We will pass through a total of 10 wooden gates (locally known as angarillas) that we must remember to close to prevent the cattle from crossing from one ranch to another. We should also have in mind, specially in the rainy seasons, that the track can be a bit uncomfortable to walk through due to the sticky mud in the Dehesa de Jimera and the rest of clayey trails of this section. Also be careful when crossing the different fords, as the river levels can be high because of the rain. Please do not disturb the livestock that graze in the field, specially the cattle. Although cows are gentle animals, they are easily enraged when bothered and may charge at you; should we find any in the middle of the track, we should best make a detour and resume the trail further on. The puente de los Alemanes (Bridge of the Germans), which is 60 metres high, does not currently have any security fences, so we should take precautions, specially if we want to look over the bridge to see the bottomless abyss below. The descent towards the charco del Moro is very steep and slippery, so it is recommendable to use alpenstocks. Up to the scattered houses of Siete Pilas (Benalauría), our track coincides with the itinerary of the GR-249, Gran Senda de Málaga (Great Track of Málaga). As with the first section of the track, Jimera de Líbar, Cañada del Real Tesoro (Estación de Cortes) and El Colmenar (Estación de Gaucín) are all connected by the Algeciras-Ronda railway, which allows us to combine both sections. ADIF-RENFE Information number: 902320320.
We will follow the course of the river Guadiaro along this section of the track, which will take us from Jimera de Líbar to El Colmenar (also known as Estación de Gaucín). The latter belongs to the town of Cortes de la Frontera. Most of our journey runs along the left river bank, through meadows, woodland and farmlands that stretch over the inter-stream ridge that separates us from the Valle del Genal (Valle of the Genal). A succession of medium-height mountain ranges dominate the fields, such as the sierras del Conio, Benadalid, Benalauría, del Fraile and del Hacho. On the other side we will always see the grey limestone of the macizo de Líbar (massif of Líbar), which is the most eastern area of the Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park and runs parallel to the river Guadiaro. Only at the end of this section of the track, when we get to the narrow cañón de las Buitreras (canyon of las Buitreras), a protected area and Natural Monument in Andalusia, will we cross to the opposite river bank to finish our journey. We can also choose to take the detour of the Gran Senda de la Serranía de Ronda (Great Track of the Serranía de Ronda), that will take us from the Laguna Honda, near the town of Cañada del Real Tesoro and back to the main route through the Pasada del Bujeo del Álamo.
The Great Serranía de Ronda Path is a circular walk which allows us to see a great part of the Serranía de Ronda through its six stages.
It is well known that one of the best ways to explore a place is by visiting its countryside and enjoying the landscape away from the roads. This is definitely the case of the Serranía de Ronda, as here, due to some practical reasons, the modern roads were not made over the old roads which had connected villages like in some other areas.
Actually, there is a whole world full of stories, legends, fountains, springs, old farmsteads, mills and houses waiting to be discovered. You just need to park your car, put your hiking boots on and follow the path.
The Great Serranía de Ronda Path is waiting for you. Moreover, you will not be alone on this trip. The trail goes through most of the small villages in the Serranía de Ronda, where you can get some rest and have a meal in its small bars or restaurants, buy food for your trip or even stay overnight in country houses or small hotels.
Go past the Jimera de Libar village and its old washing place. The path spreads along the middle of the hillside, on the left shore of the river, through meadows with cork oaks, olive groves and mountain farmsteads with amazing views of the Sierra de Líbar.
At so called ‘Deep Lake’ [Laguna Honda], you can go to the Cañada Real de Tesoro village or Cortes Train Station in order to have a drink or something to eat, or you can continue walking straight on to your destination. Soon after you have gone past the village, two ways join and lead to the entrance to Las Buitreras Canyon at the Germans’ Bridge (Puente de los Alemanes), one of the most beautiful and breathtaking sites in the valley. Here, you are likely to see groups of people ready to go rafting in their wetsuits.
Then, the trail goes across the river and alongside its right shore, round Moro [Moorish] Pond and over a rather spectacular hanging bridge right before coming to a peaceful village of Colmenar or Gaucín Train Station, where the second stage ends.