Mountain Hike - Cartajima to Ronda
This walk takes us from the white village of Cartajima, perched above the chestnut tree-filled Genal valley, up over the craggy limestone mountains of the Serrania de Ronda, and down into Ronda town.A short drive takes us south from Ronda to Cartajima village where our walk begins. The village is one of seven in the High Genal Valley which survive largely from the production of chestnuts. The trees fill the mountainsides and valleys as far as the eye can see and provide an ever-changing landscape through the year. In the winter and early spring they are barren and seemingly lifeless, then foliage sprouts and creates a lush green carpet, followed by the appearance of large cones of white flowers. In the autumn, the whole valley turns to a rich golden russet and the harvest begins.From Cartajima we climb steadily up into the ridge of craggy limestone mountains which separate the Genal valley from Ronda. We pass interesting rock formations, old threshing circles, sections of ancient drovers' paths and walk below a sheer cliff, onto a large karst plain leading to a spectacular view over to Ronda. From here we descend steadily down into Ronda, entering the town through the southern district of the Barrio San Francisco. Note: The route is wholely through uninhabited countryside - if we don’t count the sheep and goats - and is mainly on small goat tracks and paths, with one section of "scrambling" up a wide river bed There is a fair amount of ascent at the start and the tracks are rocky and weather-eroded for most of the way, both up and down. Hikers need to be confident on uneven surfaces and good walking shoes/boots are highly recommended. Hiking - Moderate to Challenging.