Wednesday, October 27, 2010

25 Oct 2010 - Fig Tree Walk

We have been unable to do this walk for about two years, due to the road to Castells being closed for widening. We were a little apprehensive at the start as there were black clouds and it looked like it might rain. As there was no sun it was quite cold, by our standards anyway. So most started the walk in jackets.

The start of the walk is a long uphill climb. It was not long before we had to stop to remove at least one layer of clothing.

There were 16 on the walk, quite a large number for a Monday Club. It was Barry’s first walk since the summer.

It was also the first time we had seen Colin for quite a long time. He had medical problems last time he was with us, and it was good to see him looking so well – at least at the start of the walk!

An hour later we reached our first stop. There is an abandoned farm at the first level area and we always have a short break here for a quick drink and get our breath back.

The first climb was long, but followed a well defined path. So Pat, who led the walk, told everyone to go at their own speed and we waited at the finca for everyone to catch up.

But not too long a break, and it was soon time to carry on

There is a very steep climb immediately after the finca. It follows a very ill defined track, which is difficult to find at the best of times. This was not the best of times, as it was very overgrown.

Despite this we made good progress, and were soon able to look back down at the finca where we had our short break.

Whilst Pat searched for the path we caught sight of this local. We think it is called a wasp (or perhaps bee) spider. We saw one in Wendy’s garden during our (wet) BBQ, but can’t remember whether it was wasp or bee.

When the Castells road is open this is a very popular walk, and is well supplied by cairns – including this unusual and attractive one. When you are trying to follow a difficult path like this one it is always a great relief to find a stone cairn confirming that you are on the correct path.

Once we reach the summit we reach this wide track, and follow it for an hour or so before we reach our lunch picnic spot. This is my favourite part of the walk; you can step out and enjoy the views without having to look at where you are putting your feet.

Lunch was in a lovely spot, with views over the valley towards Aitana and the mountains near Benidorm. By now the sky had cleared and the sun was warm. But the wind was still quite chill, so we did not have to look for shade.

After lunch it was a long downhill walk towards the finca and later the cars. The track was still wide and easy to follow, but no longer firm. It’s very easy to fall on this sort of surface, particularly going downhill. You tend to brace your legs a lot, making it quite tiring. The views remained impressive, but you had to stop if you wanted to look.

As always the walk ended at a local bar. You will note that I settled for a coffee (coffee in front on empty chair)! The arm on the left belongs to Barry. Everyone moved slightly back for the photograph and he ended out of it completely. I blame the photographer.!!

PS Just after I finished the blog I received an email from Wendy (who is very knowledgeable about these things) confirming that the spider is a Wasp spider and that his proper name is "Argiope Beuiennichi".

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