Rivers and Waters
The Fuente del Sacristán spring gives name to the whole area, including the nearby farmhouse. It must have been very important, not only as the point of a water supply which had a good reputation in the village, but also as a reference point giving name to the road. The nearby Sierra de Archidona mountain range provides a water supply which merits the continued care of its environment.
The Hoz de Marín stream only gains that name close to Archidona, near where you exit this Stage to enter the town, it is still called the Arroyo de la Fuente de la Loma. The tributaries which feed from the north into this watercourse from left to right are Arroyo de la Acequia de Caballero, Arroyo del Sequillo and Arroyo de la Negra, with the Arroyo de los Pirineos entering from the south.
The Gran Senda de Málaga introduces you to the Arroyo de la Negra stream which runs parallel to east, up-stream you cross its river bed. In this part the bank vegetation has been altered, with only some tall black poplars and other insubstantial trees. The plants that do prosper are the rushes and bulrushes. The scarce bank side vegetation does not prevent the stream hosting an important fish and amphibian fauna. Some 500 metres before reaching the stream, the torrential rains of 2012 have provoked a 2 metre deep gully in the clayey ground, allowing the walker to recognize the many different sediment layers.
The Arroyo del Sequillo gully, is of a lesser fl ow and length than that of the Negra (until it is joins with an irrigation ditch), you will cross it higher upstream when walking to beside the motorway, here, just a small stream among the Holm oaks.
Although they are not on our path, there are lakes near Archidona, to the east and situated near to the motorway A-92M.
Lastly, the longest descent of the day leads you to cross the Arroyo de la Cerca gully besides Villanueva de Tapia. The softness of the clays on which the olive groves are grown has been deeply scarred by uncontrolled gullies which the locals have tried to repair and prevent with varying results. There are still some poplars, but more common are the brambles which grow in the earthy slopes. The Fuente de la Alameda is close to the village, but perhaps the most curious place name is that of the Fuente de Allalantes, which you will pass on your right as you reach the end of the section.
This stage of the walk starts off with the views towards the Sierra de Archidona quarries and as it continues it takes you through cultivated areas harbouring large specimens of holm oak. You will be walking through a patch of well-preserved dehesa and then, for the first time, you will step into a large extension of olive tree monoculture.
In the Archidona area you will see Rock Dove, Eurasian Collared Dove, Pallid, Common and Alpine Swifts, White Wagtail, Common and Red-rumped Swallows, House and Crag Martin, Black Redstart, Common and Spotless Starling and House Sparrow. Once you leave the urban area behind, your attention is drawn to the mountain views and species such as Common Kestrel, Blue Rock Thrush, Western Jackdaw and Red-billed Chough, which are seen in the distance, as well as some large raptors such as Golden, Short-toed and Bonelli´s Eagle or the Peregrine Falcon. Eagle Owl can also be found in the area.
Species associated with crop fields are mainly the following: Crested Lark, European Robin, Common Blackbird, Sardinian Warbler, Common Chiffchaff, Spotless and Common Starling, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Common Linnet and Serin. The scattered holm oak trees at this section add the presence of Common Buzzard, Long-eared Owl, Great Tit, Raven and Common Chaffinch.
Once you cross the motorway you will enter an area of dehesa where you may see Common Wood Pigeon, European Turtle Dove, Cuckoo, Hoopoe, Mistle and Song Thrush, Western Orphean and Sardinian Warbler, Common Blackbird, Common Chiffchaff, Spotted Flycatcher, Short-toed Treecreeper, Woodchat and Southern Grey Shrike, Blue Tit, Long-tailed Tit, and the quite visible, joyful flocks of Azure-winged Magpies and Hawfinches.
Now all you have left to do is walking down towards Villanueva de Tapia. Entering an olive grove you will be able to see some of the already mentioned species plus Eurasian Stone-curlew, Red-legged Partridge, Red-necked Nightjar, Crested Lark and, mainly, finches. As you arrive in the village the typical urban dwellers appear again.