Whilst on holiday in Spain and once the mojitos were out of our system, we decided to attempt some trail running.
Close to where we were staying, we could see mountains in the distance and we discovered there are a few trails that take you up the mountain to the ruins of Los Monjes (the monks). Initially, it was quite tricky finding the start of the route but once we found the correct road it was pretty obvious we were in the right place.
You start off by heading down a very steep slope that is then cut off by a stream (Arroyo Calaña). Due to the time of the year, this wasn’t flowing too fast but a video below shows you what it is like in full swing.
Instantly, you’re transported into a very beautiful and tranquil part of Marbella. At this point, it was fairly tricky to run as you need to climb over rocks and scrabble along the side of the river. Once you are past this point it opens up to a beautiful pine area of the forest.
The path then continues to take you up and it wasn’t long until we found the ruins. At this point we decided to continue up the mountain to see how high we could get.
It was really great practice for trail running. Unlike terrains I have been on before, there are lots of large rocks and logs and very uneven surfaces. I preferred this to most of the trail runs I’ve done in the UK as there was a a lot to think about and you need to consider with each step.
I was trying to practice looking out for rocks that could form steps; as mentioned in the book Never Wipe Your Ass With A Squirrel, this can help to take the pressure of your muscles and stop from fatiguing too soon. It’s quite tricky to do and most of it (for me) is about being confident and going for it. Too much over thinking and you are quite likely to tense up and fall over.
Once we made it to the ruins it was starting to heat up (it has been around 29/30 degrees that week). As you start to ascend further, the path becomes very narrow and more scrambling along the rocks is required. There are a few bits of secured rope to aid along these parts if you are feeling wobbly. The path soon reappears and you are able to run again. Suddenly, the trees clear and our first view of Marbella appears.
At this point it was getting pretty warm (as the sweaty look in the photos confirms) but we wanted to go up as high as possible. I’m glad we did becauseWhat a cracking view.
Then, the only thing left was to head back down to the bottom.
For more information on how to find this trail, check out MarbellaTrails.