We have drawn up a map of the route we take through the different growing areas that my family has. In the first place, I have pointed out different points of interest that I will develop below.
I will relate the route we did and, secondly, I will clarify the different symbols and markings on the map with the help of photographs and detailed descriptions.
Before going “to the point”, I want to emphasize that my mother accompanied us throughout the tour. She is 74 years old and asthmatic. Therefore, this does not mean that anyone in their 70s can do the tour. In fact, my mother is a “sheep” and you can tell that she grew up in the fields (she had a bad time on the way up with asthma). Obviously, taking the route calmly and being well prepared, anyone without trekking practice can do it.
If you have never been to this district, just by putting “Gacía Bajo” in Google maps you will get the location.
In this way, the search engine will take you to a crossroads where there will be a sign with the name of the district.
To the left there is a group of houses and chalets called El Collaico (it also belongs to Gacía Bajo). However, we would turn right and we would come to a group of houses where we would find the church square and a playground. Therefore, from here it would be our departure or start of the walking route.
Do not forget to park your car in an area where it does not get in the way, since the district hardly has parking.
With all this, let’s start:
We would start our journey towards Royo Morera (Turre). In the esatern direction we would pass through a huge house and then we would go down a slight slope. Leaving the district we would reach another crossroads where we will see the direction Royo Morera (right).
After a slight descent to a promenade, we will begin an ascent that will not stop until we reach our destination “La Cañailla”.
The area of old almond trees that you begin to see on both sides is called La Capellanía.
Continuing with our ascent, to the right, we would find some rare plants that we had never seen before. They are called phelypaea or yellow jopo. It is a parasitic plant or host, in fact, it does not photosynthesize. The jopo introduces its roots in other plants until it locates its phloem to absorb the sap.
Points 4 and 5: We will continue with our ascent until we reach a detour to the left. Now will be the ideal time to remove the asphalt studs from our trekking poles.
On the dirt road the slopes will be steeper and steeper, the reason sor this is that the views will improve.
You can enjoy panoramic views of Gacía Alto and Gacía Bajo.
With all this, in the photo that I have uploaded, we will take as reference a farmhouse that is located in the middle of the two Gacías, it is the farmhouse of “Los Mañas” (I will tell you why later).
Points 7,8 and 9: Cortijo La Peñica Blanca
Next, we will take a junction to the left and continue our ascent surrounded by almond trees. It is then, when we will begin to glimpse a great tree, “a eucalyptus” and a farmhouse in ruins. This is the Peñica Blanca, they are the ruins of a farmhouse of great importance for my family and other families in the region.
Actually, Cortijo la Peñica Blanca has a lot of history. It is guarded by a large centenary eucalyptus, which, decades ago, was cut down, but even so, it reappeared with more force. The farmhouse owes its name to a large white stone that stands on a ravine for your eternal enjoyment of enviable views.
Leaving the Cortijo la Peñica Blanca behind and with some small carob trees that pass over time, we will begin to enter a more lush and abundant landscape, with a great variety of rosemary, albaidas, wild royal hollyhocks, etc. and with a constant bustle around us of bees ready to start the abundant harvest that the beginning of spring offers them.
Point 10: As we continue with our route, we usually see some olive groves created and, partially, abandoned by man. Like, intermingling with the vegetation, some wild olive trees and palm hearts making their way.
Point 11: At this point we come to a crossroads. Our goal is to reach ” La Cañaílla”.
Points 12 and 13:
Here we make the decision to shorten the path in a straight direction (come on, “sheep” style) crossing a small hill that we had in front of us.
It is the section where I felt the greatest sense of danger “thinking of my mother”. There is a lot of vegetation and there is no path, the bushes reach my waist (I can barely see the head of “my Nadia”).
With patience, and looking well where to put our feet (especially my mother with the helpp of some canes) we managed to cross the hill and reach “La Cañaílla”.
In addition, one of these olive trees is open in the middle (probably due to a lightning strike) as if “David the Gnome” were to come out of it.
La Cañaílla is an old farmland of my grandparents, where, with the help of the “beasts”, they used to sow wheat or fodder for animals.
You will recognize the area because you will see a terrace with four olive trees.
In it there are numerous remains of animals (especially wild boars). In fact, it is the perfect location to camp, surround yourself with nature and eat the ham sadwich.
After this short stop, we arrive at a raft created by man to accumulate water and therfore serve as a drinking trough for livestock and wild animals.
The raft seems natural because it was probably made only by digging and, thanks to the high impermeability of the terrain, the water remains stagnant and does not leak.
In the same way, just in front of it is another hill much higher and with more vegetation.
The entire terrace and the stretch to the top of the hill is what we call “La Cañaílla”.
Points 15 and 16: Continuing with our route, we will return to take the path of the road, in the direction of Gacía Alto, we will begin a descent that will not end until we reach Gacía Bajo.
Points 17 and 18: Likewise, the descent will be a bit steep but we will enjoy spectacular panoramic views. We will arrive at the control point of a gas pipeline that passes through the district towards France. We will continue with our cheerful rhythm (helped by the slope) and we will arrive at the Pista de los Murtales road junction.
This road will take us to the only green lung that remains in Sierra Cabrera.
Point 19: Inmediately, leaving the crossroads behind, we will stop and to our left we will try to find, in the distance, the reference to the farmhouse “Los Mañas” (the same at point 6). It is there, where I realized the distance and parable of our journey.
We will continue with our comfortable descent and we will stop to contemplate the huge semi-ruined mansion of the former landowner of Gacía Alto.
Similarly, to your right is another group of houses in ruins that belonged to the landowner’s easement.
Points 21 and 22:
With all this, when we resume our journey, we will begin to face Gacía Alto, glimpsing its stamp.
As we go down to the district, we will be struck by a kind of small square (cistern style) with an iron cross. This is located on our right and is on the outskirts of town. In fact, this was whera a mass was once held in honor of the Fiestas de la Cruz and, consequently, where the neighbors ate after the mass.
Once we have passed the cross, we will reach the outskirts of Gacía Alto.
We will explore its white streets and quiet corners, looking for its charming square.
It is a very quiet district that has that “air” of a small mountain town.
Points 23 and 24: Likewise, when leaving Gacía Alto, we will face the end of our journey along a small asphalt road. Next, we will pass two cattle corrals and we will glimpse the landscape of small family farms, which try to keep up with try to keep up with the desertification that we have suffered over the years.
Points 25 and 26: Next, we will find a crossroads, where there is a sign that will mark us to the left towards Turre and Royo Morera (we can also access Gacía Bajo where we exit the route), in front we would go to Collaíco, Gafarillos.
In principle, we will continue our journey without deviating and, before starting a climb, we will find a small dirt path on our right. It is the so called Camino de la Noria.
Before there was a Ferris wheel on the left (it is now sealed), which provided drinking water for my family.
We will pass under a centenary carob tree and we will soon reach our final destination, Gacía Bajo.
Points 27,28 and 29:Finally, once inside the district we will look for its square and church (it will not be very difficult). Actually, for me a few years ago the church square was more attractive, there was no park but a huge tree guarding the square and providing shade and parking, which this small district lacks today.
I hope you enjoy this journey. Publishing it for me is something very special, in this way I record the roots of my family and how they made their way through such a difficult and sacrificial time.
Likewise, do not forget that this route is for you to be in contact with nature and, consequently, respecting the heritage and the inhabitants of these districts.