Tuesday, 1 October 2013

EL TORCAL - 1100 hectars of natural landscape

El Torcal of Antequera

EL TORCAL - a Real Natural Beauty

El Torcal is situated only 30 km north of Malaga and it is about 12 square kilometer of natural area. Official marketing material describe it as a "surreal and lunar grey limestone plateau, dating from the Jurassic period". And this is right so. The area was covered with water 150 million years ago but violent earth movements forced the ground upwards into mountains where some tops are 1300 m high. This place is easily reached by car. The information center is new and modern with plenty of parking space. It offers maps and other information, has a café, a multimedia presentation and an exhibition. 

El Torcal is situated up on this plateau.

A very photographic scenery.

Shadows in the evening sun.

There is no accommodation in El Torcal but nearby villages offer hotel services. The flora and fauna is surprisingly rich. Over 650 plant species including 30 varieties of orchid has been recorded and the area is rich of birdlife. On our visits we have seen eagles, smaller lizards and Iberian Ibex. There are also other mammals and reptiles.  For  more details see www.juntadeandalucia.es. Photographers visit the place after 19.00 hours to avoid the strong sunlight and wait for the sunset. El Torcal also organizes special photo events during lunar conditions and early morning hours. It is, however, possible to visit El Torcal at any time free of cost. The service house closes at 19.00 but the hiking routes are open. The longer route takes at least 2,5 hours and the shorter maybe an hour. With photography in mind you can probably at least double these times.

How do they stick together ?

This is not the worst passage 

Iberian Ibex

The two routes are marked with green or yellow colors all the way through. Except where the colors have eroded away. You then sit down, take a sip of your WATER bottle because it can be really hot and take a wild quess what direction seems the most logical. Some passages are VERY narrow but they all are passable. Proper shoes is a good idea.


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