GR 249.4. Section 2. Antequera - Valle de Abdalajís
The plateau at the foot of the mountain range (up to km 6.3)
The exit of the second Stage of Variant 249.4 is made from the upper part, to the south, of Antequera, near the A-343 road and with views of the Alcazaba and the Collegiate Church. The Watchtower Park is a charming landscape outside whose perimeter wall begins to ascend using the most marked branch of the numerous yellowland sidewalks. 400 meters from the beginning, a communications tower and the link to the short SL-A 51 de las Arquillas, which goes halfway up the hill, are left on the right.
The wooded area above corresponds to the 84 hectares of pine forest that the Periurban Park and Public Mount of the Hacho have, where it is reached by a firewall taken by the esparteras that when crown goes through a few plains of dolomitic sands. To the west, on the peak at 727 meters of altitude to control the network of roads to the north, you can see the Nasrid battlement tower of the Hacho.
From the highest point, an area of rocks making a small gully, is lowered ignoring a lane to which a little later it is mouthed and that descends among olive trees. It is joined from the left by a secondary branch, the Way of Wires, which from here is followed. This runs parallel for one kilometer to the Abdalajís Valley A-343 road, leaving a tourist accommodation on the left and then some agricultural warehouses on the right. Now you have to cross the road at kilometer 12, in the direction of the lane of the Arco de la Magdalena farmhouse. The Path is tracing a semicircle along the southern slope of the olive hill to, making a sudden break again to the south, contact a main lane, the Cordel de Antequera to Malaga.
Soon a smaller one links to this track along which the Mozarabic Way is traced from Antequera (km 4.8), which joins the Variant. This is a first-rate crossing at the height of the Buenavista farmhouse, where the Vereda de la Pesquera and La Dehesilla also converges, which comes from the east through these moors of little relief. With the skirt of the mountain range near the lane is losing width, the crops are finished and from the left now comes the Local Path of the Stairway, which Stage 1 of the GR 249.4 saw begin at the Birth of the Villa.
The path of the Escaleruela and the limestone mountains (up to km 13.0)
The Cordel from Antequera to Malaga, which is the one that the three Approved Paths have now been using together, undertakes the hazardous ascent of the Escaleruela. The pavement has had to be restored in a couple of sections, with different success, and you have to pay attention to taking the correct branch, because there are trails that go further to the right describing curves near the ravine.
This ancient road has always been the best alternative to join the Llanos de Antequera with the Guadalhorce as it passes through Malaga, and goes between two rocky masses, the Tajo de las Mesas on the right, where there is a via ferrata, and the Tajo de Roque, which is staying on the left. Above, with a prominent shape, you can see the Comedian's Stone, which the cemented Path rubs on the right at the end of the zigzags in ascending pine forest; below this is another branch without modern modifications. This is a good viewpoint, from which on clear days the Sierra de Arcas with Cartaojal stand out in the plain to the northeast and to the northwest those of Humilladero and Mollina, with this town in the middle.
At the highest point of the day is the Navazo with its farmhouse (km 8.3), and the lane section begins that, with various works, is not left until the end. And it is precisely this road that marks the western limit of the Natural Park. Here the mountain relief shows a kind of elongated, flat and fertile island, between the Sierra de Chimenea to the west (where there was a watchtower) and Sierra Pelada and the Torcal to the east, with its rugged relief. The navas that give the place its name are three, the first being that of the port. The second is triangular, a slight stream without surface drainage at the southern end is the only farmhouse; to the left is also the third, Majada Larga, the furthest from the lane and where there is an old burial.
More or less here you enter the municipality of Villanueva de la Concepción, which will be traveled for about 2 kilometers. In a gentle descent through a very open ravine of reddish soil you reach the junction of the main lane that goes up to the Cortijo de la Fuenfría. Going down the cemented curve, the Robledillo mansion is left high while in front of the only wooded area of the landscape, Cerro del Águila, appears in front. To the left, by a dirt track where there is a fountain, the GR 245 Camino Mozarabic de Málaga splits. At kilometer 11.3 there is a new junction; the left branch is the one that follows the SL-A 22 La Escaleruela, near its end in the hamlet of La Higuera.
The Variant, on the other hand, ascends and the first holm oaks appear at the head of a deep gully. This is the flank of Cerro del Águila, and looking back appear to the east the southern and highest escarpments of the Torcal de Antequera, highlighting the Saltadero and the Tagus of the Mirror. Then the wooded groves with the pasture and some crosses follow, always taking the left and leaving a house on the right that marks the maximum level of this stretch with 922 meters of altitude, the end of the municipality of Villanueva de la Concepción and at kilometer point 12, where a sudden break is made. Between two wooded hills, but crossing an old olive grove, you reach a hole with farm houses and large farmhouses, the Huts.
The farmhouses and farmhouses (until the end of the stage)
Crossing between the livestock houses of the latter and the main source, you climb a little to a new high with exceptional panoramic views, since on clear days you can see the two peaks at higher altitude in the province, the Torrecilla to the west and the Maroma to the east, and much of the coastal mountains of Malaga. In this last kilometer of travel, it has been progressively turned west leaving the southerly direction.
From these hills that border the fields of cultivation you can see below the farmhouse of La Higuera, with countless scattered houses, when you reach the asphalt (km 13.8) and a four-star hotel later, the Fuente del Sol. A long slope leads to the Jewel, which appears as the Hoya on ancient maps and is perhaps a name more in line with the place where this population center of about 400 inhabitants is located.
You cross the hamlet passing through the central square (km 15.8) and crossing the Aljibe stream with the MA-4402 road you take to the left, where there is an era, the main track of the Camino de Málaga to Antequera. After a stretch without slopes or deviations, the clay hills have generated a headwaters of a stream, that of the Hawthorn, which is solved by the highest levels, so you climb to the watershed where the ruins of the painter's farmhouse are. The views to the north allow you to see the striking rocky promontory of the Cortijo del Castillo, with its battlement tower. For about 400 meters the lane is also the border between Antequera and the Abdalajís Valley, whose municipality of just 22 km2 is almost completely surrounded by the first. Cerro Alto is the one that is staying on the right, and the end of the long curve of one and a half kilometers that the Path has described is marked by the crossing towards the Fuente Abad farmhouse (km 19.9), which is on the left little visible.
At the next junction, the lane that descends is ignored to leave a solar garden on the left, pass under a high voltage line and start the last descent. You can already see the Abadalajís Valley very close when you reach the paved access lane to the houses in the area. They can be appreciated very well from the successive natural viewpoints that follow the town and its surroundings, always taking the main lane that goes along the watershed. The Sierra del Valle de Abdalajís stands out behind, an enclave of exceptional geomorphological and landscape value, with the Chapel peak as the maximum level, separated from the Charcón by a chair and with the escarpments and citrus fruits of the Muela and the Picacho as an amphitheater of this beautiful white town. There, on La Vińuela Street and near the Iron Bridge, this long stage ends.