The innauguration of the information panel / Alberto Fiz

Thirteen years fighting for preservation of Sierra Blanca footpaths

The new viewpoint at the Acebuche pass pays tribute to the work of 78-year-old Dolores Navarro, who started the 'Mujeres en las Veredas' association

ALBERTO FIZ MARBELLA.

The footpaths in the Sierra Blanca were in a deplorable state and were deemed not safe to walk along until 2009, when Dolores Navarro started up the association Mujeres en las Veredas (women on footpaths), a not-for-profit organisation that would be responsible for making sure that the footpaths were usabale.

The work continues but last Saturday (19 November) the association and in particular its president, Dolores Redondo, were recognised by including details about the work on information panels at the new viewpoint installed at Puerto del Acebuche:

"Dolores spent years studying the topography of the area and consulting with the locals about the names of the different hills and points of interest, since they had been abandoned. Thanks to her work, everyone now knows the names of the geographical features of the area.”

Dolores Navarro / Alberto Fiz

Passionate about the mountains

Now at 78, Dolores continues to walk the trails that she has so lovingly restored. "You should see her climb the Puerto Rico,” said one of the people attending the inauguration event. Dolores' passion for the mountains is such that she says, "When you feel bad, what you have to do is go up to the mountains that we have here in Marbella. On days when I'm feeling down about something, the best thing for me to do is come up here.”

At first her protest went unheard, "I'm sure they thought I was crazy," Dolores says. She went out on her own to fix the paths and it wasn't until 2009 that, together with a group of friends, they founded ‘Mujeres en las Veredas’. Since then Dolores has never had to go out alone to clear the paths and the work has been rewarded, with the Spanish Q for Quality recognition for the Sierra Blanca, which would not have been possible without the altruism of the association.

The viewpoint, installed by Marbella town hall looks over the entire south side of the Sierra Blanca and towards the sea. The estimated cost of the construction of the viewpoint is about 10,000 euros for the adaptation of the area and the installation of the information panels, designed by Jesús Duarte.

The viewpoint is on La Gran Senda de Málaga (the great Malaga footpath) in the section that connects Marbella with Ojén. This location was chosen not only because of the extraordinary view it offers of southern slopes of the Sierra Blanca, but also because of the special feeling it has for Dolores Navarro.