GR 249. Stage 16: Cuevas Bajas - Alameda
La Loma de Andrés
Andrés Hill at the beginning take rambla above the Barranco Hondo, under the road bridge where bred wild pigeons, passing beside some livestock ships, until it crosses the river and begins to rise. This puts the traveller between the Burriana River, to the East and the Barranco Hondo to the West.
At the top of the Hill is the huge farmhouse Pajariego, the first of the day, among olive groves and dry. The hill can see both valleys and the town of Villanueva de Algaidas. It descends a little and you reach kilometer 4, where ends the coincidence with the GR-7 E-4 and Camino Mozárabe. Here is a break of 90° to the West and still roam the farmland.
Las Lagunas del Cortijo de la Sarteneja
The next farmhouse is San Ramón (or Casa del Conde on maps) with a wide esplanade, and next comes the Sarteneja. These lagoons are at kilometre 7, in a small depression between soft hills occupied by olive groves, somwhat away from the road, to the south. The track, goes by the third pond to the right a bit later; the lagoon, El Perezón, seems to have lent its name to the whol surounding area. The access is on a service road of the A-45 to cross to the other side on a road bridge at km 83 of the road. Until thee is another road , to Palenciana, you walk through the Cortijo de las Capillas and Cortijo Realengo.
The wooldland islands
The walk climbs slightly upto a mall farm with silos in the area it is known as Vega Alta, and then the path descends to the farmhouse of the Serafina, at km 16. Right next to the house there are some pockets of Holm oak, as a souvenir left over from what the area used to be. Due to the high productivity of the land, it is probably one of the best Holm oak groves of Andalusia. Some patches of mountains remain visible far away in the distance from the walk, especially the biggest north of the farmhouse. Almost immediatelly after coming upon it you ford the Arroyo Gaen (km18) having passed the farmhouse called Duende (Goblin). You will have the bird´s view over the rocky moutain tops covered in trees. After a short section through the Yedrecillo and you arrive comfortably at the Ventorrillo junction, east of the town of Alameda where stage 16 ends.
1. Initiation Stage:
Access Starting point: from Villanueva de Algaidas the MA-720.
Starting point: Barranco Hondo, the ravine and riverbed of Burriana, after crossing the village of Cuevas Bajas, at the south-western tip of the village.
Enjoy the walk safely: A stage as long as this one, even without big elevation gain, must be planned carefully. There are is no water points on the walk, at least with public access, and abandoning the walk in the event of problems could be a bit complicated. Although the path is public for the most part, the properties are not, neither the buildings nor crops. We must try not to disturb the normal functioning of these farms.
2. Completion of Stage:
Access to finish point: Alameda can be reached from La d de Andalucía (SE-775), Fuente de Piedra (MA-701), Mollina (MA-703)
or from the Autovía A-45 by the MA-708.
Finish point: Junction of the Ventorrillo, in the vicinity of Alameda.
Possible "escape routes": each of the large farmhouses can be reached by at least one main lane in very good condition which inevitably becomes a road at the end. You also walk above the A-45 up to km 83 and cross the road to Palenciana (MA-709).
No return point: his long stage requires you to consider the possible escape routes mentioned above, considering that there are no pueblos which would be closer than the ones at the start (and at the end). In whichever case, starting from km 9 at the motorway it is best o continue towards Alameda.
Connections to other footpaths and trails: Right at the kilometre 4 begins a stretch of asphalt where a double signal is located.
It corresponds to the variant of the GR-7 E-4 between Antequera and Cuevas Bajas which it links with the north to Córdoba. This walk leads form Cartaojal at this point and is also used as the Camino Mozárabe de Málaga. Both of these walks lead in the opposite direction to the GR-249 till las Cuevas Bajas.
In terms of the traditional paths, from Cuevas Bajas up to the farmhouse of Pajariego you are on the Pajariego track approximately up to 2.5 km. From 13 to 17.5 kilometres is the path of Villanueva de Algaidas and from km 20 it is the Camino de Cuevas Bajas. These two last Caminos branch out to the east of the town of Alameda. Cuevas Bajas district is exactly on the border with Cordoba or gets into the neighbouring province at times and the Villanueva de Algaidas is located a little
more towards the south.