Sunday March 20th Jodar to Quesada

As usual after a spell in the bar of a nice friendly hotel, this time the Hotel Sierra de Quesada, it is easy to forget that today's walk was not actually all that nice. If I wasn't trying to complete the E4 from Tarifa to Budapest than this is a day's walking I would try and avoid.

The purpose of the walk is really to get you across the wide valley between the Sierra Magina and the Sierra de Cazorla. This is a 40 kilometre gap and today was a hot day to be walking across 36km of it. Would rather not imagine what it would be like to do this in mid summer.

Firstly we probably should have stayed in the other of Jodar's two hotels if we wanted to minimise our walking time. The Hotel Cuidad de Jodar adds at least 2 kilometres and is definitely at the most unattractive end of town. The older part of Jodar is at the north end and close to the exit for the E4.

The nice bit of Jodar

Either way it's 15 kilometres of road walking before you get onto something which is marginally kinder on the feet. You do get some nice views back to Jodar and the Sierra Magina Massif in the background but it's a big price to pay for all that foot pounding. There were of course no E4/GR signs and we were guided by the GPS track and the Cicerone Guide but we did come across a one off sign in a field of olives that suggested a cross country route from Jodar Who knows we may be doing the E4 an injustice but I somehow doubt it.

The secret E4

By the time you get to leave the road, at the bridge over the Rio Guadiana Menor, you will probably be like us and running on half empty. Perhaps we should have tried harder to escape the sun but we couldn't really find anywhere in the olive ridden landscape (no trees), so after a short break we just plodded on. The path started to climb and the scenery was definitely more interesting, at last becoming too dry even for the olive trees, but even this improvement couldn't change the fact that this was a hot and fairly unpleasant walk.

Wide open spaces

Olives everywhere

It's a long shallow valley running from the village of Hornos de Peal to Quesada and at one point you can choose between a slightly more shady route on a road from Toya and the E4. By then the sun had got to us and we stayed on the E4. Painfully you don't get to see Quesada until the last kilometre and you think you're never going to get there. It is however another attractive town and, after two beers in such a nice place, you can forgive anything. However if you're not on the same mad adventure as me then get a taxi, a bus or anything to the bridge at the Rio Guadiana Menor and then have a nice walk.


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  1. Keep going John it is just to e valuate your forces mental a fisical.You will get stronger by the days.

  2. Don't think you're a madman, John (and Christine a madwoman) - I am as fanatic as you are about walking every centimeter of an E-route. I even complete all the more or less official alternative routings. (I hope there are no variantes in this particular baking valley). Menno

  3. the cicerone is wrong about the start of GR7 in Jodar: the path starts nearby the communal swimming pool (the signs vanished, there is only an anonymous, wooden pole - but hej, that's not so bad as GR7 sign posting goes;)) it's a dirt road, no tarmac. but it only buys you a few kilometers, then the route joins the one described in cicerone.