GR 249.4. Section 3. Valle de Abdalajís - El Chorro (Álora)
The Tajos del Cuervo and the Palmitos (up to km 3.5)
In the western area of the Abdalajís Valley are located the viewpoints of the Gangarro and the hermitage of Cristo de la Sierra, at an upper level over the rocks and the Nacimiento at the end of Sierra Street. Right there begins Stage 3 of Variant 249.4, ascending towards the rock walls and their metal protective screens, leaving on the left the perimeter wall and the fence of the municipal water tank. This Camino de las Angosturas has been designed at the foot of the almost vertical layers of limestone of excellent quality for sports climbing. You advance halfway through abandoned almond groves with some pine trees and when you reach a leveled widening to where a lane of dirt climbs you can see the first roads, in the Escalón Sector.
Below an electric line above, and using its access roads you reach an abandoned quarry, to follow the ascent in the middle of these spectacular palm hearts. The Tajo del Cuervo ends in a vertical scar known as the Cańadón, which marks the first stop of the road, from where it is lowered through a break to a huge hamlet, the Fresneda (km 1.7), where the concrete lane passes and the European Path Tarifa Atenas that accompanies the Variant in ascending and in a northwesterly direction.
You walk among mountain olive groves on very clear clay soils, on a steep slope, while the cuts and rocks of the now called Tajo de los Palmitos are separating from the road. After a stop you descend until you touch some rocky collapses from which the asphalt ends and leave a junction to the right that follows the PR-A 85 del Nacimiento in search of the Chapel peak.
The farmhouses of the mountains (up to km 6.5)
There are quite a few crossroads of dirt tracks, maintaining a westward direction through the main one and leaving the accesses to the workhouses. Towards the cortijo de la Rejanada the first branch is directed to the right, the Castle branch is left with its fountain next to it and the Peńascales branch below.
The climb describes some of these, just by the limit of the Natural Park, with scrub of palm hearts and brooms. By the next junction on the right, with two branches, come Stage 20 of the Great Path and the PR of ascent to the Huma, which also go west.
The old farmhouse of Puntal (km 4.8) under an arrowhead pit, composes an impressive landscape, and the compacted gravel rail is at its highest level, almost 700 meters high. Between olive groves and cattle, the farmhouse of Arrejanado is surrounded with its threshing floor, it is turned to the right, and it is in the subsequent enabled parking lot where the Paths of ascent to the Huma and the Arab Staircase begin.
The Public Mount Haza del Río (until the end of the stage)
The entrance to the farmhouse of Las Pedreras is left to the right and two of the branches approved in a new height (650 m). Place names alluding to the pits or the roughness of the terrain are redundant here, calcareous gaps that disintegrate giving an unstable floor of angular pebbles. The well-enabled lane passes through the port of Flanders and begins its determined descent through the repopulation pine forest of the Public Mount.
The enormous crest that is left from here on the right are the Castellones, but it receives different names from its main users, the climbers; the first cuts, which exceed 200 meters of altitude difference, are the High Fronts and the Arab Staircase. The Local Path with this curious name continues straight in the first curves of the lane; in reality, the stretches of steps, which are not seen from here, were built in the middle of the last century to reforest the area on the other side of the mountain range, Puerto Pizarro and El Madrońo with pine trees.
The Path, under lush pines and eucalyptus trees, now traces a series of large curves through the bottom of the valley of the River Haza, which gives its name to a Path for Public Use of the Natural Park. There are other forestry actions to prevent erosion and subsequent filling of reservoirs, such as dozens of gabion walls and albarradas in seasonal torrents. One of the curves is very close again to the walls of more than 300 meters high, the Lower Fronts, while numerous sidewalks are crossed, some of them used for mountain bike descent.
The lane continues to draw curves in continuous descent (there are more than 400 meters of altitude through the interior of the forest) while the branches that leave the pine forest are discarded, the first houses of the neighborhood of El Chorro appear and, traveling throughout the hamlet testimony of the industrial history of Malaga, you reach the Railway Station, where the Stage is finished.