walk 1 — Barranco Planos/Camino de la Rávita
We based this walk on Walk 9 of Twelve Walks Around Torrox by Elma Thompson, 1996. As the author states, there have been many recent changes to the area, especially the construction of new roads. All details as at 17th December 2002!

The well in the middle of Calle Bola
Another view of the well in Calle Bola
"The track to the football ground" that Mrs Thompson describes no longer exists, destroyed by the new road that sweeps from Torrox Pueblo to Torrox Costa. So though we began opposite the San Miguel distributor, climbed the Calle Bola, passing the well, turning left in Calle Estadio, continuing past the school and arrived at the Cómpeta road, the route now involves walking across the roundabout and following the new road towards Torrox Costa (the "newly-installed abravadero" has sadly been unceremoniously shoved to one side and abandoned). There is no footpath, only a white-line-protected strip beside the road — plenty of aggressive traffic in December, hate to be here in August!

Winter blossom on Calle Olivar

Near the start of Barranco Planos

A ford along Barranco Planos

There is a wide roadway on the left leading down to the football ground. Opposite, next to heap of gravel, is the start of the track. Take the right fork (going uphill). Because the lane now serves all sorts of properties along the barranco it is quite good condition. In December the stream was flowing generously, but there were stepping stones at the several concrete-based fords.

This part of the walk was perhaps the most pleasant. Savour it. You do get the feeling that this approximates what the real Spain was once like! Men are cultivating vegetable patches, picking olives. There aren't any swimming pools to be seen!

The lane burrows through sugar cane

Further up Barranco Planos

Looking back on our most troublesome stretch...the route is dead centre

We arrived at the" junction of valleys" that Mrs Thompson describes, but things have changed. I think the fig trees are still there (I'm not an expert on trees), but the track she describes "on the right" was invisible to us. I think it's been obliterated by recent regrading. In the end I managed to identify a "faint path" by following the stream upstream (not difficult) a couple of hundred metres. The path appears to wander upwards through the middle of someone's smallholding, but don't be put off.

We asked a man up an olive tree if we were going the right way and he said we were (as well as a lot of rapid Spanish which we didn't understand but which didn't sound like "bugger off you stupid Brits!"), so we persisted...it feels as if you are going to end up in someone's front room. You come first to a small building. Keep to the left of this and head to the cortijo up ahead (the one with the solar panel). At the last minute turn left between the cottage and its adjacent outbuilding and you'll see a definite track going to the right. Follow this and you skirt a large plastic greenhouse containing tomatoes. We passed people loading said fruit and they seemed amused but friendly enough, so we assumed we weren't committing some awful trespass! The track eventually joins the carretera through an imposing set of gates, guarded by concrete hawks. Quite what you do if these gates are locked I don't know!

Turn left and walk along the road, avoiding being squashed by large lorries, until, just past the K4 milepost, there's an entrance on the right. Sadly the ridge track that is supposed to head southwards from here, Camino de la Rávita, has vanished, replaced by a lane serving a series of newly-done-up cottages and new houses along the ridge, complete with building rubble, water tanks and assorted swimming pools. It is now a sort of saunter through tacky suburbia, with views of more of the same. Ho hum.

Anyway, you are soon back in Torrox Pueblo, where you can lose yourself in its tangle of streets.

A view north eastwards from what was once the Camino de la Rávita

Isn't this attractive..not! Masts, houses and Torrox Costa in the distance

We look down on Torrox Pueblo

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