Carretera de la Chaba s(u)

This Carretera goes up the strike slope of a great limestone escarpment from the Mediterranean side, and then continues over a high plain dip slope going down to the base of the snow covered Sierra Madre - very impressive.

Everybody I talk to seems to refer to this road as Puerto de (la) Chaba. But nobody can pinpoint where exactly this point is. And when I look on the map, I can't find a Carretera de la Chaba or a Puerto de la Chaba. But informational signs along the road label it the "Carretera de la Chaba". Quaeldich.de lists several points along the road as destination bicycle summits. But none of them are the actual highest point on the road. This one is.

01.(00.0km,0020m) START-END EAST:Almunecar on the beach
02.(10.1km,0160m)turnoff to Alto de Itr_abo is on the right
03.(12.5km,0300m)Otivar, turnoff to Lentegi comes just after this
04.(14.6km,1350m)paved turnoff to Iayena on top of forested plateau on left
05.(43.8km,1360m)TOP point of highest elevation
06.(58.9km,0850m)profile crosses A44; north goes to Puerto Suspiro del Moro and Granada. But profile turns south
07.(63.1km,0800m)profile skirts El Padul
08.(75.6km,0760m)road skirts El Durcal
09.(76.8km,710m)right goes to Restabal
10.(112.7km,020m)the coast, just east of Salobrena


Approaches

From South.
Leaving the megalomanc coastal resort of Almunecar behind, SO-2/ A4050 crosses one of the stilt highway bridges, characteristic of this area, and then heads for the limestone walls. At the first town - Jete, the road is still well behaved near the bottom of the valley. A small supermarket is on a village street below the highway.

By the time the road reaches Otivar, it becomes evident that these people have to worry much more about land and mudslides. Some of the buildings seem to stand on stilts, just for the privilege of doing business next to the main highway. The supermarket here requires no detour.

From here this alpine highway winds back and forth, heading for a few limestone pinnacles, avoiding others, seemingly trying out a variety of view points on yet others. It is difficult to guess exactly where this pass is. The first goal identified by other web sites is the Mirador Chabra de Montes. But much of the best scenery comes after that. The road passes another intermediate high point and skirts along several limestone cliffs, then passes several bars or other public establishments. This is the end of the spectacular scenery for now. From here on the road runs straight or with slight curves over a high plateau, and the pavement is much rougher. The mountains in the distance seem to float above it all, with no apparent transition zone. The actual high point is a small ravine with no views in either direction. Without an altimeter you would never guess.



From North (described downwards). The mighty escarpment of the Sierra Nevada comes into view, topped either with clouds or snow. Fruit trees, planted in a square grid pattern recede in straight lines towards the mountains. Now the road becomes wider and smoothly paved, and starts a straight fast descend to just south of the the Puerto de los Suspiros Moros. Tourist literature has it, that this was the route taken by the Moors, when they gave up the Alhambra and fled to Africa.

From here one can descend to Granada. But going back down to the coast can also be all downhill, and that is what the profile does.  The road crosses the four lane highway between Motril and Granada. Signs advice bicycle traffic to follow old N323A instead, and the profile does this. The road now runs adjacent to the Sierra Nevada. Even old N323A is a wide fast highway with a good shoulder, and it bypasses all the towns. But it is easy enough to detour through them. It is possible to parallel the four lane highway all the way to the coast. But the profile descends a side valley instead, to a low point crossing the Rio Durcal o Izbor. From here more climbing leads back to the starting point of the southern approach.

SLIDE SHOW 1: southern approach over Carretera de la Chaba to its summit

Dayride with this point as highest summit:

COMPLETELY PAVED:

( < Venta La Nades | Mirador Cabra Montes(sh) > )
Carretera de la Chaba s(u) , GR3204 Pinos del Valle s(u) , Alto de Itr_abo : above Itr_abo > Alto de Itr_abo >  Otivar > A4050 Otivar - Puerto Suspiro de Moros > El Padul > Talara with detour > Melegis > Restabal > GR3204 Pinos del Valle s(u) <> out and back towards Plaza de la Iglesia >> N323 south <> out and back around Molvizar > Alto de Itr_abo s(u) > back to starting point: 82.8miles with 9340ft of climbing in 8:00hrs (Garmin etrex30: r5:16.4.23)

SLIDE SHOW 2: southern approach down to Puerto Suspiro de Moros and paralleling A44 back to the coast




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