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Clare
Clare

Day 11: El Torcal de Antequera

Today is the final day of our holiday, with our plane back to Luton departing from Malaga around 7pm this evening. The other night we had the fun tasks of filling in our passenger locator forms and checking that our lateral flow tests had been successfully despatched. But before the journey home, we just had time for one more adventure :) 

We were due to hand in the hire car at Malaga airport at 16.30 this afternoon. The place we were staying in Cordoba was only a couple of hours drive away from Malaga, which meant we had time for a substantial stop-off somewhere on route. After checking out of the apartment some time around 10am this morning, we therefore started driving in the direction of El Torcal de Antequera.

El Torcal de Antequera is a natural park, just south of the city of Antequera, and only about a 50-minute drive away from Malaga airport. There's a visitor centre with free car parking, although the carpark wasn't anywhere near as big as I expected and we only just managed to find a space when we arrived some time after 11.30.

First impressions were that the landscape here is really impressive.

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It reminded me a bit of when we had visited Brimham Rocks earlier this year.

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The rock formations here were much, much bigger than at Brimham Rocks though.

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After parking the car, we walked towards a signposted viewing area.

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From here the views were amazing - both of the rocks...

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...and of the countryside below us.

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I'd already decided that this was a great place to visit :)

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There are three different walks which you can do in the park.

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The walks are colour-coded and marked with arrows. We'd decided to do the yellow route, which was described as being 3km and requiring 2 hours.

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We soon learned that you really need to pay attention to the arrows, as we accidentally went a few steps off track and lost the path!

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There's huge potential to get lost here because the scenery is so unusual and lots of the rocks look the same.

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The only way to walk here without following a marked trail is to go on a guided trip.

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Thankfully after that one incident, we didn't have any more difficulties finding the yellow arrows :) 

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The scenery we walked through was absolutely stunning.

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Apparently this is one of the most impressive karst landscapes in Europe - I can see why!

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In places the path was quite easy to follow.

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In other places it was rockier and I was glad that I was flying home in my walking boots (mainly because I couldn't fit them in my suitcase :D - I'd brought them with me for the Caminito del Rey).

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Tim didn't have his, but seemed to manage okay in trainers :) 

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The only problem with the route was that there weren't any indications of how far around you were, so we weren't sure how many kilometres we still had left to walk.

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I could have kept walking all day through scenery like this, but was conscious of the fact that we had a plane to catch :D spain_10_50.jpg

We kept following the yellow markers, and before 2 hours were up we caught sight of the visitor centre where we'd started on the horizon.

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We enjoyed the final views as we walked towards it.

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I particularly loved these striped rocks.

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You could see the different layers in them so clearly!

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When we got back to the visitor centre we realised it had a restaurant, so we were able to sit outside on a sunny terrace and enjoy a final view of the countryside.

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We had pudding too, of course :)

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Then all that was left to do was to drive the little hire car back towards Malaga :) 

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It's been an absolutely wonderful holiday and this was a great way to end it :) 

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