GR 249. 27. Etappe: Benalauría - Genalguacil
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1. Initiation Stage:
Access Starting point: The only possibility is to use the MA 8306, which leaves from the A-369 between Ronda and Gaucín.
Starting point: Plaza del General Viñas, in Benalauría.
Enjoy the walk safely: The distance between the starting and finish point is very attainable but walking along the
road in between is complicated. It is advisable to plan your return or your overnight stay well.
The two intersections of Algatocín to Jubrique road and especially the little stretch you have to walk along this road to cross the river Genal must be approached with caution. There is no usable hard shoulder and there are two diffi cult bends
before and after the bridge. (km 6.3).
Although the path which runs along the river Genal has been designed with walking in mind, minimising any risks, the riverbed is quite formidable and the water level can rise substantially, to the point of becoming dangerous. Common sense must be used in case of storms or long periods of rain even if it may result in your having to cancel your walking.
2. Completion of Stage:
Access to finish point: From the A-369, the MA-8305 takes you to the intersection of the MA-8304 which accesses Genalguacil. Starting point is before the village. It is also possible to come from Estepona, either directly
along the MA-8302 or through Jubrique via the MA-8301.
Finish point: Pistas Polideportivas Municipales de Genalguacil, (sports centre) close to Venta Las Cruces.
Possible "escape routes": It is feasible to leave at Venta San Juan, on the MA-8305 at km 7 marker, close to Venta San Juan.
No return point: For the fi rst section this would be before Puente de San Juan; and the intersection with the path to Molino Almenta is your chosen point of no return. As for the second part of the stage, once you have passed Arroyo Hondo it is best to continue ahead.
Connections to other footpaths and trails: The path which comes down from Benalauría to the river has been known as Camino de Jubrique. It used to lead to the other side at the Charco Esteban. Locally, the name Camino del Molino Almenta is used more often.
It is registered as Vía Pecuaria (right of way) path, second class. It is a known fact that in the past the riverbed of Río Genal itself used to serve as a path, the Camino de la Costa, with direction to La Línea. The riverbed was completely devoid of vegetation back then. Once the water level has risen, paths started appearing along both river banks, especially given the fact that there were not many permanent bridges and the riverbed was very winding.
The Puente de San Juan bridge was one of those places chosen to cross to the other side because of its strategic position; it lead
along the Camino de Estepona passing through Jubrique. Such was the signifi cance of the crossing that the construction of the viaduct was started much earlier compared to similar places in the region. These traditional paths have been adapted to modern times with the conception of Senderos de Pequeño Recorrido (Short Distance Paths). The Gr-249 is accompanied by two short-distance paths on the way to Benalauría, until the Bailadero: the PR A-291 from Jubrique to Benalauría and the PR A-238
from Benalauría to Algatocín.
The new Camino de Jubrique from Algatocín leads down to the Genal and keeps on crossing the road time and time again until it finally matches the Gran Senda de Málaga at its fi rst intersection with MA-8305 and up to the bridge. The A-240 (from Benarrabá to Genalguacil) crosses the Río Genal through el Prado de la Escribana. This is another walk offi cially approved by the mountain federation Federación Andaluza de Montaña. The walk is about 5 km long, takes close to 3 hours and coincides with the GR until the destination village. There is a Descansadero also used as Abrevadero (former lives tock rest stop and a watering station) at the Prado de la Escribana, as the Prado used to be an obligatory stop along another Camino de Estepona. The SL A-157 Prado de la Escribana also meets the GR in that spot.