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I’m going back to my Spanish trip with this post. A visit to the hills above the Costa del Sol. The tourist office had some French and German sheets with route guides but no maps. All the routes were on good tracks so I was not too worried about losing my way around the hills.

A map board at the start.

A map board at the start.

The description gave three options, each a bit short for my plans so I winged it and did some ridge walking to tie the three together, the weather was excellent, warm in the morning sun and clear so the long views kept appearing looking out over the Straights of Gibraltar to Africa.

Crosses marking the start of the climb to the small chapel.

Crosses marking the start of the climb to the small chapel.

Rounding the corner to the start of the climbs

Rounding the corner to the start of the climbs

The guide also mentions shady woodlands for the first half of the walk, the Spanish idea of shady woodland is not the same as mine. Straggly pines dripping resin, offering dappled shade as the sun rose higher during the day, I took three litres of water and needed all of it at the end.

Once Port de Malaga is reached, I took a small detour to the Pic de Malaga for the views North to the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

Flowers on the slopes.

Flowers on the slopes.

Views across the Med.

Views across the Med.

I wanted to climb the ridgeline I had seen earlier in the week from the hotel. Looking sharp and dark in the evenings. I got a good look at the way ahead once on top of Pic de Malaga.

Fluff and nonsense.

Fluff and nonsense.

Looking up to the col.

Looking up to the col.

Looking back down to the track, and the sea.

Looking back down to the track, and the sea.

Pic de Malaga.

Pic de Malaga.

The way ahead.

The way ahead.

Hitting the ridgeline.

Hitting the ridgeline.

It must mean something?

It must mean something?

The walk along the ridge to find the second track was not as narrow as it might have been, but having a view all round is always good. As I walked along I was disturbing insects on the bushes and grass, as a consequence the swallows came zipping around, swooping on the easy prey. Sometimes you hear them passing so close, a whir of wings and a dark streak past your head.

The Ridge.

The Ridge.

Before dropping back to the valley.

Before dropping back to the valley.

Doable, but not today.

Doable, but not today.

Wild Flowers.

Wild Flowers.

The rocks in these hills flash with white marble and as you walk you feel the crunch of the crystals underfoot. The villages around are white because of the lime render traditionally mined and fired in the hills.

White rock.

White rock.

Rock Detail.

Rock Detail.

A wandering block of marble.

A wandering block of marble.

The old quarry, now a canvas for the kids.

The old quarry, now a canvas for the kids.

The old town of Mijas.

The old town of Mijas.

After a hot walk back along the side of the hills, weaving in and out of deep water gullies, you return to Mijas, a pretty white town, with bull ring and outdoor theatre. Memories will be of the smell of Eucalyptus trees in the afternoon heat, the whiteness of the Marble cliffs. Views across the sea and the heat of the day, even at 1000m. The hardy plants, thick leaved and pale green, sat in the heat and made a living, some flourished in the shade of the sparse pines and others waited in the gullies for the water to flow in a mad torrent, witnessed by the mad jumble of rocks and broken trees in the bed of each dry river.

I had a slow drive home after picking up a cold bottle of water, met Jane on the beach and had a cooling swim in the sea whose blue was a backdrop to the walk I had just done.

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