Tuesday, 27 March 2012

27 Mar 2012 – Green Horse and Two Fonts

The planned walk to Fontilles was cancelled after Sue did a recce on Saturday and found the river too high following the heavy rain last week.   Instead Pat led an extended Green Horse walk to include Dos Fuentes.

We parked in the new, and very large, car park in the very small village of Benimaurell.   It was nice to have Wendy back after her four week holiday.   Ian also joined us for a rare walk with the group.  

The walk started with the usual climb and ridge walk, but instead of heading for the restraurant we set off downhill to the first font.   Not the most impressive looking, more like a stone trough for animals.

The walk continued downhill until we reached the second font, where we had a break for lunch

The track was good and the entire walk was well signed, including this impressive cairn.

The extension was about 7 km in all, about double the usual Green Horse walk.  Despite this we still finished at 3pm, half an hour later than normal for this walk.  So we must have set a pretty good pace.

Monday 2 April 2012

Fig Tree walk again, we will have the advantage of  our track clearing back in December.   Meet on the Benichembla to Castells road at the new lay-by just after the 30 milometer sign.   Cross the bridge and park on the left.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

19 Mar 2012 – Segaria

The grey morning turned to light rain as we arrived at Beniarbeig for our walk.  There were eleven of us, and we agreed we would start the walk despite the weather.
The rain eased as we walked, but the drizzle continued and it was too cold to stop for long.

It was also too grey and wet to want to take many photographs!

Monday 26 March 2012

Meet at the sports centre in Murla at 9.45 for a new walk around Fontilles led by Sue.   Not sure where the start of the walk is, but we will travel there in convoy from the sports centre.

Sunday, 18 March 2012

16 Mar 2012 – U3A visit to Villena

This is our third coach trip with U3A this year, this time to the lovely town of Villena.   As with the previous two we have never been there before and it was a good opportunity to visit an interesting town without having to drive and plan the visit ourselves.
We arrived at 10.30 and went straight to the town museum, which is famous for its collection of 3000 year old gold ornaments found locally in the 1960s.  There were too many on the coach for the small museum, so while half did the tour the remainder went for a coffee

We spent half an hour at the museum, and then it was our turn to find a road side table for a much anticipated cup of coffee and tostada.

We all met up again for a visit to the Moors and Christians museum, which is in a large old building now used as the headquarters of the committee.   Apparently many thousands parade each year, not only in Villena but also nearby towns and villages.

We had visited a similar museum in Calpe, but this was much larger and far more impressive.
I was particularly interested in this model of the town, made from card.   It would make a very impressive centre piece for a large wargame.

We finished the morning with a visit to the modern visitors centre near the castle.   There was an excellent video about the history of the town, plus a small but interesting virtual tour, all in English.  No doubt funded by an EU grant.

The coach took the group back to the town centre for lunch, but Jan and I had brought a picnic and we climbed to a picnic site overlooking the castle.

The castle was closed, and is only open for official tours.  But we could wander around the outside area and sit in the sun admiring the well preserved walls.

The afternoon was to be spent with a guided tour of the castle, but we had half an hour to wander around before the rest of the group returned.

The guide was really excellent.  He spoke very good English, and brought the history alive with his commentary and stories.   I had not known that the castle was occupied by the French during the Napoleonic Wars, and destroyed in 1812 when they had to retreat after their defeat at nearby Castalla.

We were fortunate to have lovely weather for exploring Villena, sunny with a cool breeze.  The day was well organised with a good mix of interesting activities and spare time to explore on our own.   Amazing how much you can fit into such a short visit.

Saturday, 17 March 2012

17 Mar 2012 - Six Years in Spain

Its hard to believe that it is six years ago today that we arrived in Parcent to start our new life in the sun

There have been moments of stress, frustration and irritation, but we have never regretted our decision for one moment.   We have made great friends and love our life here.

Looking forward to the next six years.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

12 Mar 2012 – Lleus to Olta

Ideal walking weather as eleven of us met at Lleus for the walk to Olta.   Sue was leading the walk, but its so long since she last did it that she had to do a recce earlier in the week to confirm the route.
Last time we walked on Olta was following a spell of heavy rain, and the chalky path had turned to thick mud.  Today it was so dry it was like walking on sand.

We were impressed to find this van with an advert for farm refits parked alongside this ruin of a finca.   No sign of any workmen, but a clever place to park your car.
And it was certainly a finca with a view.

This is a popular walking area for both locals and tourists from Benidorm and Calpe, but today we had it pretty much to ourselves.

 Lunch was at the very impressive picnic site.  We are not used to tables and chairs, let along flush toilets and running water.  

And, best of all, the site comes complete with this view of Calpe.

This is a lovely walk with constantly changing views of the surrounding coast and mountains.  And, unusual for our walks, the track is so good that you can look around and enjoy the views without having to worry about tripping.
My camera does not do justice to the coastal views, with Benidorm in the coastal haze.
Barry was quick to get his camera out when he saw this impressive Giant Orchard
And, just for Rosemary, a close up of the same.   Its ironic that we found this one just the week after she and David returned to UK for a short visit.
There is no bar in Lleus, so we had arranged to have a snack in the church square after the walk.   Jackie and Mike came well prepared….
……the rest of us had to make do with a hard wall.   Pat samples Jan’s bread pudding

Monday 19 March

Sylvia and Ken will lead next week’s walk around Segaria.   Meet at the car park in the centre of  Beniarbeig at 0945 and travel in convoy to the start of the walk.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

5 Mar 2012 – Tormos to Font Centella

We had a good turnout today for David and Rosemary’s last walk for a few weeks.  They are returning to UK for a short visit.   It was nice to see Sue, who has not walked with us for a few months.
Its two years since we last did this walk.   We followed the road to Isbert Dam for a short time, and then set out across country.   After a sharp climb on a difficult overgrown track we were rewarded with these views of the Green Horse.

Pat had intended to do some path clearing, but it proved too overgrown to do it properly.  Though Peter did cut back the worse of the undergrowth

After a couple of hours we reached Font Centella, where we also joined a signed path which would lead us down to Isbert Dam
We eventually rejoined the road from Tormos, and were able to appreciate the scenery as we made our way to the dam
 Just a short scramble over the rocks to our lunch picnic site
The dam is a very impressive site, and an excellent spot for lunch
Sue started an extended discussion on the UK welfare system when she told us that her state pension would be delayed due to a change in the entitlement period.
On the way back to Tormos we found this unusual building.  It is very similar to the “music house” above Fontilles.   This one was just a shell, and no other buildings nearby.   Hard to imagine what its purpose might have been.  Ken suggested that it might have been home to a hermit.

Monday 12 March 2012
Sue has offered to lead a walk from Lleus to Olta.   Meet in the square at 10am.    There are no bars in Lleus, so Peter has suggested that we each bring a drink and a snack in addition to the normal picnic lunch.   Weather permitting we will have our post walk  drink in Lleus square.

Friday, 2 March 2012

1 Mar 2012 – Pedreguer Font de Axia

This is not one of the favourite walks for the Monday Club, so we were very pleased when David and Rosemary suggested that we join them to do it without the group.
We had a lovely day for walking, blue skies and cool wind.   It is a little early for the flowers, but this time of year always reminds us of walking in UK in the spring.   Cool enough to walk yet warm enough to sit and have a picnic.
About an hour into the walk we came upon this old finca which is being renovated.   In fact the whole are around the finca had clearly been tidied up.   It was a good spot for our banana break.
After our break it was downhill to the font.   It made a nice change to be walking of a good surface which allowed us to look around and enjoy the views.
We didn’t in fact go as far as Font de Axia, because we wanted to get most of the climbing over before lunch.   So we started to climb just before the font and looked for a suitable picnic site when we reached the top.
This area around Pedreguer has become a firm favourite since David introduced it to us a couple of years ago.  Despite having the best sign posted walks in the whole area, it is always quiet and offers excellent views of the surrounding hills.
I still prefer Castel de Axia, but this made a very good alternative.    Let’s hope we can persuade the Monday Group to revisit the area soon.