All across rugged, mountainous and karstic landscape, this path crosses Jobo Mountain which is part of the mountain range of the Sierra de Camorolos, included in Natura 2000 because of its significant plant and animal life.
Although it has all the ingredients to become a Natural Park, the Central Limestone Arc that this section crosses, has not yet received the title. Each village around this upland area has its own portion of the mountain pastures, and so the route passes through the areas of Alfarnate, Villanueva del Trabuco and Villanueva del Rosario. This section shares the pathway with numerous other hiking routes (6 PRs, 1 SL and 2 GRs). It takes two sharp turns in the heart of the Sierra de Camarolos, whose highest summit is El Chamizo at 1,641 metres above sea level.
The initial part climbs up between the Sierra del Jobo and the Sierra de San Jorge mountain ranges, in a north-westerly direction up to a treetop adventure park. Turning south-west here, between Sierra Gorda and El Chamizo, it then climbs up to the pass of El Quejigo or Llano de la Cueva (the Cave Plateau). At 1,385 metres, this is the highest point on the entire Gran Senda. Continuing in the same direction, it descends to Hondonero and the turn-off to Tajo de la Madera. At this point, it changes direction for a second time and heads north-west towards Villanueva del Rosario.
The combination of the mountain trails and an average Height above SLe of almost 1,100 metres, give the stage a very mountainous feel. The predominant limestone and dolomite rock cause steep slopes, rocky outcrops and karstic landscapes, means it is very difficult terrain to walk on if you stray from the paths. Both at the beginning and at the end of the route however, there are fairly well-preserved tracks. The natural surroundings are quite exceptional, with forests of Holm and Portuguese (or Gall) Oaks, Maples and Pines. Other stand out elements are the pastureland, the Mediterranean False Brome grasses and above all, the lakes of the Hondoneros Dehesa (an estate with a traditional system of cleared woodland). It is also well worth keeping an eye out for the numerous wells, springs, threshing floors, huts and zahurdas (a stone pigsty) in the Sierra.
Landscapes, both around Alfarnate at the beginning and towards Hondonero and the Comarca of Antequera at the end, are worth stopping for. In fact, there is an interpretive panel in Hondonero that you can take some time analyzing. The karst topography creates cliffs like Tello, Hondonero or the Tajo de Madera, large, high quality rock to practice climbing, as many climbing schools do.
There is also a via ferrata, not too high level of diffi culty, in the Cerro de Cazorla mountain. The forests of Holm oaks and Portuguese oaks, thickets of Hawthorn and Cistus, laston grass fi elds and hedgehog broom in the high mountains, stands of maples of the Dehesa de Hondonero; all are a powerful attraction for botanists. And where there is such a variety of plants there is also an abundance of animals, especially birds, reptiles and amphibians being the most conspicuous, not to mention the Spanish Ibex or the elusive Roe Deer.
There are a number of karstic lakes, undoubtedly interesting from an environmental point of view. Given the terrain, the human heritage elements here are quite dispersed, and isn´t easy to spot. Thus please note the wells and fountains, threshing circles and the huts and cave shelters such as the Cueva in the Puerto del Quejigo.