Hotels in the Sierra de grazalema

There are hundreds of hotels, rental houses and apartments in the Sierra de Grazalema.

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Wildside Holidays – Spain

The top wildlife, activity and walking holiday companies in Spain. Small family companies living and working in Spain. Local guides are the best!

http://wildsideholidays.co.uk/

herbicides have been banned in the Sierra de Grazalema

Some absolutely fantastic news this week! Finally, the use of herbicides has been banned in the Sierra de Grazalema. For many, many years the contractors to maintain roads in the area have used various types of herbicides such as “spasor” and “roundup” to control the herbage at the sides of the roads. Most of the herbisides used contain glyphosate.

The quantity of chemical used over the years is quite stunning. So much so that after testing of water suplies in the area such as lakes, streams and sources, amounts of up to EIGHT times the allowed limit (by European law) of glyphosate has been found.

As you can see in the picture at the top a two to 5 metre wide strip is sprayed. I call this “Lazy” land management.

We’ll have to see how the contaractors will manage the road sides in the future but all in all Clive is a happy pixie this week with this fantastic (although very long overdue) news.


¿Que hacer en la Sierra?

The Spanish language part of the Grazalema Guide “What to do in the sierra” is developing very well indeed. With over 10,000 facebook followers it certainly has some promotional clout. 🙂

http://grazalemaguide.com/quehacerenlasierras/

There are over 40 villages in the area of the Sierra de Grazalema and the Serranía de Ronda. I have the pages on each village written and published and some of the villages are now starting to promote low level events such as concerts and tapas routes etc. The big festivals and ferias are still cancelled until further notice due to the Covid-19 of course.

So if you want to practice your Spanish have a look here… 🙂

Bank holiday weekend in Spain

Last weekend was the big holiday of “Spain” day. A national holiday and quite frankly it was a successful “disaster”. Of course the tourist businesses need all the help that they can get but the amount of people in Grazalema was overwhelming. Footpaths were crowded and any kind of social distancing was forgotton completely. A great shame that people are unable to control themselves an we will find out in the next couple of weeks if the lack of common sense boosts the infection rates of Covid-19 in the area of the Sierra de Grazalema.


Wildside Holidays – Spain

The top wildlife, activity and walking holiday companies in Spain. Small family companies living and working in Spain. Local guides are the best!

http://wildsideholidays.co.uk/

Animal Education with Cole Shirk. (The Iberian Lynx)

What a fantastic project created by this young man interested in the conservation and protection of wildlife across the world.

Cole started his virtual interview channel on you tube to share his love of wild animals and over the last four years the project has grown to not only talk about wild animals but also the conservation of those animals.

This is a really good virtual interview with excellent questions and answers about the basics, habits, status and conservation practices for the Iberian Lynx In Spain and Portugal

Rafael from the Jardim Zoologico (Lisbon Zoo) in Portugal answers the questions about the Iberian lynx simply and concisely. Watch the video below. Fascinating stuff! 🙂

More information about the Iberian Lynx can be found over at Wildside Holidays. Click here.


Interview with Rafael from Lisbon Zoo about the Iberian Lynx

Cole continues to talk with Zoos, Researchers, Rescues and Hobbyists that care about wildlife as much as he does.

Enjoy the videos on Animal Education with Cole Shirk.

Check out his channel

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsWcid8jnURlKAzoK3YB3jQ


Wildside Holidays – Spain

The top wildlife, activity and walking holiday companies in Spain. Small family companies living and working in Spain. Local guides are the best!

http://wildsideholidays.co.uk/

Heat of the Summer in Grazalema

Apart from the ongoing coronavirus scares, fears and consequences the heat of the summer in Grazalema continues… It’s mid August and there seems to be no sign of the teperature dropping…. Its hot in the morning, hot in the daytime and yes, you guessed it hot at night.

That said, normally on the 1st of September it’s like someone flips a switch and all of a sudden you are wearing socks with your sandals and wondering if you should have put trousers instead of shorts on for the trip to the shops.

The reservoir at the bottom of my garden is getting very low. (You can just see the hilltop town of Zahara de la Sierra in the distance)

reservoir in the Sierra de Grazalema - Very dry in summer
Reservoir in the Sierra de Grazalema – Very dry in summer

In the small pond left behind in the above photo are around a hundred or so terrapins… (Read about terrapins over at Wildside Holidays) They are pretty much trapped here as the reservoir edge is now almost a kilometre away. I visit each day and the ones I can catch I take them down to the waters edge. A second chance hopefully as they will surely die once the water in this small pond dries out.

Rio Guadalete - Grazalema
Rio Guadalete – Grazalema. The river is almost totally dry now. Its hard to believe that just a few months ago it was a bubbling torrent.

In other “news” a bear was hit by a car up in the north of Spain in the heart of a National park no less. Instead of calling the police or anyone to help the people decided to video the poor creature with its shattered leg and fear obvious to all.. Yay!! Great youtube material guys!

Read about the bear and watch the disgusting video over at Wildside Holidays.

There is a search to find the people so that they can be prosecuted…

Bear hit by car in Somiedo
Bear hit by car in Somiedo. The only thing the car driver could think of to do was to video the badly hurt bear…. Duh! maybe call the police? Get some help for the bear?

Work is continuing at a “rapid” pace at Wildside Holidays. Only 6 articles left to write for the Natural parks of Andalucia. Made a start on the mammals and reptiles pages. I have decided that I am going to turn Wildside into a kind of wildlife news website for spain. Most Importantly I am having fun doing it.

Over at Ronda Today I have added an affiliate to a company producing some really nice printed T.Shirts.

Buy one and support Ronda Today.

Ronda Landmarks T-Shirts. Available in black,white and green
Ronda Landmarks T-Shirts. Available in black,white and green

Happy nature spotting wherever you are! 🙂

Footpath Llano del Campo – Benamahoma

Llanos del campo en la Sierra de Grazalema

This short footpath called “Llano del Campo” is close to the village of Benamahoma and leads you through mixed Mediterranean woodland. It is dominated by evergreen and deciduous oaks and takes anything from around one to two hours to walk, depending on how inquisitive you are. 🙂

Birds calling from the trees include woodpeckers, nuthatches, jays, firecrests, long-tailed tits and treecreepers with hoopoes during the summer months and griffon vultures plus eagles soaring through the open skies above.

The path is comfortably shaded through the heat of summer and verdant through the winter/ spring.

First two gates -  Llanos del campo in the Sierra de Grazalema
First two gates – Llanos del campo in the Sierra de Grazalema

The entrance to this walk can be found on the road between Grazalema and Benamahoma, this is the A 372. Pull off at km marker 37 (2 km from Benamahoma).

Llanos del campo in the Sierra de Grazalema
The Car Park and first gate- Llanos del campo in the Sierra de Grazalema

The site is obvious as there is a fenced off field with an area marked out for football and a small building (whose shaded area is very popular with nesting swallows in the spring).

There is ample parking at this recreational area. (The area will be busiest on weekends, so if you have a choice aim to go on a week day.) Go through the largest metal gates and head diagonally uphill and away from the road across this play area / cattle grazing pasture. As you go past the first oak trees there is another, smaller gate to pass through.

Second gate- Llanos del campo in the Sierra de Grazalema
Second gate- Llanos del campo in the Sierra de Grazalema

Now you are in the shade of the woods on a path that meanders through the rugged rocks. This first stretch climbs over fairly rough terrain as the water erodes this path during storms. In summer time the dappled shade is very welcome and during the winter notice how green the rocks and trees are with their covering of mosses and ferns.

The undergrowth is mainly lentisc, purple phlomis and gorse with rambling plants such as dutchman’s pipe, smilax and periwinkle.

In the spring there may be a variety of orchids on display!

Rocky path -  Llanos del campo in the Sierra de Grazalema
Rocky path – Llanos del campo in the Sierra de Grazalema

The path becomes wider and levels out as you approach an old derelict farm building on your right and left handside. Surrounded by large girthed oak trees, this is the highest point and from here you descend gently to a junction onto a partially cobbled path.

From here continue to the left heading downhill – but first, a short detour can prove interesting. If you go straight across this junction onto the narrowest path it leads you through gorse bushes etc to a water trough provided for domestic livestock.

Looking into the trough and you may see fire salamanders in their earliest stages, they are like brown tadpoles with visible gills. As adults these nocturnal reptiles are an amazing yellow and black colour. During the warmth of summer the surrounding damp patches are frequented by butterflies and bees.

Return to the main path and head downhill. Here the plant life changes slightly and now include Strawberry trees, Laurustinus, Stinking iris, Dorycnium and Honeysuckle.

Great views in the Llano del Campo in the Sierra de Grazalema
Great views in the Llano del Campo in the Sierra de Grazalema

As this path approaches the main road you should take the narrow rock-edged path to the left which goes through a small gate and then ascends slightly under the oak trees. This brings you onto the pasture where you began, head for the main gated entrance back to your vehicle.


Wildside Holidays – Spain

The top wildlife, activity and walking holiday companies in Spain. Small family companies living and working in Spain. Local guides are the best!

http://wildsideholidays.co.uk/

Tourist Information Portal for the Sierra de Grazalema, The town of Ronda and the Caminito del Rey.