Tuesday, 25 January 2011

24 Jan 2011 - Montgo Hidden Valley

 Since New Year we have had an unseasonal warm spell, but winter has finally arrived on the Costa Blanca.  It was bitterly cold as we met to start the walk, and everyone was too cold to pose for photos.  It was only when the climb has warmed everyone up that there was an opportunity for a combined photo and banana stop.
 I will always remember this walk as “Janets Walk”.   As we neared the top Janet slipped and fell.   Peter and I went to help and to make sure she was ok.   I then took her hands and Peter supported her back to pull her up.   Because of her position she was unable to help us by pushing with her feet, and as I pulled she slid along rather than came upright.   I was horrified to hear myself say “I thought you had lost weight”.   It was one of those terrible times when you speak before you think – or at least I do!   In fact Janet has lost a considerable amount of weight recently, and the problem was her position rather than her weight.   I think Janet was just glad to get upright.   I was mortified.   It was not helped by David loudly pointing out that what I had said was not very gallant!

 This is one of three walks we have done previously on Montgo.   This one usually heads for the cross, and has the uninspired name “Montgo Cross”.   The climb is up a narrow gully which Pat calls “Mongo Hidden Valley”.   It was too cold to make the extra climb to the cross worth while today, so the second name is more appropriate

 Montgo is one of those walks where the path is so difficult that you really do have to watch every step, and stop to admire the constantly changing views.   So it is a relief to get a relatively good path like this one.

We would normally have lunch as soon as we completed the climb, or when we reached the cross.   Because of the cold we did the initial climb quite quickly, and also abandoned all thoughts of the cross.   It was therefore too early for lunch at our usual spot, and we set off again.

By the time we reached our picnic site the sun had come out, and as our spot was sheltered from the wind it was quite comfortable.   Peter (centre) is not really as cold and miserable as he looks!

The brief gap in the clouds opened up this sunny view of Denia.

Unfortunately Jan had to miss this walk.   Her back is much better, and she can manage an easy walk on a level path.  On Saturday we walked to Jalon from Parcent, a return walk of about 9 miles, and she managed ok.   But today’s walk was neither easy nor level. 

After lunch we continued our walk for an hour or so, finally reaching this lovely view, just before the path started downhill.

By now the clouds had hidden the sun, and the icy wind was blowing again.   No one really wanted to standaround too long for a photo opportunity.

Because we had missed the climb to the cross, Pat treated us to an extension of an hour or so towards the Iberian settlements on the far slope of Montgo.

Another very enjoyable walk, despite the cold wind.   At least it did not rain, and we soon warmed up as we climbed.   It does mean that we have shorter breaks, and tend to finish the walk earlier than normal.  The only drawback to this walk is that there is no café at the end for a warm drink, or perhaps something stronger.

Next Week

Ken and Sylvia have offered to lead a new walk, or at least new to the Monday Club.   They have sent me the following directions to the meeting point.  Because we then have to travel on to the walk, Pat has asked that everyone get there by 0950, so we can start the walk at the usual 1000.

Travelling from the South take the N332 northbound – direction Oliva/Valencia.
(If travelling on the motorway leave at exit 62 – Ondara.)
Just after Km 201 take the CV700 exit (Pego/El Verger) Keep right to join the CV700 in the direction of Verger. On your left you will pass the Greenwich Meridian sign and just before reaching the roundabout will see the Verger industrial area on your left with the motorbike on top of a building. Go almost 360o round the roundabout to enter the industrial area and park on the left – you will be on a road running parallel to the CV700 at that point.

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