Tuesday, 31 May 2011

30 May 2011 – Lliber Circuit

11 of us for the last walk of the Spring Season.   Nice to see Wendy again, who has just returned from a caravan holiday.   The weather has started to turn quite hot, and it can be uncomfortable walking.  So Pat choose this shorter walk, which we have not done as a group for two or three years.   Note the black sky – a taste of things to come.
This little chap having his breakfast entertained us as we got our boots on and prepared to walk.   It also prompted Sylvia to tell us about a song she used to sing as a child – something about eating worms!
As the walk started the weather improved, and we had this lovely view towards Jalon.   It’s easy to forget what a lovely valley it is.
When we last did this walk this was a small stream with an unpleasant smell, something to do with the nearby sewage plant.   After the "gota fria" they built a sturdy path which acts as a sort of dam.  And the result was this impressive expanse of pond weed, looking more like a grass field.   The smell has gone and it is a vast improvement.
This part of the walk is alongside a dry river, which was covered in bright oleander
The recent mixture of rain and hot weather seems to have worked wonders on the oleander.

I doubt if Rosemary is going to be very impressed, but for me this was a vast improvement on the much acclaimed Man Orchid on our Foyes Valley walk two weeks ago.

Pat was so impressed by the setting that I was directed to take a photo – which I did without (too much) complaint.   Jan insisted that Peter take one photo with me in it, but there was no sign of it when I downloaded the camera.
This was the last photo I took on this walk.  It was overcast when we stopped for lunch at the not too impressive picnic site near the waste bins.   And as we neared Lliber we could hear thunder, quickly followed by heavy rain.   Fortunately we reached the cars just in time.

Next Week
Meet at the tourist information office in Jalon at 1pm for our end of season lunch.

For those who would like a little exercise we will do a short circular walk to Alcalali.   Start at the same place at 11am and return in time to meet the non walkers for lunch.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

23 May 2011 – Tormos to Campell

 The summer has finally arrived, temperatures in the high 20s today – despite the rain puddles in the car park.   Only 11 of us today, including Tom who is back from his extended holiday in Australia
After an easy start to Isbert Dam and through the rail tunnel, it is a hard climb uphill to Fontilles, then uphill through the woods to the Music House.   By the time we got there everyone was ready for a sit and long drink
Jan and David found a nice shaded spot…
…..Pat helped Mike to cool off…….
 …..Ken went exploring – as always.
There is another climb through the woods to Campell, but we took plenty of water stops.

Just before our lunch stop we reach the font, where Jan and David filled out water bottles with cool running water.
This local didn’t bother with the water bottle – straight from the pipe for him.
Lunch was at the Ermita (church) as always.   The main attraction is this beautiful view of Campell and down the valley to the coast….
…but today we sat around the back of the Ermita amongst the cool shade of the cherry trees.  They were loaded with fruit and everyone picked a few to have with our picnic lunch.
 Then it was downhill all the way back to the cars.
On the way we passed this lovely little foal.  They were in a field with no shade from the sun, and at our approach he moved behind his mother.   Not sure whether it was us or the sun.
It was a relief to reach the bar and the shaded tables.   Jan and I had Fanta rather than our usual Clara (Shandy).  We find it more refreshing when it is so hot.  Most of the male walkers went for something just as cold – but a little stronger.

This was the last walk of the season for David and Rosemary and Colin, who are all back to UK for the summer.   David and Rosemary to their boat on the river.   Colin for some medical treatment.   Hope to see them all again in October.

Next Week
Our last “proper walk” before the summer break will be at Lliber.   Meet as usual on the Jalon side of the village just below the bridge.   Shorter walk than usual, and no doubt as challenging as ever if the temperatures continue to rise.

Saturday, 21 May 2011

18 May 2011 – Foyes Valley Recce

Exactly one week after doing this walk with CBMW we were back with David and Rosemary to do a recce.
We all thought that this would be a suitable walk for the Monday Group, and we wanted to confirm the route before we forgot.  

Not sure, but we think this is a Salsify (type of Aster).   Anyway its very pretty.

 The weather was ideal for walking, cloudy and overcast.   The forecast was light rain, but it remained dry throughout.
When we were here last week everyone thought that the rare “man orchid” would be in bloom soon.   Rosemary pointed them out to us, but they looked particularly unimpressive to me, all green and no colour at all!

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

16 May 2011 – Bernia East

 Only eleven of us this week, its that time of year when Spring walkers return to UK for the start of summer.   And who could blame them with the low clouds and chilly wind.  More like UK than sunny Spain.
 This was a new walk to our group.   We do have a regular Bernia walk, which is the standard one along the base, climb to and through the forat (cave) and  then back the opposite side to the fort.   But this one is a longer circuit.   Peter, who led, estimated 14 km and 5-6 hours.
The first two hours were quite easy, but involved a lot of going down followed by a lot of going up!   However not as steep a climb as our usual route.  
The view is just as impressive as our usual first sight of Benidorm, and we didn’t have that difficult crawl through the cave to get to it.

Then the most difficult part of the walk, a steep descent on a very poor track.  It was much more difficult than it looks on this photo!
 Then a lovely level walk through the trees towards our picnic lunch.   By now the sun had made an appearance, and it looked just like a walk in the woods back in UK.

Except of course that we had constant views of Bernia above us
 This part of the walk was new to most of us, and the path was so good that we could look around and enjoy the views for a change. 

We were impressed to find a proper picnic site, with tables and chairs and even a proper loo.   But we were more impressed that we arrived at exactly 1pm – the regular time for our lunch stop.   Being such a small group we could even share a table.

 As always the views were impressive

 Immediately after lunch it was a steep road climb up Bernia….
 ….followed by the scree
And finally we arrived at the fort
 Then a gentle walk downhill with wonderful views

And finally the real highlight of the walk – the bar

Next Week
Meet at Tormos on the Orba to Sagra road.   Pat was not very clear what the walk will be, but will involve Campbell and Fontiles. 

Saturday, 14 May 2011

11 May 2011 – Foyes Valley

 Its some months since we last walked with CBMW, but this is a lovely walk which we have not done for about three years
 The walk is from Castell de Castells to the spectacular rock arch in the Foyes valley.   We expected this walk to attract a very large group, but there was only 29 which is reasonable for CBMW.

 Very colourful as always, and lots of opportunities for pretty photographs
 After an hour we got our first sight of our objective, but it would take almost as long again to reach it.

 Peter Greig led the walk, and set a very comfortable pace.   He also allowed frequent water stops, which were needed as it was such a warm day.
 This seems to be a particularly good area for poppies, we did one of our first walks with CBMW from Castells and we always remember the bright colours.
 Having missed our Monday Group walk this week, we were both feeling in need of some fresh air.  And what better way to achieve that aim.
 Not everybody wanted to visit the arch, so we were able to leave our haversacks with those who had seen it before.
 Its quite a short detour to the arch, and well worth the extra efforf
 I would think that this is one of the most photographed locations on any of the CBMW walks.
 Thanks to David for taking this one
Then it was back to the haversacks and a well deserved picnic