Collado Venta Luisa

On a satelite map Collado Venta Luisa looks practically identical to its counterpart to the west, Puerto de Velefique - just in a different place. But satellite maps don't tell the whole story. The scenery is very different over here. The north side of Venta Luisa stays at a high altitude much longer. In spite of that it is largely a forest ride. But regularly the road opens up impressive views on the the world of green slopes below another famous cycling goal: the Tetica de Bacares on the north side of Puerto de Velefique.

I keep reading about how hot it can get here. But the three times I rode up the east side, it rained every time. True to the difference in climate zones, it always stopped as soon as I reached the lower foothills and the dessert. Looking back, the top of this plateau range was then left open to the imagination, it was obscured by angry dark clouds.

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)


1.(00.0km,1190m) START-END WEST: Bacares
2.(01.4km,1240m)jct with A3102 north
3.(06.3km,1700m)Collado de Ramal
4.(15.1km,1970m)TOP: Venta Luisa: jct with road to Calar Alto on west side
5.(29.7km,0930m)START-END EAST ALT.: jct with road to Alto de Castro de Filabres on east side
6.(34.1km,0740m)START-END EAST: rondell, just east of Gergal
7.(49.1km,0270m)jct: service road to A3102 - N340A, south of Tabernas


Approaches

From West.
The profile starts in Bacares, to show the dayride loops. But actually I could have started much lower north in Tijola or Seron. The starting elevation would then be 750 or 650 meters instead of 1190 on the profile. My route came down from  Puerto Velefique and it is a shock to the system to start climbing again so abruptly and steeply.

Looking back from where I came - and about the only way I can do this here is to just stop - there are some fine views of Bacares, that look like I am dropping in on the town with a parachute. Colado del Ramal is the first intersection and it is in the trees. The third road not shown in the profile descends north to Seron.

But the profile turns left to the south. A little more climbing in moist forest and the trees give way and show the Tetica Bacares and the road up to its peak, in proportion to the Sierra de Filabres. You have to ride this side of the Venta Luisa to really appreciate the grandeur of the north side of Puerto de Velefique.

I seem to remember another major paved intersection between here and the top, but it doesn't show up on any maps. The top is nothing more than an intersection in the forest, where a straight ramp keeps climbing higher to Calar Alto.



From East. (described downwards). But this profile heads down. It passes a mirador, that was shrouded in clouds all three times that I was up here. After a few majestic wide sweeping turns along a wide ridge, the road descends into forest and it is finally warm enough to stop shivering. The profile shows that you can descend further than the somewhat derelict roundabout, just west of Gergal at point 6, even if this is usually said to be the start of the climb


Copyright: Panoramio Contributor:      Jose Angel de la peca      piclink

 

 I rode this lower portion between points 6 and 7 when I left Gergal. The service road to the four lane road has no traffic. The surface is pretty rough and unpredictable, and it crosses arroyos with steep concrete ramps. Sometimes it isn't exactly clear weather the through going road runs north or south of the 4 lane highway. But the ride is perfectly feasible and I took pictures of some amazing light conditons in dense coastal fog, drifting up from the Almeria coast. Unfortunately those pictures are no longer with me.

Dayrides with this point as intermediate summit are on pages:

Calar Alto s(u)
Puerto de Velefique

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