Over Easter, James and I were in Andalucia visiting James’ parents. On our last day we did a wonderful walk that I wanted to share with you, with some absolutely stunning views throughout.
El Lucero peak is 1780m high (almost 6000 feet), one of the highest in the Sierra de Tejeda national park. To get to it, you drive up the smooth but winding road from Torrox, past Compéta and to Canillas de Abaida, climbing higher and higher all the time. Then you turn off the road into the national park and follow the climbing track through pine tree forests and along the side of marble cliffs on a dirt track with a sheer drop on one side until reaching Puerta de Blanquilla. I already felt that we were so high up but we had a long way to go!
We parked the car and began walking, first scrambling up a steep slope of loose rock and through narrow gaps in the cliff, then winding our way slightly through the pine forest, and then coming out at the Puerta de Compéta, to walk gently downhill on a wider track past an old marble quarry (Puerta means gate and these are the gaps in the mountains through which the Moors travelled when they conquered the Iberian peninsula, rural farmers took their goods to market, and Franco fought off the rebels in Spain’s vicious civil war.
After 35-40 minutes, we reached the start of the climb proper as we crossed a small bridge over a dry river bed and began to climb steeply uphill on a winding, stony path. As the path flattened out, we had our first incredible views over the other side of the mountains, the Bermejales lake glittering in the distance.
We walked along a ridge with the slopes dropping down steeply to either side and the wind howling, trying to push us off. The peak of El Lucero loomed above us, so high, so steep – I was nervous about getting blown off the mountainside!
Then we really began climbing up so many switchbacks, the ground below us rocky with loose stones that we picked ourselves over, occasionally huge steps up over particularly big rocks. The views were incredible and I kept having to remind myself to look up from my feet!
Finally we reached the top, annoyingly catching up with the only other party of hikers as we did so! There is a ruined fort from civil war days up there so we found some shelter from the wind against the remains of its walls and ate our lunch.
Coming back down was almost more tricky than going up due to the loose stones underfoot and I was very grateful for the loan of a walking stick! It took us just over 3 hours overall to hike over 13km – it was brilliant and I would definitely recommend making the drive if you are in the area!