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near El Bujeo, Andalucía (España)
After a couple of KM along a wide track we start a tough unmarked climb along goats paths to the summit and onwards to the beautiful Bosque de la Niebla, the misty forest.
This walk and the forest we will visit is recognised as one of the most unique mysterious but beautiful temperate forest ecosystem in this part of the world. An 500 metre climb, and almost 16km round trip to get to the Llanos del Juncal and El Bosque de las Nieblas, between Tarifa and Pelayo before entering a mystical and magical forest that has remained unchanged for 2 million years. This unique fern clad and moss covered ecosystem covers 80 hectares and is the only original sub tropical forest that survived the last ice age in Europe. It is usually cloaked in mist for 250 days of the year, hence the name. This area can only be accessed by prior arrangement as it is an extremely vulnerable ecosystem.
Having done the route in the chosen direction we found was most rewarding. A hard start, faced with 80kph levante winds made it all the more exhilarating. From the summit it’s a short descent along an old road to the enchanted misty forest which, if you are fortunate to get a not so windy day, the clouds might even settle on the Forest to reward you with a surreal almost magical scenery. The walk down is well marked sendero and the final few KM is along the rio guadalmesi, a pretty and popular area for recreation and nature lovers. Plenty of parking at the area de recreo during the week but might get a little crowded (the river area, not the forest ) on weekends .
I marked this walk moderate. It’s a tough climb and longish route but any able bodied trekker will thoroughly enjoy .