Last month Nerja council announced they were going to make changes to the access to the very popular walk along the Rio Chillar in order to reduce the congestion. The walk is one of the most popular summer excursions in Nerja, starting in an area known as Los Cahorros. However, this walk has become a victim of its own success, with too many people going there and too many cars trying to park at the entrance, especially on summer weekends. Visitors have also been failing to respect the natural environment, dumping their rubbish (including their water sodden shoes) as they go.
The council have now made the changes they announced and have made it illegal to park on any of the access roads to the quarry car parking area, made the access roads no entry and provided a free car park on Calle del Mirto. To find out how effective these new measures have been, we went up to the Los Cahorros area to see what impact the changes have made to the visitor numbers.
The new car park is well sign posted from the road and is located just above the Sunday market (it is a new car park, totally separate from the existing market parking). When we visited there were cars using the new parking, although whether they were visitors to the Rio Chillar or were just local residents is not clear. From the new car park, there is a long hot dusty walk down the road under the motorway bridge with no shade anywhere (main picture above). Not surprisingly the few people who were making this trek were clad in their bikinis and beach wear.
Perhaps even less surprising is that most of the visitors to the Rio Chillar have completely ignored the prohibition – parking on the access roads, ignoring the no entry signs and parking in the quarry as before (picture right), seemingly oblivious to the risk of getting a parking fine. There were also many cars parked on the Rio Chillar road itself and a small traffic jam on this unmade single track road when we visited (picture above).
The council have said that they have asked the regional government to put a barrier in to physically stop motorists from driving up to the quarry, so until that happens it looks like the Rio Chillar will be as popular as ever.
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