Team” of the Lecrin Valley Limpers as something out of “The Last of the Summer Wine”. A group of old men who go out in to the mountains for the day and come home raggy arsed, tired and dirty. After careful consultation with fellow team members who jumped at the chance of expeditions into the high Sierras I decided to buy a small 4X4.
This is the story as it unfolds.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

20 December 2011 Section 12 to Las Rozas

Las Rozas

After the outing on the 1st of November we have not been able to do a section of the walk. Firstly  we had a heavy fall of snow that came down below the level of the track, then holidays, sickness and a chill wind have kept us away from our walk. This does not mean we have not been out enjoying ourselves. We have found a new project in the Alpujarras, the GR142 which runs below the snow line and we have also slotted in various other walks to keep us entertained.
This week, with the snow in retreat and the temperature starting to climb, we decided to put the project back on track. There was a short 9 km section at the far end of the Sierras that we have not completed, it does not attain a great deal of height so we thought we would clear it off the list.
With a long drive ahead off us, and around the shortest day of the year, we thought it best to get another early 7.30 start.
The drive up was good, and there is only a short section to drive on the forest path before we reached the starting point for the walk. We were last here on the 22nd of September, and we had then walked in the opposite direction to Collado Hauerteliclos.
We set off at a good pace on the easy forest road which was going to take us all the way to La Roza, our turnaround point. The footpath sign said it was only 8.8 km so this was going to be the easiest walk of the lot. The area is heavily forested, and the medio ambiente were busy extracting timber, the whole hillside was alive to the sound of chainsaws, at least we did not see any tree huggers this time. The Lumberjacks and Jackies were using horses to move the wood about, these appeared to be a breed specially bred for the job, stocky and very powerful and that was the women.
We were amazed when, in no time at all, we arrived at Las Rozas, the GPS said we had travelled only 7.1 km. Turning around we retraced our steps and we were back at the car by 1pm. This presented us with a problem, we could not go home, we are not expected back till it is getting dark. On the walk we had noticed a large building about a km off the track, so we decided to drive down and investigate it. It turned out to be Aula Naturaleza Paredes, the grounds of which were open but the buildings were closed, but it was a nice place to stop for lunch. I had just got stuck into my sarnies when a warden appeared and told us he was off home for his lunch and would be locking the gates. Packing up we decided to head home by the slow route down through the Alpujaras.
We stopped off in Cadiar for a beer and tapas at a very friendly bar run by a English woman.
We arrived home just after 5, not a long walk, but we had to do it, and the sun had shone all day.     

The walkers Mike, Kees, Plym, Ray, and myself.

Distance walked on route today, 7.1. km. Total distance today 14.2 km. Height climbed today 352 metres. Total distance walked on the Sulayr path 221.6 km. Distance left to do 78.4 km. Total height climbed 17565 metres. Total distance walked 514.5 km.