Rivers and Waters
A quiet wander is recommended through the orchards in the fi rst part of the walk to the dry stone walls forming steps at the foot of an irrigation channel supplied with water from a large pool that you’ll see later near Canillas de Albaida.
The attachment of this village to water is apparent when, along the way, you see the ornamental water channel below the chapel Ermita de Santa Ana. Beneath the village, a bridge sign-posted as the Puente Romano, situated in the area of the Molino, has served as a crossing point of the Rio Frío for many centuries. The river is a result of the nearby confluence of Cajula (which will be on your right for a long stretch) and Turvilla (de la Real in some maps and in others Las Allanás). The bridge is practically sandwiched between wild fi g trees and willows that grow in the enclosed river bed. In the more open areas there is Erect Dorycnium, Oleander, and, on a small shady cliff, Ephedra and Juniper.
Before arriving at Salares, you will pass by the Umbría de Haro below the farmhouse, and wade across the Arroyo de los Álamos (also known as Fogarate) which is a tributary of the Salares River that you’ll also cross, using the excellently restored Arabic bridge.
There is no direct access to the river bed but it has interesting bank-side vegetation and subtropical orchards on both banks. During this section, just before entering the town village limits of Sedella, you’ll be walking uphill along one of the canals that carries water down, in this case rapidly, from the mountains towards the cultivated plants. Later, you will the Río de la Puente on the outskirts of the village, after you have descended to the Cortijo dela Herriza, but the mountainous character of the river only allows meager Oleanders to grow in this area.
You will find the mill Molino de Montosa, which has recently been restored, above Sedella, passing by several well cared-for orchards.You will be able to see the water wheel and its paddles, but pay attention to the huge masonry wall that directs the water to the storage deposit at the rear of the building.It is also possible to see the large pool, shaped to the contours of the land,that ensured the constant supply of water during the milling. Lastly, the Almanchares River is famous for its barranco, one of the most rugged and longest ravines of the Sierra Tejeda. Upstream, where the path crosses it, there is a possibility of doing some canyoning, which here is medium diffi culty level. There are about 8 abseiling descents, not very high, at the most 15 meters, and the access to the top is by the high canal which is accessed from the Área Recreativa La Rahige (between Canillas de Aceituno and Sedella). The waters which fall from La Maroma are clear, but their level drops signifi cantly during the summer.
Stage 7 leads through the total of 5 settlements which makes it very anthropic (or transformed by humans) in character, with plenty of crop fields. The watercourses mingle with woodland and the plant formations consisting of pine trees and holm oaks demonstrate a part of the potential vegetation of the area.
This is a stage of the walk which, in major part, takes you to areas marked by human influence. You will visit the total of five towns and their surroundings, so the urban-dwelling species of birds are abundant. Eurasian Collared Dove, Common and Pallid Swifts, Barn Swallow, House Martin, Crag Martin, White Wagtail, Black Redstart, Common Blackbird, Great Tit, Spotless and Common Starling, House Sparrow, Goldfinch and Serin are the leading species of Stage 7. Additionally to these species, in the areas with orchards and vegetable gardens found between Cómpeta and Canillas de Albaida, you can see Stonechat, Great Tit, Common Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Greenfinch and Serin, which will continue to appear throughout Stage 7.
In the woods of Aleppo and Maritime pines you can also see Common Wood Pigeon, European Turtle Dove, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Mistle and Song Thrush, Great and Coal Tit, Crested Tit, Short-toed Treecreeper, Common Chaffinch and Crossbill. Additionally, in the copses of holm oak, we should add to the list the Blue Tit, Eurasian Jay, Spotted Flycatcher and Eurasian Siskin.
You will also be walking through some open scrubland, predominantly composed of broom and it is in this type of environment where the Crested Lark becomes the star species, together with such birds as Red-legged Partridge, Zitting Cisticola and Sardinian Warbler. The water channels and any other places where water is present close to main riverbeds are the best spots to see Blackcap, Wren and Golden Oriole, and to enjoy the Nightingale´s and Cetti´s Warbler´s song.
What is more, the closeness of the mountains makes finding the great raptors easier, such as Griffon Vulture, Bonelli´s and Golden Eagle, as well as the typical forest species of birds of prey which also manage to find some suitable nesting spots in this area (mainly Short-toed Eagle, Booted Eagle, Eurasian Sparrowhawk and Common Buzzard).The list of birds can be rounded up by adding Common Kestrel, Peregrine Falcon, Little Owl, Scops Owl, Tawny Owl, Cuckoo, Green Woodpecker, Hoopoe, Bee-eater, Cirl Bunting and Corn Bunting.