Tuesday, 21 February 2012

20 Feb 2012 – Parcent Carrascal

This is the first time we tackled this difficult walk as a group, and we wanted to make sure that the weather would be reasonable when we reached the top to appreciate the views.  So Jan and I were delegated to decide whether to cancel the walk if the weather was not too good.  This was the view from our naya at 0800 when we had to decide.  The weather forecast was overcast with a chance of rain.   We decided to do it and hope for the best.
We had cancelled this walk three times due to poor weather, so it was a relief when it was at least dry we all met at the Piscina in Parcent.   We parked three cars at the Col de Rates so that we would not have to walk back downhill to the Piscina at the end of the walk.
It’s a steady two hour climb to the top, and we had to set a pace that was suitable for everyone.   When the group fell silent I called a short stop.   Fortunately this did not happen too often!
We were all ready for our banana stop, but everyone is still looking quite cheerful despite the steep climb.
The view over the valley and Parcent is pretty impressive, but it was too cold to stop and admire it for too long.
We did make time for this “top of the world” type photo of Jan and Wendy. One for the photo albumn.
The last part of the climb is particularly difficult.   Fortunately it is now much better sign posted than it was when we first did this walk with the local Spanish walking group.  Then the group broke up and everyone made their own way to the top.

It took us two hours to reach the ridge, and being exposed it was very cold.   After a short rest we wrapped up and set off again
We soon reached the rocky patch, which looks like I imagine it must be on the moon
Once more the walk was made much easier by the new sign posting, including easy to see posts.
By 1pm the sky had cleared and there was even a little sun.  But it was still bitterly cold, even when we managed to find a sheltered spot for lunch.
It was one of those times when it was more important to keep warm, than to worry about how you looked
Nearing the end of the ridge walk we came in sight of the fire observation post, which is clearly visible from our naya at home
Tired but happy group.  We all felt that it was quite an achievement to tackle such a difficult walk.
From here there is a proper road down to the Col de Rates.   An easy end to the walk, but still another hour to reach the cars
We felt a little scruffy to have a coffee at the Col, but much more at home in the Cooperativea in Parcent.   A hot coffee con leche was a suitable end to a very enjoyable walk.

27 February 2012
Next week Peter will lead his circuit of Bernia.   Meet at the car park at 10am

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