Saturday, 11 March 2017

9 March 2017 – Olta Summit


Fifteen of us for today’s walk on Olta.  We met most of the group in Jalon, as they did not know how to get to the starting point at the camp site.
The weather forecast was good, and we were not disappointed, it turned out warm and sunny.
After such a quiet walk when we did the recce a week ago, we were surprised to find the lower car park pretty well full.  Fortunately there was plenty of space on the upper car park.
We were just in time to see a large group of walkers leaving the car park as we arrived.   By the time we were ready to go they had a good ten minute start

We soon caught up with them again, and they confirmed that they were also heading for the summit.   We had a longer than usual break to allow them to get ahead once more, as I did not want to be stuck behind them when we were climbing to the summit.
We caught them up again at the abandoned finca, where they were having their banana stop.   We had planned to stop there but we pushed on, and I decided to keep ahead of them.   This meant a shorter banana stop, which did not go without comment.
By now it was quite warm, and we did not want to set too fast a pace.  On the other hand we did not want the other group to catch us up
As we approached the summit there were two groups already there, but they both left as we arrived.   So we had the area to ourselves for our picnic lunch.   The large group we passed earlier never did arrive.  Either I had misunderstood their intention to walk to the summit, or they had changed their mind and settled for the circuit walk.
I had expected that it might be too hot to remain for long on the exposed summit, but in fact there was a nice cool breeze.  So it was very pleasant, and we had a longer than usual lunch stop.
Although there was a slight sea haze we had wonderful all around views of the coast and inland.  This was the first time that most of the group had done this walk, and they were well pleased that they had done so.
After lunch the route is either downhill or level, a very pleasant walk with lovely views.
Just as well we had no more climbing to do, because the temperature had risen higher than expected.   Most of the group had brought two bottles of water, but now found that they would have been happier with three bottles.
Despite the large number of walkers we had seen before lunch, we saw none at all after lunch until we reached the Ermita.
 

Although it was much warmer than expected, we made very good time and if anything were a little early when we reached the Ermitia, so we decided to have a short break there.
  There was only one other couple of walkers there, so we had plenty of room to find a shaded picnic table

We were also able to fill our water bottles from the nice cool water at the pump.

One of the group, I think David, put his head under the pump to cool off.   This seemed an excellent idea, and more than one of the others followed suit.   The group would have been happy to stay there much longer, but we also wanted to get back to Jalon for a drink.
We finished the walk in 5.5 hours, which was the time I had estimated.  Not bad for 11 kilometres and a total ascent of 485 metres on a very hot day.   I am not sure what the temperatures were during the walk, but it was 32c on our naya when we got home at 5pm.
It was a hot, tired and thirsty group who finally gathered at the bar in Jalon for a very well deserved cold drink (or two).
Thanks to Nick for this week’s stats

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