Tuesday, 26 April 2011

26 Aor 2011 - Rain Stops Play

Woke to very heavy rain, and the weather forecast confirming that the recent heavy rain on the Costa del Sol had arrived on the Costa Blanca.   So was not very surprised when Pat confirmed that today’s walk was cancelled.

Many of the Monday Group, including Pat, will be on holiday in Majorca next week.   So this week’s Alt de Amble walk is rescheduled for two weeks time - on Monday 9 April 2011

No walk has been arranged for next Monday   If nothing else has been arranged before then Jan and I plan to do the Montgo Iberian Settlements walk    If any of you would like to do this walk drop me an email.

As I type this blog, on Tuesday morning, the sun is high in the blue sky and I am in my shirt sleeves – typical!

Sunday, 24 April 2011

23 Apr 2011 - Jalon

 The weather has been very changeable all week, but this morning was clear sky and sunny.  We both felt the need to get out for some fresh air, and we had not walked to Jalon for about three weeks.  Lots of poppies at this time of year, making the fields full of colour
 We planned lunch in the main square in Jalon, and were pleased to spot a couple of friends we could share a table with.   So we were later than usual setting off back to Parcent, not sure how late as we no longer wear our wrist watch, but the market was packing in so it must be later than normal.  
As we neared Parcent the clouds reappeared, and we were lucky to reach the car before the first drops fell.   Only a spring shower, but we would have gotten quite wet.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

18 Apr 2011 – Orba Castle

 There were ten of us for today’s walk, which is quite local for almost half of the group.   The forecast was not very promising, and it was cloudy and quite chilly when we started.  
 Although the rain kept away, the wind was cool enough that we did not really want to stop for long for our cherished banana stop.

 However we all warmed up quickly enough when we started the climb up Orba hill to the castle.
We were quite surprised to find a family group at the castle, and no doubt they were equally surprised when we arrived.   They did not bother us, but I’m not sure it was the same for them.   It can be quite annoying when you are enjoying the peace and quiet after a long climb, only to have a noisy group arrive.  And quiet is not a word I would use to describe our group!
On a very sunny day it can be too hot at the castle, so today was just right.  There is enough of the ruin of the castle to make for a good wind break, and sun made an appearance just in time for our lunch break. 

 It’s quite a steep climb up, but even more difficult coming down – particularly at the start of the descent.   But everyone made it without mishap.

 The path is not very easy to find, so we kept together in a tight group.

Then it was the long walk back to Parcent – and a cold drink in the cooperativea.

Next Week
“Dead Dog” or Alt de Ample.  Leave Jalon on the Bernia road and park on the right just over the first bridge.   Start walk at 10am

Monday Club Meal
Margret is arranging a meal in Jalon on 6 June 2011.   Pat is planning a short walk to return by 1.30 for the meal.   The meal is offered by a German couple in their own home, and will cost 14 euro per head including tip.   I understand that there is a full menu del dia, with a choice of two meats.  Pat has a full menu if anyone wants to know more.   We are restricted to a maximum of 16, so only members of the group and partners allowed.   If you would like to come drop me an email and I will pass it on to Margret.

Saturday, 16 April 2011

13-15 Apr 2011 - Calasparra

We spent a few days in Calasparra with Paul and Jean, friends from UK who moved there last year.  
Calasparra is a small town half an hour drive inland from Murcia
We had not seen Paul and Jean for about six months, during which time they had a lot of work done on their new home, including a swimming pool and landscape the front garden.   Paul designed it all himself, and gave Jan a guided tour
He also “christened” the swimming pool, but not sure why he did it still dressed!
He has also designed a lovely outside dining area, complete with a fully equipped  outdoor kitchen.
They took us on a tour around the area, starting with Cenajo dam. 
Built by Franco in 1963 it is set amongst impressive mountain scenery
On a somber note the cross is in memory of the workers who died building the dam.
Next stop was the picturesque village of Letur
 We spent an hour exploring the winding little streets
Like so many Spanish villages it is built on a hill, and any walk includes a lot of walking uphill.
Finally a short stop in the square by the cool fountain

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

11 Apr 2011 – Denia to Javea Windmills

After the lovely summer weather we have had recently, it was disappointing to wake to grey skies.   We knew that it would be a small group this week, and were quite pleased to find that there would be ten in all – including Pat and Mick who we had not seen since our coach trip to Morocco last year.
Thanks to Sylvia we had a new route to the windmills.   At the end of the promenade we took a different path up the hill, which avoided the steep road we usually take.  It was still a steep climb, but much easier on these natural paths than on the concrete road.
There are always lots of flowers at this time of year.   We passed this “pink one”, which Jan informs me is a field gladiolus!
The new path took us to the abandoned urbanization.   About 30 years ago a developer built these houses on protected land, and building was halted.   He disappeared, and no one could agree who would have to pay to demolish the partly built houses.  So they remain an interesting, but ugly, blot on the landscape.
No doubt the prospective owners of these houses lost every penny of their deposit.   Had the houses been completed they would have had extensive views over the coast and nearby Montgo.
The houses are in different stages of completion, most have walls and roofs some have even been tiled.   This pile of cement bags were left as they were delivered.  The paper has rotted away leaving the hard cement as a monument to the illegal project.
 Further on we came to this “blue one”, which everyone (except me) recognized as an iris.

 It was part of a large collection in what had been a cultivated garden.  The nearby finca was now a ruin, but the wild flowers lookeId very pretty indeed.

 By the time we arrived at the windmills the sun was out, just right for our picnic lunch.

 And we had blue skies for our return walk across the headland.   The whole area was covered in wild flowers which the sun displayed to full advantage.   The whole area a mass of white, yellow and shades of green.  We were all quite struck by how lucky we are to be able to enjoy such a beautiful area.
We were soon opposite the abandoned urbanization again, with the steep valley in between.   From here you could appreciate how large it would have been had it ever been completed.
 And then on to the tower, with its extensive views along the coast.

By the time we returned to the promenade it had turned cloudy again.   But it was nice and cool for our long walk back to the marina.   Mind we did break the journey with a visit to one of the café overlooking the sea.

Next Week
Meet at the “Parcent chicken shacks” on the Alcalali road at 1000 for a walk to Orba castle.

Monday Club meal
Margaret is arranging a lunch meal for our last walk before the summer. All of the group, and partners, are invited.    She was supposed to send me details, but they have not arrived yet.   It will be sometime in June, and I hope to have the full details by next week. 

Sunday, 10 April 2011

9 Apr 2011- Benimeli Aerials

It was very hot this morning, 91o on the naya at breakfast.   So perhaps not the best weather to climb to the aerials above Benimeli.   Visibility was also pretty poor due to the heat haze.
The first part of the climb was in the shade, so not too difficult.   We also managed to find a shaded spot for our first water break.
By the time we reached the car park/picnic spot we were very hot.   We did extra climb to the view point because it was well shaded by the trees.
We did climb to the aerials, and then on to our usual lunch spot at the far end of the ridge.  But there was no shade, and it was much too hot to have our picnic there.
 We returned back to the car park/picnic site for lunch
From here the climbing is all done, and it is usually a very pleasant walk back to the village.  But today it was quite hard going due to the excessive heat
Lots of spring flowers along this stretch, including this colourful thistle.
As we followed the track downhill to the village we noticed a lot of smoke rising above the nearby Green Horse
Despite going downhill it was still very hot, and we were glad to arrive back at Benimeli
The café, and indeed the whole village, was deserted.  I expect everyone was indoors keeping out of the heat.   We enjoyed a cold soft drink under the new canopy in the square.
 As we drove back to Parcent we had a view of the other side of the Green Horse, and it was clear thatthere was a major fire – and that it was quite close to the urbanization just outside Murla.
By the time we got home the fire fighting helicopters were shuttling water from Parcent swimming pool to the fire at Murla.   This would continue all afternoon.   The fire continued through the night, and looked quite impressive from our naya, where we could see it blazing through the darkness.  

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

4 Apr 2011 – The Green Horse

The walk got off to a bad start, with a pair of missing boots!   It’s a long story, but suffice to say Barry returned home to collect his boots, which I had all the time.  He then brought back another pair of boots, which I borrowed for the walk.  All the time my boots were sitting in our car in Alcalali.  Like I said – it’s a long story, and one I will probably not be allowed to forget for a very long time! 
Due to the “boots saga” we started the walk half an hour late.

For once we had good weather for the Green Horse walk.   When we have done this walk, with this group, in the past it has more often than not been cold or overcast or both.   But today we had ideal weather, sunny but not too warm.
We completed the climb in 35 minutes, which seemed much quicker than normal but at a reasonable pace
The path has recently been signposted, and is now quite easy to follow.  Despite this I still managed to get lost, or at least could not find the signs.   It’s difficult to really get lost.  It’s quite narrow on the ridge, and though you may not follow the easiest route you will certainly get to the same place in the end.
This is one of our shorter walks, so although we started late there was no pressure to set a fast pace.
Just for Rosemary!   Not sure what they are called, but they are definitely pink.  
Not only a lovely walk, but an excellent location for lunch as well.  The Restaurant is always closed on a Monday, so we can make use of their tables for our picnic.
It was a little cloudy, but we still have lovely views down the valley to the coast on the way back.
And of course the highlight of the walk was the after walk drink.

Next Week

Denia Marina to Javea windmills.   Meet in the car park at the roundabout leading to the Denia Marina at 1000.   Walk along the promenade, up to the tower and across to the windmills.