Tuesday, 24 January 2012

23 Jan 2012 – Bolulla Castle

  It’s a long time since we did this walk, partly because of parking problems and partly because of extensive road works which made getting there difficult.   It was one of the first walks Jan and I when we started walking here six years ago, and we have always had a soft spot for it.
Like many of the castles about here, Bolulla is on the top of a steep hill with dominating views over the valley and nearby coast.   I could claim that this is the route we took up, but I would be lying.  It is a much easier climb on the other side!
We had a good turnout today; with the return of Sylvia, Ken and Tom we made a group of 13.   But there was nothing unlucky about the weather, a lovely clear blue sky.   Cool wind and ideal for walking. 
The walk started with a gentle pace on a very good path, just right for everyone to catch up on the news since we had all last met.  Our walks can be called a lot of things, but never quiet!
It’s not long before we start to climb, and breathing takes priority over talking.
Our first break was on the flat area with views towards the coast and Benidorm.   Wendy and Jackie are still chatting.
David and Rosemary find a quiet spot to sit and enjoy the views
Then its downhill on a narrow but good path to the castle
On the way someone spotted these unusual mountain goats.   We think they are part of a small group of Ibex which has been introduced to the area.   We were fascinated that they stood looking at us looking at them (we are easily pleased).   They were quite far away so not at all threatened. 
Then it was downhill again towards the dominating Bolulla Castle
Peter somehow managed to persuade most of us to climb up to the castle.   We had not intended to do so, as it is a steep climb and we had done it when we first did this walk.   But as more and more agreed to go we felt we had to do so to maintain our “street cred”.   Not at all sure it worked.
This photo of the fine group of climbers was taken some time after we reached the top, and everyone had recovered from the climb.   Beautiful impressive views of the area made it well worth the climb.
  Nice one of Jan
We had left our packs down below and were starting to feel hungry.   So we made our way back down.   Always more difficult than going up, and we each did it at our own speed
  Mike was one of the first to get back to his rucksack and soon perched on a handy rock to enjoy lunch.
It’s a long walk back, but no more climbing.   We were all tired but very happy after a very enjoyable walk.
Monday 30 January
Almadich is a new walk for the group.  This is one of the walks in Bob Stansfield’s Cicerone Guide and he describes it as” a most scenic walk and, for once, you do not climb to the summit of the mountain”.   He also confirms that it is 17km.  This is considerably longer than most of our walks.   We are really looking forward to it.   Meet at the bar in Benichembla at 1000.

Sunday, 22 January 2012

21 Jan 2012 - Col de Rates

On our last Monday walk we offered to do a recce of Col de Rates to make sure that the path is ok.   From our naya we had a good view of the hill, and our proposed walk, as we had our breakfast.
David and Rosemary offered to join us for the walk, and their company was very welcome.   It’s always more enjoyable to walk in good company than on our own.
The path proved better than feared.   It’s never a good path at the best of times, but it was not much more overgrown than normal.
Half way up we join this road for a short distance, just enough for a break from looking down at your feet all the time.
It was gone 1.30pm when we reached our lunch spot.   We would have been in trouble with the Monday Club, who expect to arrive at the day’s picnic site at 1pm sharp!
As we had our lunch we had an excellent view of Parcent, with our house on the hill behind.   This is the reverse of our view at breakfast
 Thanks to David for this photo of us both.
The path back down to Parcent is much wider and drier, but still requires looking where you place your feet. 
The walk took us just over five hours, and we had no problems with the path.  So no doubt it will feature as a Monday Club walk in the near future

Friday, 20 January 2012

19 Jan 2012 – Calpe

Our Monday walk was cancelled due to the weather, so we were really pleased when David and Rosemary suggested that we join them and Margret for a walk along the coastal path from Calpe
It also gave Jan an opportunity to show off the new walking socks she got in UK over Christmas.
Most of the walk was along this lovely coastal path
 This is one of our favourite short walks, but we usually don’t go any further than the dive centre
The path has been extended beyond the centre, and today we followed it
When the path ended we continued along the beach and over the rocks
 Eventually the going becomes quite rough, so we turned about and made our way back
When we first did this walk some years ago, David toppled a beach cairn by adding one stone too many.  We have never let him forget it, so today he built a new one in the same spot.  
Just below the tourist information centre we stopped for lunch at their picnic site
Jan and David deep in conversation
Then back along the coastal path to the dive centre
Where we had a well deserved cup of coffee.

Monday 23 January2012
We will do Bolulla Castle, the walk which was cancelled this week.    Meet at kilometer 7 on the Tarbena to Castell road at 1000.  We will be doing the easier anti clockwise walk and walking down to the Castle after lunch, rather than having to face the steep climb.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

9 Jan 2011 – Pinos to Bernia

 Bright and sunny, but not yet very warm, for our first Monday Club walk of 2012
A gentle climb, combined with a stronger sun, soon resulted in the first stop to remove a layer of clothing.
This part of the walk is gentle and flat, on quite a good track.  So an opportunity to look around and enjoy the mountain and coastal views
Another short climb brings and a short break to admire the views towards Calpe.

Warm enough now to require a water stop and remove another layer.
Lunch was at our usual spot just below Bernia….
  …and who could ask for a better picnic spot than this.
 Peter and Mike went off to explore an interesting path, the rest of us started downhill back towards Pinos

No sign of Peter or Mike when we got back to the cars.  So we went off for a well deserved coffee in our car, and left them a message on their parked car.   Half an hour later they arrived with stories of a path which ended in a steep scree and a daring descent risking life and limb to get back to the cars.   They really should know better by now than to follow an “interesting” path in the mountains!
Monday 16 January 2012
One of our favourite walks, which we have not done for at least two years, Bolulla Castle.   Meet at kilometer 7 on the Tarbena to Castells road at 1000.   The plan is to do it anti clockwise to avoid that steep climb from the castle immediately after lunch.

Saturday, 7 January 2012

2 Jan 2012 – Rothbury River Walk

Our first walk of the year was a short circular walk of about four miles from Rothbury along the river Coquet .
We were spending Christmas and New Year at Rothbury with our son and his family.   It’s a very popular walking area, though there was little sign of any other walkers on this cold Monday morning.
The first mile of the walk is along the river, and the path has been much improved in the past year.  It used to be a muddy track, but is now an excellent all weather surface
There may not have been any other walkers, but there was no shortage of nosy sheep
The weather was very mild for Rothbury at this time of year.  There was no sign of the heavy snow of the previous two years.  But mild does not mean warm.   Despite a bright sunny morning, and many layers of warm clothing, it was still bitterly cold
As we cross the river we leave the all weather path behind, and join this well worn path along the side of the field…..

 …..which soon becomes wet and very muddy
We then join a quiet road with beautiful views of the nearby Cheviots
 Then it’s a public footpath across the local golf course
The sunny start to the walk soon gave way to light rain, followed by a lovely rainbow
Leaving the golf course we cross the water meadows…
…and follow the river back to Rothbury
We had been looking forward to a hot drink and bacon buttie in the local tea rooms, but they were closed!
Meanwhile back in Spain the Monday Group had also met for their first walk of the year, and enjoyed somewhat warmer weather than we had.

Monday 9 January
Next Monday Club walk will be Pinos to Bernia.   Meet at the usual parking place, just over the first bridge after passing through Pinos.   Start at the usual time of 10am