PEÑA ESCRITA(THE ZOO)
CLIMB CATEGORY - 1
Length of climb - 10.9km
Summit elevation - 706M
Start elevation - 35M
Elevation gain - 671M
Gradient (avg) - 6%
A brutal climb to say the least, this road up to the now-closed zoo of Pena Escrita, is unforgiving, steep, and roughly surfaced. Starting outside the coastal town of Almuñécar this 11km road rises up towards the Sierre Tejeda National Park, and finishes at the entrance to the once lively zoo.
Constant pitches of over 15% lie before you as you leave Almuñécar; the first 3km providing the only real sections of recovery, before steepening for the last 8km.
Relentless, but rewarding, the climb up to the zoo is not soon forgotten. Views back over the Alboran Sea and the bustling seaside town of Almuñécar, combined with the ever- changing landscape of the mountains rising around you, make this climb unforgettable.
The Zoo itself has somewhat of an unhappy history. Never fully legal, with lack of licences and undocumented breeding, as well as the tragic deaths of animals, the Zoo was eventually shut down in 2015, with the last of its animals being relocated to various facilities in January 2017.