GR 249. Stage 29: Casares - Estepona
La intención es el trabajo personal que se corresponde con la etapa del cuerpo. Al comienzo de esta etapa y durante su recorrido abordaremos “La Intención”. Significa tomar conciencia o reflexionar sobre la finalidad o función que perseguimos en nuestra mente a la hora de tomar decisiones, para qué vamos a realizar este camino, cuál es nuestro verdadero sentido e intención en cada paso que damos.
La importancia de este proceso reside en comenzar a caminar con el objetivo en nuestra mente, decidir firmemente nuestros proyectos para crear un motor de acción continua que proporcionará actitud e iniciativa. Es un recorrido para caminar con sentido, incorporando la intención firme de realizarlo con la tranquilidad desde el momento presente.
Representa nuestro kilómetro cero o punto de partida, el comienzo de todas las manifestaciones, un lugar tanto físico como emocional, desde donde comenzamos nuestro camino hacia el interior y el viaje por La Gran Senda para poder guiar tu vida hacia donde realmente sientes y quieres.
1. Initiation Stage:
Access Starting point: Casares is very close to the coastline with its motorways Autovías A-7 y AP-7. You can arrive directly using the motorways via the MA-8300 road or connecting from Manilva, the A-377 which goes to Gaucín and then taking the A-7150. Estepona can be reached from Casares directly via a road with no official number which splits off the MA-8300
and passes through Los Pedregales.
Finish point: A little footbridge of Paseo
Starting point: Calle de la Carrera, very close to Plaza de España, in the village of Casares.
Enjoy the walk safely: A stage of this length and diffi culty level needs to be carefully planned. Fortunately, and as stated above, there are many escape routes and also a possibility of dividing the walk into two legs.
The two road sections are short, without too much traffi c and generally the visibility is good. This doesn´t mean you shouldn´t take care when walking along theses sections. The country tracks have even less traffi c. Perhaps the Acedía and Valle del Padrón can possibly get a bit busier.
The many streams you need to cross do not tend to pose any danger and any bigger watercourses are rather token ones. There is
no possibility to stock up on water unless you take a detour to Parque de Los Pedregales, a public area of Estepona. What you do need to address is the possibility of sunstroke in Sierra Bermeja, which faces south and is virtually devoid of shade along the deforested areas.
High voltage power lines, which keep the GR company in the sierra, could be potentially dangerous. You must not touch the electricity towers under any circumstances, especially during rain or thunderstorms.
2. Completion of Stage:
Access to finish point: The relevant roads are Autovía A-7 and the Autopista de Peaje AP-7, there is also a direct road from Serranía de Ronda which arrives in the centre of Estepona coming from Jubrique and which is used by the Gran Senda de Málaga during one section, the MA-8301.
Finish point: A little footbridge of Paseo Marítimo de Estepona over the Río de la Cala, in the eastern part of Playa de la Cala.
Possible "escape routes”: It is worth knowing that the 29, being such a long and hard stage, has good escape routes on both sides of the roads it crosses. Towards Casares you proceed to the left on the fi rst section of the tarmac. The second section of the tarmac takes you down to Estepona. In the middle, the best point to abandon the walk, also proposed as possible point where you can divide the stage in two, is the Parque de Los Pedregales (km 13.5).
No return point: The only section to keep in mind is the Sierra Bermeja, given the abovementioned escape routs. There, once you have gone up the highest point of the itinerary, it still doesn´t matter if you continue or go back. Once you arrive at the track again it is recommended that you continue. In the fi nal section, however, once the tracks start leading downhill again it is best to continue, following them to the end, as they get you closer and closer to Estepona.
Connections to other footpaths and trails: From Casares there are many walks towards Sierra Crestellina, which do not affect this stage, and towards Río Manilva and los Baños de la Hedionda, which are below the pueblo. The latter coincide with the Gran Senda de Málaga entirely or in parts.
The GR leaves from Casares the same way as the PR A-163 Casares-Estepona. Up to the Cerro de la Horca, just as you start walking, they coincide, but then the walk which connects the villages splits off to the left and comes back to the GR at Loma de Matute, sign-posed as leading to Cortijo del Robledal and then as it leads below it is marked with an information panel of Cerro de los Higos, in the opposite direction to the Gran Senda. This PR passes through la Puerta de los Pedregales, which
makes it one of the circular options.Again at the beginning of the stage, it is sign-posted as SL 8 la Ruta del Camino deJimena, which leads to the right from Puerto de la Cruz. Right at the beginning there is an information panel for the suggested walk.
The PR A-162 Manilva-Casares leads downhill on a track from the last village and the GR-249 abandons it close to the ford of Arroyo de los Molinos, at a gate, when the two walks have covered 2.1 km together.
This gate has a sign explaining a local programme to sign-post walks; one of them continues together with the GR. It is called Ruta 2 Arroyo Hondo-Los Molinos and it is described in the opposite direction to the GR. There are other similar walks, 9 of them in total. One of these walks also leads to Arroyo Hondo (northwards) and coincides with the GR at the road access.
The next advertised walk is called SL 3 Pasada del Pino-La Acedía. Like the other 8, it hasn´t been offi cially approved by the Federación Andaluza de Montañismo although it uses a similar colour scheme for signposting.
In this case the proposed walk is circular and coincides with the Gran Senda when it runs along the Barranco de La Acedía;
however they are also described in opposite directions. The two walks separate at the end of a forest track in the Monte Público de La Acedía, turning into paths.
The PR A-164 is the code for Estepona- Los Reales walk and it starts where the PR Casares-Estepona ends. It crosses the Gran
Senda along a ridge which ascends boldly from the coast after you ford the Guadalobón. Both itineraries meet at km 20.
Finally, the GR-92 E-12 Senda del Mediterráneo leads from Almería to Málaga along the coast and as you are fi nishing this
stage, willy-nilly you will cross that path. This gives the GR-249 walker the possibility of covering the only part of the Costa del Sol, eastwards, which is not described in the main itinerary, the section corresponding to the districts of Casares and Manilva up to Punta Chullera.