Friday, 31 March 2017

30 March 2017 – Gata Soldates

There were thirteen of us for today’s walk, but it was not unlucky for us.  Despite a weather forecast of changeable weather it turned out sunny with a cool breeze.
David has just returned to Spain for a short visit, and this was his first walk.   I asked him to lead it as he has done many times before and it would allow me to record the walk on my satnav.

This is the second walk we have done from Gata.  David also led Tossal del Moro in November last year.  So most of the group were able to find the parking area near the post office without any problem.
The first part of the walk follows the same route as last year and many recognised it.  But about half of the group had not walked in this area before and were in for a treat
I have gained an unfair reputation for talking down the difficulty of some of our walks.  So I may have worried some by commenting that Soldates was a much more difficult climb than Tossal del Moro.
A very serious looking group as we have a banana stop at the bottom of Soldates
As always we urged everyone to go at their own pace, but in fact most of them kept together and with David setting a good pace we set off.
This photo was taken as they approached the top and you can see that no one seems to be struggling.   Indeed they look like they are out for a gentle ramble.
Alan and Ruth have recently returned from an extended holiday, and have not walked much over the past three months.  But they also seem to be taking it in their stride.
Having climbed to the summit it is always either too hot or too cold to hang about for long.  Today it was the cold wind that decided us against a longer stop to enjoy the views.
The descent is much easier than Tossal del Moro, though it is still necessary to take care and the walking sticks come in handy.
The path downhill and towards the abandoned finca where we would have our picnic lunch is very well defined and easy to follow.
David had set a steady pace which everyone found comfortable, and we still arrived at the finca just before our anticipated lunch break of 1pm.
Now that we were off the summit the wind was no longer a problem, and it was very comfortable having our picnic.   As always it was left to me to get everyone moving again.  My warning call of “two minutes (and then we move)” fell on deaf ears.
The next section of the walk is lovely, particularly at this time of year.   Easy walking on good paths and lots of colour from the spring flowers.
Montgo dominates this walk, as it does many others.   We had another short break to admire it and to take photos.
The last section is a gradual downhill walk to Gata and on a day like today it was a very pleasant end to the walk.
Jan and I had to miss the after walk drink as we were expecting a builder to give us a quote for some work.   On a day like today a cold drink is a nice way to end the walk, and we were sorry to miss it.  All the more so as the builder had to cancel his visit!

Walk Stats
Thanks as always to Nick for the stats.   I was a little surprised to find that the total ascent of Soldates at 442 metres was less than Tossal del Moro at 490 metres.

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