Twenty of us got together for lunch at Restaurante Castellvi in Alcalali for our Christmas meal. Thanks to David Eaton for the excellent photographs. Thanks to everyone else for their company at the meal, and during our weekly walks during 2017. Good company, good food and an excellent way to round off the year. Hope to enjoy many more walks together in 2018.
Tuesday, 12 December 2017
Friday, 8 December 2017
20 of us for last week’s walk, 8 for today’s
Lots of reasons for the difference in numbers, and to be honest it was really nice to have a small group for a change
We were also very lucky with the weather, which was much warmer than expected
After two weeks of sun, but cold winds, we all came dressed for the worse today
But by the time we reached our banana break we had removed most of the extra layers
It felt more like late Spring than early December
Not sure if it was the size of the group, but we reached the windmills much earlier than usual
We were surprised to find there were quite a few Spanish families and groups at the windmills, though plenty of space for all
We usually do this walk in December, and for the past couple of years it has been cold enough to be uncomfortable having our picnic
But not today, it was warm and no one was in any hurry to get going again
We soon left the “crowds” behind and had the area to ourselves
We had another break when we reached the tower, to enjoy the afternoon sun
When we reached the promenade we found that the restaurants were all very busy
We managed to find one to have a drink and a break, but were not impressed to be charged tourist prices of 4.50 for a beer
Tuesday, 5 December 2017
We wanted to do a recce of this walk as we had heard reports that the track was badly eroded.
Despite the bright sun and clear skies it was cold enough for the rain puddles to have turned to ice.
This is a walk that we used to do regularly until a few years ago, when part of the track was closed by the new owner of an isolated finca
I thought I knew this walk very well, but soon found that the recce was a good idea. I found parts of the path which were unfamiliar, including a path leading to this finca
The track itself was not as bad as I feared. It has always been difficult, and now is more overgrown as well. But we both felt it would be suitable for our Thursday Explorers group.
It took us three hours to reach the Col de Rates and the restaurant which was closed. However we had come prepared with our own picnic lunch.
We were warm and comfortable in our sheltered picnic spot
And had wonderful views of both the Jalon and Orba valleys
Plus an epic view of Parcent and our house on the hill behind the village
The walk was only 12 kilometers, but more difficult than we remembered and seemed much longer
We found this interesting information post on the return track. We knew that the path had been sued for transporting raisins from Tarbena to Denia, via Parcent. But not that paths like this were still used until the 1970s.
We enjoyed our recce and were pleasantly tired by the time we got back to Parcent
Time – 5 hours
Distance – 12 kilometers
Ascent – 570 metres
Saturday, 2 December 2017
Last year we had 19 on this walk making it the best attended walk of 2016. Today we had 20, making it the best attended since we started the Thursday Explorers.
This has always been one of our favourite walks, and it looks like it is a firm favourite with the group as well.
We were again very lucky with the weather. After a cold, wet, grey and miserable Wednesday this morning was sunny and bright.
However it was also very cold, and everyone was dressed accordingly
This is one of our shorter walks, and we always like to spend a little longer than usual admiring the scenery on our banana and picnic breaks
And with views like this it is not too much of a chore to do so
Despite the sun, and the view, it was too cold to stop for long
I had hoped that the satnav would help with the next section, which is not very well marked. But if anything it confused more than it helped.
I have been using my satnav for almost a year now, and am still struggling. I am sure it is more me than the satnav, but I can’t seem to master it. I understand how it works, but it does not seem to help me navigate any better than looking for familiar signs.
Despite my satnav problems we all managed to reach the top ok
Everytime we do this walk I take a photo at the aerials. It is interesting, if a little depressing, to see how we how much younger we looked on the earlier ones.
After the climb it is really pleasant to walk along the ridge
We were also sheltered from the wind, and some had started to remove layers
The most suitable spot for lunch on this walk is also well known to be exposed to the winds
We dispersed to find what shelter we could from the wind, and added as much clothing as we could – including water proofs
Due to the short banana stop we arrived at 12 noon, a little early for lunch. But the view convinced us to opt for an early lunch
However again the cold winds prevented us from taking an extended stop, and we were soon off again
Too late I found that it would have been better to have had our lunch closer to the aerials
We stopped again just before the descent to Benimeli, but again it was too cold to hang about for long.
However it was a sun trap in the square and we all enjoyed our well deserved end of walk drink.
Despite the cold wind it was a lovely walk which again lived up to our expectations
Time – 4 hours
Distance - 7 kilometres
Total Ascent - 410 metres