Everyone who knows El Valle, La Torre, Hacienda Riquelme and many other resorts and surrounding areas will know of the magnificent mountainous back drop but how many people have ventured out into those mountains? Be it fear, self doubt that it may be too far a walk or just lack of information. This series of blog posts is aimed at ending those excuses.
Our first blog post is a detailed description of a favourite hike of mine with an extra surprise thrown in thanks to Brian who stumbled across it recently. The hike starts from the world-famous Garruchal restaurant also known by many as the black rabbit either because its logo is a black rabbit or us foreigners find it hard to roll our r’s (Garrrruchal).
From Garruchal car park looking at the restaurant take the trail to the right and less than 5 metres after the B&B’s there is a small trail that leads you down the mountain towards the road and the bottom of El Columbares. Once at the road, cross over to another small car park and follow an obvious trail through the middle of the valley. Follow this trail for 0.4km and you will see a path to the left next to a palm tree stump. Take this path and from here follow it for about 3kms and take in the beautiful surroundings. Although there is plenty of shade a lot of this walking is exposed so be sure to wear a hat and bring at least a litre of water.
After 3kms on this single track you will join a larger track big enough for a vehicle, here is where we head towards our surprise. Follow the path up to the left towards the big overhanging mountain and when you get to a place where it looks like the path ends or you have to climb up a path that seems almost vertical keep following the path through the trees in what looks like an old stream bed.
After about 0.3kms you will arrive at the Hidden Well.
By looking at the Spanish equivalent of an ordinance survey map I can see that there was a waterway that runs underneath that track but has long been dry. Many years ago I suspect it was the source of water for the abandoned farm house nearby.
After taking the obligatory selfie and photos for Instagram return via the path you came and follow the wider track towards the middle of the valley where you will join another major track. Here turn right and follow the track keeping the wired fence on your left until the fence finishes. Take a left here crossing the valley and then a right heading into the trees. From here you have a beautiful 3km hike back to Garruchal where a cold beer and tapas awaits.
Although not a serious hike it isn’t the easiest either and a few sections will have you panting due to short but steep climbs. The hike is also on uneven ground therefore sensible (closed) footwear is recommended. All in all this hike is about 9kms with 165m of elevation gain and will take an average walker about 2 hours to complete.