It was a beautiful late October Sunday and the clocks had just gone back an hour, so it seemed like a perfect opportunity to go hiking in the Sierra Bermeja.
The plan was to hike to the top of Los Reales. The reality found us, instead, walking part of the route of the Gran Senda de Malaga which we accessed from the road behind Los Pedregales.
Why the change of heart?
Simply put, we couldn’t find the right road leading out of Estepona! After driving for a few minutes in what we thought was the right direction, we saw a sign saying El Parque de San Isidro and, seeing that it was at the foot of the mountains, decided to take a look.
It seems that Los Pedregales is where the locals come for a Sunday outing as the park was full of families enjoying the beautiful autumn weather. There’s a restaurant at the entrance and you know you’re not in the Isle of Man any more when the only form of transport parked outside is a couple of horses. There are picnic tables, barbecue facilities and a kiddie’s play area, plus a petanca pitch for the grown ups.
We walked up past the small church and followed the rocky path which was signposted ‘ADANA‘. This is the local shelter for abandoned animals and we passed several volunteers out dog walking and making the most of the sunshine.
Just before we reached the entrance to the rescue centre the road turns off to the right so we followed that path which, for the first few miles, is easy to follow although it does eventually get rocky underfoot and we found ourselves clambering up and down narrow rocky paths (where one of us took a tumble. Disclaimer: it wasn’t me!).
The trail is signposted with red and white markings (these denote long distance trails) so we knew we were at least on the right path at all times. Our only issue was that we had no idea where we would end up if we continued to walk so we made the decision to turn around after an hour or so.
We were lucky to witness groups of eagles flying low overhead – dozens of them just kept on coming – as well as two little deer who were that bit too quick to capture on camera (next time!).
Fancy following our footsteps?
The easiest way to get there, if you’re coming from Estepona, is to head towards the industrial estate and then follow the signs for the Camino de Casares. Los Pedregales is on the right roughly a five minute drive after going under the motorway. It was a really happy accident that we discovered it – now we just need to find the right road for Los Reales!