The giant’s cauldron

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THE TIRED travel mag expression ‘hidden gem’ is not one that I’ve tried to spring on readers before. But this walk had me giving it serious thought. To say that I was surprised by what it has to offer, would be an understatement. I was positively amazed.
The local tourism authorities have recently signposted the route which has been assigned the number PR-CV 442 and named La Caldera del Gigante (the giant’s cauldron). Starting in the municipality of Algorfa, the significance of the name becomes apparent just under 3km into the route, when the walker emerges from the pine trees into a miniature Grand Canyon. Here after very heavy rain, it’s possible to imagine the ravine turning into hell’s cauldron – a seething mass of fast-flowing flood water channelled through the rocks, before it is spewed out onto a flatter area and sent on its way to the River Segura at Benijófar. Visiting such a place so close to the village where I work was a revelation. I simply didn’t think a geographical feature such as this could be found in the low lying Vega Baja.
The walk starts on the edge of Montemar urbanisation and follows a shallow ravine – the Barranco del Calderón – through the pine forest, dipping in and out of the watercourse, before reaching the giant’s cauldron – and then, as the landscape opens out, it continues towards the Segura River. The AP-7 motorway rudely interrupts proceedings after roughly 3.5km and our route returns on the same path, th

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