Venta de Chaleco - Turon s(u)

It is often the case in landscapes like this, that the really interesting points - and there are some really interesting and scenic points -  are somewhere along the route, and not at the summit. That makes organizing a summit list sometimes a little cumbersome.

So this is the landscape context for this summit point: The Sierra Contraviesa occupies the scenically strategic position between the Mediterranean Sea and the Sierra Nevada. Close to its ridgeline runs a road, and this is one of at least four paved summit points on it. Along the way the road runs through several so called "low Alpujarra" villages. They are close to the ridgeline with great views, but the name "high Alpujarras" is reserved for the Sierra Nevada villages, even if many (if not most) high Allpujarra villages are actually lower.

I have used the pictures of panoramio and flickr contributors, as well as other web sites to illustrate this page. There are copyright notices and links  to all original pictures. My own pictures were on a computer, that was stolen at the train station Frankfurt Airport (model Acer Aspire One (serial# NUSGPAA01625101C947600F)

01.(00.0km,020m)START-END EAST: Mediterranean coast, just east of Adra
02.(13.0km,0170m)Al6300 crosses Adra at los Molinos
03.(17.7km,0270m)profile turns left to Embalse de Benina
04.(27.3km,0350m)Embalse de Benina Dam
05.(35.4km,0700m)turnoff to Turon
06.(49.7km,1310m)TOP: Venta de Chaleco - Turon(sh)
07.(50.1km,1290m)Venta de Chaleco intersection
08.(58.8km,1270m)jct with A345 heading north down into valley
09.(60.3km,1270m)Haza del Lino - Albondon summit is on right; but profile stays straight
10.(66.3km,0950m)Albondon
11.(77.5km,0230m)middle Albunol turnoff
12.(94.1km,0020m)START-END WEST: Mediterranean coast, La Rabita


Approaches

From East.
From Adra the profile follows the most scenic way up, that is the curvy AI6300, following the villas and ruins along the river Adra. Just outside the village Adra is one of the most interesting places in this area - a gypsy settlement, that I can't find any picture of, on the various photo sharing sites, and all my pictures are gone.  I hope someday I will be able to take them again.

The scene along AI6300, above the river Adra river is a curiously fascinating mix of ruins, houses that were destroyed from a flood caused by a dam break in the 60s, and the villas that were high enough to survive. In the rebuilding phase a commnity of european expatriots, with a new found freedom to live where ever they want to, has moved into parts of this area. This is my actual starting location for this ride.

This ride stays in the valley. You catch a glimpse of the Mediterranean behind the white cubistic sprawl of Adra. The surroundings are stark dessert valleys. But the road still manages to have more turns than a mountain pass, and follow every detail of the dessertscape. It turns perpendicular to the right. apparently to pass between two groups of houses, back 90 degrees to the left to cross an old stone bridges. More roadside interactions follow. The first goal, that is a real landmark, is a tree on top of a hill. Here the viewshed changes. On the other side lies the Embalse (reservoir) de Beninar . This is the junction with the route to the summit point A347 Alcolea(sh). The route described here turns left across the dam.


Albondon from A345     Copyright:   Jorge García García   piclink  (Panoramio)

The switchbacks above the reservoir open the first far views, and I have them to myself - no cars to speak of. The next village, Turon, is the highlight of this ride for me. I take pictures very similar to the ones that some nice flickr users let me use for this page, but then also many other pictures from wandering around the stark and lonely streets of this old village. The small group of houses is organized around two old churches and their balconies. An old man strikes up a conversation with me and esquires about my origins.

Leaving Turon and climbing the road above it in switchbacks, I wonder if clouds are obscuring the Sierra Nevada in the background, or if this village is sheltering in a depression from the wind. After this the road stays mainly south of the gentle, saddle shaped ridge, so that views of the Sierra are rare. What seems like gentle rolling hills allow fast progress along the ridgeline

The next intersection is signed "Venta de Chaleco". The highest point along the route is actually a short distance before reaching it.

 Turon          Copyright; Juanjo Gozalez   piclink (Panoramio)

From West. (described downwards). The profile turns left here and stays on the south side of the ridge top. The now even faster road crosses another signed Venta, which seems to be mostly a restaurant of some sort, and dips about a 100m before climbing the same amount again.

Given enough energy one can keep going along the ridge to a point slightly higher than this one: Haza del Lino - Albondon s(u). But this profile (as well as my ride) descends back down to the Mediterranean Sea at the first chance, A345 to Albondon. Looking back from this part of the road, there are again a few amazing vistas of the Sierra Nevada.

Albondon has the white cubistic Alpujarra look from a distance. But as I roll through it, I notice that this is a completely different animal than Turon. At the center stands some multi star spa fitness hotel, and people in stretch pants radiate out from it. The closeness to the coast seems to provide more opportunity to harness tourist spending. Below the town public balconies along walks paved with flagstones, show off more vistas.

The roll down continues. Finally I reach the first viewpoint above Albunol, surrounded by more refuse and garbage than I have seen even on the coast below. This is a completely different town again, larger with a more industrial high rise agricultural base, but still all in white.

The road follows one of the largest dry, flood mitigation stream channels that I have ever seen. If I have seen a larger one, it is in one of the adjoining villages right here on the coast. Part of this road parallel to the flood contruol channel is somewhat narrow, and actually has traffic - even quite a bit at times. But it doesn't last long. Climbing up this road in the morning one often has a tremendous head wind, that can force you to modify your goals for the day, at least during certain weather conditions.

cLiCk on image , arrows , or thumbnails to advance slideshow

Dayride with this point as highest summit:

COMPLETELY PAVED:

( < A345 Alcolea(sh) | Puerto de Haza del Lino(sh) > )
Venta de Chaleco - Turon s(u) : AI6300 about 6km above Adra, AI6300 west > Embalse de Beninar > sightseeing detour around Turon > Venta de Chaleco-Turon(sh) > A345 south > Albondon > Albunol > La Rabita > Adra > back to starting point with a possible detour: r5:16.4.5.
Notes: gps data is on stolen computer