2h. 40 min.
Our starting point is located in Vistahermosa park, from where we climb up Cantal de Eraes street to reach the pine grove of the same name. A dirt track that turns right and runs along the flood control channel leading us to a crossing before continuing along the Upanel track. In order to do so, take the left track at the crossing, carefully avoiding the access road to the council’s drinking water reservoir facilities located on top of the hill.
Upanel is a natural site of vast geological and landscape interest, featuring reddish soils due to the prevalence of clay, as well as marl and gypsum. With the action of torrential rainfall, these easily eroded materials have created gullies and a complex network of ravines. Visitors can also observe the old clay quarries. These were used by the traditional roof tile factories to manufacture building materials, with such a huge impact for the local economy. We continue along the same Upanel track to reach the ruins of Casa de Upanel, a farming operation that remained active until the mid 20th century.
Following, we shall reach a tarmac road that connects Tres Hermanas Industrial Estate with a decommissioned council landfill site. Our route continues along the landfill’s right hand side to reach Casa de la Monfortera track in Los Barrancos natural site, where once again the water played a leading role in modelling the clayey materials. Our itinerary continues to the right of Sierra Negra, where we can observe a limestone quarry before reaching Casa de la Monfortera, another farming house in ruins dating from the early 20th century.
We then continue underneath the AVE fast train railways and, after a slight ascent, we arrive at Puente de los Cuatro Ojos bridge. Afterwards, we descend towards the mouth of Barranco de los Cinco Ojos ravine. Please remember at this point to avoid walking on flood plains and ravines during the rainy season. Our return to town is a long ascent along Peremina track, from where we can observe Puente de los Cinco Ojos bridge, another example of the aqueducts built in the 18th century to divert drinking water from Aspe to Elche. After a significant concrete slope that bridges the AVE fast train railways, we continue until the path joins the PR-CV 242 trail at La Temerosa track ending at Holy Cross hermitage, from where we can enjoy unbeatable views of the entire middle Vinalopo river valley.