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Barranco del Val de Agua

Mas de Jacinto - Barranco del Val de Agua - El Rato - Cuesta del Rato - La Hoya - Castiefabib - Canal de Piedra - Los Santos - Torre Baja - Molino de San José - Torre Alta - Mas de Jacinto

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How to get there: Drive on the N-330 to Mas de Jacinto. By the bridge you see a gasoline station and, opposite to it, on the other side of the road, a restaurant. Leave your car to the parking place of the restaurant. (Roadmap of Rincón de Ademuz)

Distance: 6h53min/29.1 km

Cross the road and take the path that descends under the bridge. Walk some 20 meters to the right until you meet signposts (750 m). Follow the sign for Cuesta del Rató straight on along the track that runs on the river bed. Some five minutes later you notice a white-yellow waymark on your right. It leads you on a path that runs for a while by the side of the river bed before descending back on the track after a group of planted trees. Stay on this track and ignore all side tracks and paths. Reddish rockwalls line the route on your right.

When the track forks (50min) (830 m), go left. Further you encounter a panel telling you that you are in "Barranco del Val de Agua", in the "Gorge of the Valley of Water". The landscpae becomes somewhat greener and you cross a tiny stream (55min) (830 m), but the name Valley of Water is misleading. There is not much water. The stream follows the route for a while, but stays behind, when the track curves left.

The track starts climbing up steeply (1h10min) (860 m) affording fine views backwards to the rockwall. Further up, looking east, you see a vast landscape of mountains and plains. Finally, the panorama extends from north to south.

After passing ruines of a house you meet another track (1h40min) (1030 m). Go right. Ten minutes later, fork right again (1h50min) (1050 m). Now you have fine views down over the valley where you see first Castielfabib and later Cuervo and Cuesta del Rató.

The track comes to an asphalt road (2h20min) (1070 m), on which you turn right. Soon you encounter a panel with a text "El Rató" on it (2h23min) (1085 m). By this panel a path with a white-yellow waymark forks off to the left. It will take you to the village of Cuesta del Rató. The path is not very clear, but the waymarks keep you on the route. After crossing a track (2h35min) (990 m), the path turns into a track (2h40min) (950 m).

When you reach an asphalt road (2h42min) (945 m), turn right. The road bends right, and you see a sign for Castiefabib. Continue on the road downhill. About 100 meters before you reach a bridge, a track that runs between two large rocks turns off to the left (2h52min) (895 m). Take this ascending track. Some five meters higher up you meet another track. Turn right.

The track starts to follow a rockwall. Keep all the time left, close to the wall. In La Hoya, the track narrows into a path (3h05min) (885 m). Continue straight ahead. When the path forks (3h17min) (880 m), go left uphill. Soon you can see Castielfabib in front of you.

The path ends on a narrow asphalt road (3h34min) (880 m). Turn right. You come to a bridge, which was collapsed in April 2006. Maybe it has been repaired by now, but anyhow, do not cross the bridge, but bend sharp left on a path (3h38min) (855 m). The river flows on your right in a deep and narrow gorge. The path goes very close to this sheer drop and there are no protective railings. Walk carefully!

The first sightseeing of the path is a Roman aquaduct (3h45min) (850 m). The ornamental arcade is well preserved, and the aquaduct still in use. Once you have climbed to the top of the hill, you can observe the trough through which the water is flowing, thanks to the pull of gravity.

Below you see a small bridge and a path leading to Castielfabib. Do not go to the bridge, but take the stone steps on your left (3h55min) (840 m). The next sightseeing is the Monastry of San Guillermo from the 13th century (4h) (865 m). Bend left by the corner of the monastry, and turn right two minutes later. In two minutes you see below the third sightseeing, the Well of Frailes.

The path joins a track by a gorge and passes an irrigation canal (4h05min) (865 m) and Penya Rubia. You descend to the waterfront by the bridge of the Canal de Piedra (4h15min) (800 m). Do not cross the bridge, but bend left. The river flows swithly on your right. Left from the track wide plantations lined by reddish rockwalls spread out.

Follow the track all the way to Los Santos, where you find a sign for Torre Baja pointing straight ahead (4h40min) (775 m). Immediately after you encouter the first houses of the Los Santos, take the narrow alley turning off to the right (4h45min) (780 m). The alley turns into a track, that crosses an asphalt road (4h56min) (760 m). The river Ebron flows on your right.

When the track comes close to the N-420 (5h05min) (755 m), start walking on the N-420 to the right. Walk some 300 meters until you meet an information panel telling that there is a hotel and a restaurant 1000 meters down the road. By this panel, look left for a track. This track takes you to a closed gate, where you bend right, on a path that is hardly visible. In few minutes, the path becomes clear. Follow the path and not the track above it.

In Torre Baja, the path joins a track (5h20min) (760 m). Turn right and cross the N-420 by a signpost. On the other side of the road you see a red kilometer post with the text "N-420 km 540". By this pole a narrow road turns off to the right. Descend on this road for two minutes and turn left on a concrete road that crosses a bridge. From the bridge you have a lovely view down to the torrential water.

Immediately after the bridge, turn left (5h27min) (740 m). A canal with rapidly running water lines the left hand side of the track. By the old mill of San Jose (5h37min) (735 m), turn left. After that you cross a river and turn right. When the track forks, go left (5h45min) (730 m).

Just before reaching the N-420 above you, turn right on a narrower track that crosses a bridge (5h55min) (730 m). Immediately after the bridge, turn left. The track starts to ascend gently and leaves the river behind. On top of the hill, you see Torre Alta in the valley below (6h15min) (755 m). As soon as you enter Torre Alta (6h25min) (750 m), you encounter signposts. Walk through the village following the sign for Mas de Jacinto. On the other side of the village, you find another sign for Mas de Jacinto (6h39min) (750 m). When the concrete way ends, some hundret meters further, fork right on a track.

The track takes you by a stream (6h46min) (750 m), which you cross with the help of stepping stones. Walking on a track you see the Bridge of Angelica on your left. Cross this Turia river (6h48min) and ascend on a path back to the parking place of the restaurant (6h53min).


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