Tuesday, 31 January 2017

30 January 2017 – Almond Blossom Recce

It’s that time of the year again, when the valley is transformed for about two weeks as the usually ugly almond trees blossom and becomes things of beauty.   We wanted to try a different route this year, but felt we needed to do a recce due to the recent heavy rain.
I also wanted to record the route with my satnav, and Jan recorded it in her notebook so that I could make sense of it all when we got home.  Our planned route was a figure of eight walk Parcent-Murla-Parcent-Alcalali-Parcent.
All went well until we reached the river at Murla.  It is normally dry, but not today.   The ford was fast flowing, but we thought we could jump over it.  I managed ok, but Jan landed with one foot in deep water, and had to complete the recce in one dry and one soaking boot.   We then found that there was an even wider flow on the far side of the river.   So we had to build a ford with rocks to get back to the Parcent side.
When we got to Alcalali we found an even more formidable river where there should have been a ford.   We tried to find an alternative route, but eventually had to turn back the way we had come.
We had expected to recce a 14km route and finish in about four hours.  Because of the swollen rivers we had to find alternative routes and that added to the distance and the time it took.   In fact we completed 20km and it took six hours.   But that included a 3km detour into Jalon for coffee and cake!   The actual walk will still be about 14km and take about four hours, but the actual route will depend on the condition of the rivers on the day.

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