Recent guests of ours, Ned and Elaine, have been kind enough to let me share their incredible blog about walking the Genal Valley. You will never find a more detailed and fascinating trip file.
This walking guide to the whole of the Genal Valley (i.e. not just our bit, the Alto Genal) is an amazing and unique resource and we are very happy that they are anxious to spread the word about this pristine, virtually undiscovered area of Andalucia which frankly deserves more press! But there lies the paradox of tourism. Our guests always are amazed that they encounter not a single other person while walking the trails in our valley. If there were more publicity, the pristine quality would disappear. What tourism seeks to sell is soon destroyed by hordes of people.
Here is a link to their blog. Copy and paste this URL into your browser. If the link doesn´t work, simply cut and paste into your browser. http://hiking.topicwise.com/doc/GenalValley
A massive amount of work has gone into it – quite mind-boggling – so do explore it and share it with your walking friends.
Ned and Elaine, who are old enough to have lots of free time, spend several months in an area and walk it very slowly documenting as they go with photographs, anecdotes and advice on where to stay and where to eat and picnic. When they stayed with us, the hikes they did were rather short but they made them fascinating and always returned home with interesting reports having spotted things we had not when we walked the same path but at a quicker pace. That proves something …!
The Genal River, the subject of this incredible blog, goes from the Alto Genal which is where the river rises in Igualeja, through the Medio Genal and down to the Bajo Genal. In all there are seventee villages to explore, some more exploited than others. Places like Gaucin are home to many foreignors and have, to some degree, lost their simplicity and innocence. The smallest of all the village is the charming Atajate, in the Medio Genal, with the tiniest population but, according to a recent report, a good percentage of young people who have elected to stay. There are several really good restaurants there so well worth a visit.
Ned and Elaine´s approach to exploration is unique and must be very relaxing. Walk a bit, take photos, come home and write about it, reliving the memories, digging into the history, talking to the locals.