Ugly row over Axarquia beauty spot

LAST UPDATED: 10 Sep, 2012 @ 11:54
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Ugly row over Axarquia beauty spot

By Rund Abdelfatah

VISITORS to a popular beauty spot have hit out at a town hall plan to install a barrier preventing cars from parking close-by.

The Rio Chillar, near Nerja, attracts scores of walkers every weekend, but the access restrictions will mean an arduous trek with no shade just to reach the area where the walk begins.

Officials – who claim the decision is aimed at reducing congestion and littering – have already opened a free car park to tackle the problem, insisting it is proving popular with visitors.

But some walkers who visit the site regularly insist the restrictions will prevent many from accessing the site due to the long additional walk.

“The number of cars still parked and the number of people walking back suggests to me that the council have no idea how many people want to enjoy this walk,” one user commented on Nerja Today website.

“If they do put up this barrier it will prevent a lot of people using the walk due to the long way to get to the start.”

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8 COMMENTS

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  1. Some of the most beautiful areas are precisely that because people cannot get there easily. One people turn up in cars with picnics they always have the capacity to destroy it. The difference between the Chillar valley which involves a long walk in the river itself before you come to the narrow gorge, and the prepared path down from Frigiliana is very noticeable.

  2. I don’t think the problem is the number of visitors, or even where they park, the problem is the number of visitors who think it’s perfectly ok just to throw their rubbish over their shoulders instead of taking it home.

  3. Three good points in support of the car park – but many of those walkers are elderly, previously able to enjoy that walk, but will now find it beyond their capabilities, especially in the heat of summer. There may even be a case for establishing a first-aid post in the car-park for those who succumb to the heat en-route to the gorge.
    Once again the rubbish creators, mostly the carefree young, spoil the pleasure of the majority.

  4. Antonio2,
    old age is no excuse for unfitness. Researching where to live in France in more detail, I visited Figeac which is situated on one of the Santiago routes.

    It was pouring with rain and crossing over the bridge there, with the river a raging torrent I saw lots of French pilgrims walking at speed – the youngest were in their 70s’ and many in their 80s’.

    Since we left the UK more than 12 years ago we have noticed more and more of the Ukers turning into fat degenerate slobs. We never once met any fit UKers who could or would contemplate the kind of hikes we made in the Badlands and beyond.

    As for the Spanish, we never met any who visited the countryside at all except for the hunters and they could’nt move fast or far either.

    However when we cycled the Neckar valley from the Swiss border up to Stuttgart we met many elderly Germans walking or cycling the same route.

    PM has it spot on – the slobs want it easy, make it hard, maybe then they may make an attempt to get fit – if not tough stay at home and watch nature programmes.

    If you do not keep yourself reasonably fit, then when you get to be elderly of course you will have all kinds of mobility problems and whose fault is that?

  5. I think the Commenters lose sight of the two issues raised for the proposed restrictions: Congestion and Littering. I can only imagine that the Littering issue is the greater issue to contend with. I don’t think Congestion is a significant issue, believing what Stuart says, “Since we left the UK more than 12 years ago we have noticed more and more of the Ukers turning into fat degenerate slobs.” – those fat degenerate slobs don’t do that hike, before or after the car park is built. Simple solution – find a simple way to control/avoid littering by hikers. In the US, posted signs at entry indicating Area Under Surveillance – Litterers Fined $300 IMMEDIATELY… works.

  6. PM,
    many years ago now we walked the Samaria gorge in Crete. Absolutely a must for those who enjoy walking.

    We were very impressed with how the Creten authorities sought to deal with litter from the thousands and thousands of people who did the walk.

    They had rubbish bins hidden inside what looked loke small stacks of logs. Since most of the walkers were young poeple from around the world, you would think rubbish strewn everywhere but in fact it was the reverse. Everyone respected the gorge and there was zero rubbish.

    What really hacked us off were the Germans, the vast majority of whom treated the whole thing as some kind of race totally ignoring the incredible beauty of this the longest gorge in Europe.

    When we neared the end, there were the Germans sprawled out with fatigue. I decided to do a spot of power walking with Angela jogging along just behind me – this completely stunned the Germans.

    At the end of the 18K walk to sit at a beachside cafe drinking really good cold beer, followed by a marvellous boat ride across a Prussian blue sea back to civilization – what a day, not possible for those who never made any attempt to keep themselves reasonably fit.

    I must say from a selfish point of view that I’m glad the Spanish don’t like the countryside as it meant that we had the Badlands outside Guadix to ourselves – no noise, no litter, just peace and tranquility and every now and again a few Ibex or a fox – the best of Spain.

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