We had had a sunbed day and a Nerja town day, so she suggested that we walk to Frigiliana. This route is popular with able walkers staying in Nerja and surrounding areas and ends in the once Moorish village high in the Sierra De Tejeda. Most people get the bus to Frigiliana and walk back.
We set off at 10.00am following the Rio Chillar right from the beach. A path on both sides of the river makes for a rapid start but when the main road is reached, the N340, the path and onward route is unclear. We looked for an obvious path but we only saw the river bed. Crossing the road bridge we decided to head for a large car park and there we took the chance that a minor road would lead us in the right direction. I had previously looked on Google Earth, which showed a track on the left bank of the river but this was all private and padlocked.
The river was low and as it happened this driveable track was where we needed to be. It was also quite surprising considering the urbanisation and agricultural properties on either side, that the river was so clean. Also sugar cane was in abundance too.
I decided to stay with the main river which we learned later was a mistake. We should have taken the left fork, the Rio Higueron, which on this day was dried up. So we continued on the Rio Chillar. It was a good track most of the way and then we came to an access post into the National Park. Mmm, i thought!
This doesn't seem right.
We walked on for about 5 minutes and then turned back looking for another way. Just as we retraced our way to the access post a Spanish walker was heading our way. Sheila asked him for directions and i just about understood that we needed to go uphill for quite a way, then down to the river bed then up again. He drew a line in the dust emphasizing the distance was still quite far. We thanked him and we went up hill on the minor road/landrover track.
Entrance to the National Park.
Processional Pine Caterpillars.On the track we came across this spectacle. I had never seen this before. They are Processional Pine Caterpillars. Harmful to adults if touched, causing irritation/nausea. Serious illness's to children and can be fatal to animals such as dogs or cats.
The track went up and up and then we saw the river bed with the path descending.
Heading wrongly into the National Park, following the Rio Chillar
The correct river, Higueron
In the last 2 photo's you can see the track heading up again. We called this cardiac hill, it just was relentless. On the way up we passed two ladies struggling with the gradient and one said that we must be used to hills as we were not out of breath. We didn't tell them we had just done one hill by mistake.
Once at the top of the track the main road is joined for a short section which took us into the village.
Walking down the main street i was a bit disappointed, all that effort and is this it! We sat down outside a cafe and had a coffee. After about 15 minutes we were joined by the two ladies we had met on the hill. All they said was "We are going to the pharmacy for Panadol". And off they went.
I said to Sheila that there must be more than this and thankfully we carried on walking. Around the corner and covering the hillside was Frigiliana proper. Absolutely breathtaking.
There is also a walk from here to the caves that we passed on our first walk in Nerja. It says 14.6km. Going further into the park and completing this walk we would need to take it more seriously and come prepared with a map, boots or trail shoes and waterproofs. None of these we had today.
We had a lovely walk round and we were pleased we made it to the village after our errors of navigation earlier. The bus back to Nerja is every hour and costs 1 euro. Great value for money.
It took us a little over 2 hours to do the walk but if we had known or been better prepared for the route we could probably take 30 or 40 minutes off that time.
About 2 hours after we left Frigiliana and returned to Nerja, it went very dark in the hills. We couldn't believe just how fast the weather was changing. It was so dark we couldn't see the hills any more. From being bathed in sun and blue skies there was a big storm coming in.
When we got up this morning the hill tops are snow covered again. Increadable.
We will do this walk again sometime, on another trip, and do a circular walk. The area is stunning and many options.