I feel like a movie character, like James Franco in 127 Hours, exploring nature for the sheer beauty of the experience.
The adventure begins with not being able to find the entrance. It's one of those "in the know" scenarios, as it's not signpsoted where to park or access the main entrance to the Rio Chillar hike. It's less than ten minutes from the coastal town of Nerja.
However, I persevere as, well, nothing ever happens when you give up a the first hurdle.
I am rewarded. Passing the families with small kids and aging hipsters afraid of getting their shoes wet, it doesn't take long before I am inside a gorge of nature's delights. No sounds of cars, just a light breeze and water flowing easily.
Walking along the river bed, enjoying the dappled shade of cool (not cold) fresh touch of the rio as I cross its flow. The bed deepens and soon it is up to my knees, and then surprise, a natural waterfall cascades down the side of the gorge, greeting walkers as if to say "yes, it's really worth it to keep going; you will find more beauty to follow".
I continue. The water deepens. The gorge narrows and all the movie characters take hold of my consciousness. The steps more treacherous, one after the other, the shade almost cavernous. And then a noise, water gushing. I round a bend, towards sunlight.
Cascading water over rocks, natural flow and at the top a still pool gently ebbing, bound by the nautral stone damn, inviting visitors to swim.