Verde del Aceite
Verdes are routes for bikers and walkers, built on the tracks of
disused railway lines. They are scattered across Spain.
This route actually joins onto another, the Via Verde del Aceite, to give a total length of some 111 kms. The website for the Via Verde routes is at
http://viasverdes.com/principal.asp It is in Spanish, or "Googled English".
This route is a little to the west of Jaen and is 59 kms long. It is basically a continuation of the previous Via Verde; the Via Verde del Subéttica
I did this ride in late November. It was very cold when I set off; just 2 degrees. There was a white frost on the grass and there would have been frost on the pumpkins, had there been any pumpkins. I had forgotten how much colder it is up there, compared to where we live, relatively close to the coast.
|Being on the old railway track, the
climbs were not too steep, but rather surprisingly, the total climb
for the day, out and back, was 688 meters.
The railway was built to service the olive oil industry, so it passes through the commercial areas of the towns.The first trains ran in 1893 and continued to operate until 1985, when the road transport network took over.
I did the ride from west to east, that is from left to right on the map, but oddly enough, right to left on the profile. I began this ride from the lake where I had lunch on hte previous ride.
|I did this ride on the mountain bike, as it would have been a bit
rough for the trike.
I started at the western end of the route, near the Laguna del Conde, where I had had lunch and turned around on the previous ride.
|All along the track there are abandoned buildings left over from the railway. This house would have been for the person in charge of a level crossing.|
|For a few kilometers, the track ran alongside a small river in the valley below.|
|The river ran into the Laguna del Chinche. Chinche is Spanish for Bedbug - it seems strange to have a "Bedbug Lake".|
|This was the first of nine metal bridges to cross. Most of them are surfaced with old wooden sleepers that are quite loose, making for a bumpy ride across.|
|There were several long straight stretches, leading through the olive trees. These trees are of a new hybrid type - they grow more like bushes, making them easier to harvest. Also they take less time to mature for the first harvest. Many of the old olive trees are being cut down to make way for these trees, and in our area there are many people selling olive wood for firewood.|
|There were workers beginning to harvest the olives. It looks like a good year in prospect. Hopefully the frost will not cause problems for them.|
|At Alcaudete station, there were some old photos showing how it used to be, with lots of people waiting for the train.|
|Now the station is closed and I was the only visitor this day.|
|Another station at Vado Jaen. There was a notice saying that it was scheduled for reform; let's hope it happens.|
Anotehr long straight leaving from Vado Jaen. Yet again, olives as far as the eye could see.
|Back to Spain page
||Back to the Via Verde de
|Spain is a land of many castles. This one on top of the mountain would probably be worth a visit. It is overlooking the village of Martos|
|Passing through Torre del Campo, the old railway has been lost, but they have built a good cycle path through the town and around the big industrial area.|
|They have also built quite a long and complicated bridge to carry the track over a couple of very busy roads.|
|Coming into Jaen, I thought it was a bit ironic that there is now a new railway line running alongside the old abandoned line.|
|There is a big castle on the hill overlooking Jaen. I turned
around at the edge of the city as it was going to be a bit of a race
against time to get back to the car before dark. I made it with
about 10 minutes to spare!
The total distance covered was 119 kms, and the total climb with all the ups and downs was a surprising 688 meters. So, quite a hard day, but very enjoyable and very interesting.