Monday March 21st Quesada to Cazorla

After yesterday's walk through the cauldron of olive trees we deserved a better walk, Christine's last walk in Andalucia, and today we got it. Although only 18 kilometres today's walk had everything and the next few days walking also look really interesting.


Had a quick look at Quesada on the way out this morning and it looks like another nice hill top town. The target however was the Sierra de Cazorla Natural Park

Entering the Park

and to get to it involved a steady walk, largely on a road, up and out of the valley. We were able to chop a lot of the zig-zags by taking a more vertical line up through the olive groves and as we did so the views got bigger. Initially we could just see back to Quesada but eventually, and through the haze, we saw Jodar and the snow covered tops of the Sierra Maginas.

Once inside the park and off the road, the scenery became immense with the trail contouring beneath huge and sheer 1000 metre limestone crags. The vegetation was also different and included types of pine we hadn't seen before and some beautiful miniature irises. The park is supposed to be full of wildlife but today we were only treated to Griffon Vultures which put on a great display.

Dwarf Iris

The walk was rich in architectural remains which included the Ermita de Monta Sion and the Castillo de las Cinco Esquinas both of which were positioned on the edge of the massif with great views across the plain.
Spectacular limestone scenery in the Cazorla Natural Park

Castillo de Cinco Esquinas

In reality the buildings along the walk were just tasters for Cazorla itself which is stunning. The location is set against an amphitheater of huge cliffs and crowned by the huge Moorish Castillo de la Yedra which towers above the town. The centre has a lovely mix of little squares, tiny streets and ancient churches.

Cazorla Castle

I was going to press on tomorrow to Coto Rios but have concluded that a 12 hour march through such lovely scenery is madness and instead have decided to have two nights in Cazorla, splitting the 12 hour walk into two. Will give me time to adjust to being without Christine.

Frustratingly Cazorla is without Internet, down for the whole town, which seems a little bizarre particularly as I couldn't get access in Quesada either.

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