We had planned to do this walk on Thursday, but postponed because of a bad weather forecast. 9 of the 16 who were to walk with us were unable to do so today. Fortunately we gained four new walkers, so we had a total of 11. It was particularly nice to see Sylvia and Ken, who cannot walk on Thursdays. Anke brought her husband Frans, and Colin his wife Karina. In addition the weather was so much better today, warm and sunny.
David is pointing out the Bull Run and explaining the walk. Everyone looks suitably impressed.
It took us about an hour to reach the dam, and most of the group clambered down the rocky river bed to have a look at the dam itself.
This was followed by the first climb, up to the disused railway line
And then through the tunnel itself. Most had forgotten to bring a torch, but it is not really necessary anyway.
Then up the steep track to Fontilles
We had a short break half way to admire the view
Jan demonstrates that she can walk and peel an orange at the same time
It took us a little longer to reach Fontilles than anticipated, mostly due to a longer than expected water break at Isberts Dam. I wanted to walk down to the square, because some of the group had not been there before. But it would mean that we would be late for our picnic lunch at Campell.
Everyone agreed that it was worth a visit so we had our banana stop at Fontilles
Another delay on the climb up to Campell, when we found a couple of trees which had blown down in the recent storms were blocking the path. Alijke was first up the hill looking for a detour around the trees
We then discovered that we were sharing the track with a group of cyclists who were training for a race around Fontilles. Everyone was quite happy to take a break to allow them to pass.
We arrived at the Ermita, and our picnic lunch, about half an hour later than expected.
It was nice to be able to sit down and take a break, whilst admiring the spectacular view
On the way through Campell we had an opportunity to admire Jan’s favourite village house
David led the walk at a pace which allowed everyone to chatter away, and me to record the walk on my satnav
I was aware from our recce last Saturday that the ford was under water, but only an inch or so. There was also an alternative to use stepping stones. Karina was particularly concerned not to get her boots wet, and opted for the stones. Most of the rest of us just walked over the ford getting the soles of our boots wet.
Karina was particularly pleased that she kept her boots completely dry – soles and all.
No one had kept any apples for the horses, though Jan had an orange which they found very acceptable.
And finally the last climb. It is quite steep and always looms large in our memory of this walk. Not too bad today as it was not very hot, but near the end of a long walk on a very hot day it can be a trial.
Time 5.5 hours
Total ascent 435 metres