15 May 2012 Section 11 Barranco Horcajo
We have had a few weeks off the Sulayr walk, in part because we have had some late heavy snow, in fact we had more snow in April than we did in the winter months. Also I got fed up of driving up through Cadier to the far distant remaining sections of the walk.
Our plan this week was to complete tramo 11, we still had a 12 km section left to do. Careful research with the maps showed a forest road going down into the Barranco del Aguadero, the last time we had tried to get there we found that the road had been washed away, this time we had a back up plan as well.
We had our usual 7.45 start for the 120 km drive up through the Alpujarras to Luajar de Andarax. From Andarax you then take a twisting forest road as it climbs high into the Sierra Nevada. It’s not a fast road, with all the bumps, potholes and hairpin bends it is a road to be driven carefully. So it was a surprise to discover that a wagon was gaining on us rapidly, it was a bigger surprise when someone said it was an Honey wagon, why would anybody want to take a wagon full of s**t up this road? It turned out this was a true Honey wagon, i.e one that collects honey made by Bees, not the smelly stuff made by humans.
When we came to the road that went down into the barranco it did not look too promising, so we went for the second option and drove a little further to where we had finished walking last time.
The walk follows a twisting little track as it goes down into the Horcajo barranco and then across the holm oak covered Loma Raspa, this was a superb path but as we headed down into the Barranco del Aguadero, our thoughts turned to the return journey. The temperature was going up fast and the thought of climbing back up to the car after walking 20 km was a little daunting. Another plan was hatched, we would follow the barranco downhill and turn the walk into a circular one coming back up the road we should have driven down. We could then check the road out for the next time. The only problem was Ray, he has been tagged and has to explain to Caroline what he has been up to if he records less than 32,000 steps. I think it is to stop him going off with the twelve swedish girls when we find them!
Whilst we did not clock up a great distance either on the Sulayr path or the walk in general, with the unseasonably high temperatures we were experiencing I think we had all had enough, and besides we would have more time in the bar in Cadiar.
On the drive back the Suzuki suddenly lost power, we stopped and checked what we could, finding nothing obvious we set off again for Cadiar where we found a mechanic who told us we would make it home to our valley.
After stopping for drinks and some tapas we headed safely home, the car behaved itself and a faulty turbo servo valve was replaced the following day.
The walkers Mike, Kees, Ray, Graham, Rene, Mark and myself.
Distance walked on route today,3.7 km. Total distance today 13.00km. Height climbed today 533 metres. Total distance walked on the Sulayr path 258.4 km. Distance left to do 41.6 km. Total height climbed 20760 metres. Total distance walked 599.3 km.