This is the perfect Alpujarra round trip for everyone with a little more time then just the usual "Three Pueblos" trip in the Poqueira Valley, namely the "Cebadilla" route in Capileira. Instead of "only" walking alongside the Poqueira River this trip will first bring you to Rio Chico River - both of these Valles high up there in top "must-see" list of the Sierra Nevada area.
The trip with good 25 KM is perfect in spring and late summer as in peak summer season it will be too hot to walk as so many others here in southern spain.
You need a car for this trip because the entry point is way above Orgiva. In fact it takes a good 30 mins. from the road to Capileira to the Puente Palo. The road is almost all the time accesible. You should consider tough that for its most parts its a dirt track with sometimes heavy potholes. If you are not moving around in a lowered sports cars you should be ok - or as long you have 30-40 cm play and are adventures all is good. I have seen people driving Opel Corsas up the same road.
The first part of the route will take you along the Rio Chico Valley with its pristine pine forests and unspoiled nature until you meet the GR-7 route at the large dam you see on one of the photos. It seems that the dam was constructed to catch the debris/rocks so that the river will not become a wild ravine ragging through Orgiva or if its use was to be a water reservoir once.
From there its just a small jump to Soportujar following from here on the GR-7 long distance path all the way to Pampaneira. From Pampaneira up the Pocqueira until you meet the "official" path leading you to Puente Palo. There are at least 2 shortcuts to meet the same path going up straight from Pampaneira in direction of the Oseling Buddhist Monastery and if you are lucky you will make it less time then the official route. There are no signs - just your nose.
Once you reached the highest point of the trip above the Monastery we are back again on the most beautiful part of the track following the Acequia de Almira leading to Puente Palo (see http://www.everytrail.com/view_trip.php?trip_id=878233 for more pictures)
NOTE: if you turn off to drive up to Puento Palo on the road to Capileira and you see big yellow signs saying the road is closed or inaccessible you have three options:
1) Think un-spanish and make another trip somewhere else
2) Think spanish and ignore all signs
3) Think german and ignore all signs to go as far as you can and connect with the route from somewhere else
The part from Pampaneira up to the crossing to Puente Palo is/can be tricky because there have been a) landslides b) there are many small paths/tracks from sheeps/goats you may go astray. Just remember what ever goes down to the river will not bring you up again as there is no path in the bottom of the Poqueira Valley. If you are not sure where to go - Look for the path with the most foot prints.
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