Sunday, January 15, 2012

Benaoján (White Towns of Andalusia)

Benaoján railway station

Benaoján is a pretty village that I first encountered when I travelled on the Algeciras to Ronda railway. 

Near the railway station there is a footpath to Cueva de la Pileta - a cave with primitive rock paintings of animals that, apparently, date from around 25,000 BC. 

Just above the village there is a mirador where spectacular views can be enjoyed - poplar, willow and oleander at the bottom of the valley; evergreen oak, peonies, thickets of kermes oak, retama and broom on the hillside; gorse, thyme and sage beneath jagged outcrops of limestone on higher ground and probably the odd vulture or two circling above. There are about 300 griffin vultures in the Serranía de Ronda, which is a tribute to the local conservationists as during the 1960's the birds were almost extinct.

footpath to Cueva de la Pileta
Robert Bovington author of "Spanish Matters" & "Spanish Impressions" 

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