Thursday, 13 June 2013

Down the rio Chillar to the sea

Apart from a visit to the shops in the morning I stayed in during the hottest part of the day, and today was several degrees warmer than yesterday. Getting acclimatised takes me a good while. Finally I went out at six and walked for a couple of hours, this time down the Chillar river valley to the sea, along un-metalled road linking market gardens, horse stables and builders' yards, with the rest of the town's infrastructure, by way of a tarmacked access strip by the main town road bridge. There's even the imposing ruin of a tall building, which is most likely to have been a cane sugar refinery from the 19th century. 
 The riverside is a sort of pre-modern industrial zone, and perched on the thirty metre cliff over the east bank are buildings that represent modern times - apartments and holiday homes of the tourism industry era.

You pass under the tall viaduct of the town centre's by-pass road. Under its massive beams hundreds of swallows and swifts roost, and during the day swarm relentlessly in search of insects. Here the river runs slower and spreads out into streamlets, which I imagine are a good breeding ground for midges and flies. Modern scale hospitality caters for visiting birds en masse as well as humans. 
A quarter of a mile further on, is the century old town road bridge, flanked by a supermarket and other buildings that show you're close to the heart of the modern town. 
From the other side of the road bridge, right down to the sea are nicely constructed promenades on either river bank, providing pleasant places to stroll of an evening and links to recreational facilities. as well as to Playazo and Torrecillo beaches. 
 These improvements to the river banks stop flash floods inundating lower lying residential areas created for tourism and so the area benefits from tourism. Here the river run is channelled with concrete making it easier to clear of debris, also providing shallow areas where birds can safely drink and keep an eye out for predators.
By the time I reached the sea, the beaches were almost empty. Visitors would now be in their hotels or apartments getting cleaned up and ready to go out for the evening stroll and supper. The walk full circle back to church house through the town took me another 45 minutes. Two and a quarter hours out in full sun left me feeling scorched and much tireder than yesterday's walk upstream into the Parque Natural. Despite this, it gave me an interesting view of how Nerja has developed.

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