24 April 2010
This article describes a wonderful hike we did from Benaojan to Montejaque, in the Ronda area of southern Spain.
On this beautiful spring Saturday in Andalucia, we decided to do a hike from Benaojan to Montejaque. Leaving Marbella early in the morning, and stopping for coffee and a catalana breakfast at our favorite venta along the Ronda road, we arrived in Benaohan at around 10:30 to start the hike. Although Pino and I have covered all of this hike, in bits, during the various 101 km de Ronda and Homenaje events, we’d not done this particular 12 km loop before. It turned out to be probably one of the most beautiful hikes we’ve done.
We parked the car just down the turnoff in Benaojan, at the base of the path that leads up the rocky zig-zag (not to be confused with the similar, and perhaps better-known rocky zig-zag in Montejaque). After suiting up in our gear and packs, we started up the steep zig-zag in the warm morning sun.
After cresting the top, we descended the long narrow path, that runs along the rocky mountainside above the famous Cueva del Gato. At the bottom of the mountain, we continued along the flat dirt road alongside the train track, arriving after a total of about 5 km to the crossing; on the left, the dirt road up towards Montejaque, and to the right, Ronda. We stopped here in the shade next to the river, for lunch and a quick nap.
The dirt track up towards the Ermita de Montejaque is very familiar; we do this portion of the trail every year during both the 101 km de Ronda and Homenaje events. It’s a gentle climb until the very end, where it concludes in a very steep 600 meter climb to the Ermita.
Leaving the Ermita, we took the popular rocky zig-zag down towards Montejaque, and then followed the road back down to the starting point in Benaojan.
The day was marked with scenes of springtime — lots of interesting flowers, insects, and newborn animals.
Attached below is the GPS track file (for others wanting to do this hike), and a series of pictures. You can also view the full set of pictures on the Flickr set.