Tuesday, 7 March 2017

6 March 2017 – Pinos to Bernia Recce


I recorded this walk on my satnav a couple of weeks ago, and we plan to offer it to our Thursday group next month.  But I wanted to check that I had recorded the route correctly.
Once more we did the recce on our own.   It makes it much easier to take time when necessary to think about the route and to make notes.

We passed the two donkeys early in the walk.   They watched us as we walked past, but did not bother to come to the fence for an apple treat.  Perhaps they are being too well fed.
The morning was sunny but with a strong wind.   I had not realised that it was also cloudy until I saw this photo.

Jan has a bruise on her right hand and is wearing gloves to protect it.   We think it is from griping her walking stick too hard.   She tried holding the stick with her left hand, but did not feel comfortable.
The first part of this walk is a continuation of the Fossil Walk which we did last October.   That walk was very popular with the Thursday Explorers and I am sure that they will like this one too.
We almost stood on this chain of processionary caterpillars, but fortunately Jan spotted them and warned me.   It is the first time we have seen them on the ground this year, and indeed have not seen many nests in the trees.
As we climbed the hill to bar refugio we were confused that the satnav showed an increasing distance to our next way point.    I thought it was an error at first, but then I realised that the distance was in a direct line, but the track we were following was winding and for some time we were actually moving away from our destination.
When we reached bar refugio we were impressed to see that it had been extensively refurbished.   They were still working on it, and it looks like it will take some time to finish.   However the sign by the road showed normal opening times!


Given the amount of money it must have cost to refurbish I expect that the prices will increase.   They have also changed the name to Refugio Vista Bernia, and indeed they have a magnificent view of the mountain.
So far I was pretty confident of the route, and did not really need the satnav.  But I was pleased to see that I had indeed recorded the track correctly.

With just the two of us we are much more aware of the scenery and the time each stage takes.   In a group there are always a lot of distractions, and you tend not to be so aware of your surroundings.
As we walked downhill from Bernia we were on the return journey, and this was the part of the walk that I was uncertain about.
We were now walking towards the coast, and had this wonderful view.  But the tracks are not very good and it is unwise to look around rather than where you put your feet.

After lunch we experienced our first difficulty finding the track.   I must have recorded the way mark incorrectly, because we were not where it said we should be.   We do not have a map of this area, so we had to push on and hope for the best.   Fortunately we soon reached a finca which we recognised and were relieved to realise that we were on the right track all along.
We both felt that it was well worth doing the recce, even though we could probably have managed without doing so.   Even on our own it was uncomfortable not to be confident of the track.  Leading our group it would have been much more embarrassing.

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