Healthy Walking Group Report March 2016

Trial walks sometimes an unexpected experience!

Healthy Walking Group Report  March 2016

 1st/3rd March           Rafalets to Tarrula

This is a pleasant level walk along roads and tracks through forests and parts of Llueca development. 39/29 people walked. On 3rd March the group met with the Javea Walkers at Rafalets car park and Clive volunteered to take anyone who fancied a 2 hour walk with them, but most walkers had already made plans for after our walk.

Group Leaders trial walk 26th Feb

The Leaders are always trying to find new and interesting walks for the group. Leader Robert Verbruggan uses Google Earth and parts of other walks to construct new routes. The Leaders then follow his route to see if it is suitable for the Healthy Walking Group. There are various criteria. There has to be ample parking at the start. The start has to be within sensible driving distance and has to be suitable for most walkers. The length of the walk and the time it takes is also important. Details of each walk are given on the schedule which is emailed  to group members every 6 weeks. Walkers can then decide if they are capable of each walk.

Robert’s route this time was up to the top of Rafalets hill to the viewpoint on the top and back by the narrow winding road and forest tracks. Although Google Earth gives heights and distances, the trees often obscure the tracks from the air. We walked through the woods from the top of the urbanisation and then turned up the hill. After a few tricky bits over terraces, we spotted the route up a ravine! Was there another way, had we missed a track? Two intrepid Leaders tackled this with a lot of scrambling and pushing. Murmurs of ‘Hilary and Tenzing’ were heard from those below! Robert had brought a trowel and he cut some steps in the hillside to aid our climb. We looked for an easier ascent but after much tramping around and snapping twigs there was no alternative but to tackle the ravine. After a very ungainly struggle scrambling and grabbing branches we all reached a terrace. After walking along the terrace and up another steep path we entered an open area with dewponds and a feeding area (for birds or animals?)

The views were spectacular in all directions enhanced by warm sunshine and cloudless blue skies. There was a rough vehicle track leading down to a narrow winding road and we all enjoyed a long downhill walk. We  re-entered the forest which is crisscrossed with tracks and hopefully headed in the direction of the cars. There was a bit of confusion near a Finca where there were many tracks but a friendly Spaniard with two lovely dogs confirmed we were on the right track to the cars. We followed this epic with a good meal at El Paso bar.

We will NOT be taking the group on this walk!  We will try to find another route because the views from the top are splendid and not to be missed.

8th/10th March   Tracks and roads behind the Benissa industrial Estate

This walk sounds uninspiring! However on the other side of the hill beyond the buildings is a beautiful valley criss-crossed with tracks. 35 members turned up for a very quick almost level walk on the 8th followed by coffee outside Pedrera Bar.

Thursday dawned dull after heavy rain overnight. There was a very strong bitter wind in Moraira which was much worse at the starting point at the top of the Industrial Estate! Two leaders, John and Brian and spouses had several layers on and waited for any other intrepid walkers to turn up. They had just decided that no one else would be brave(daft) enough to struggle against the wind and they would retire to the warm bar, when lots of cars arrived. 38 well wrapped up walkers tackled the cold and wind and blew away the cobwebs! Michael and Nancy from Javea did not walk but joined us for coffee (inside the bar this day!). They are to visit the Hospice in Gandia for elderly men next week and they collected anything walkers had brought for them. They left with warm clothes, medicines, sugar bags, crockery and towels donated by the walkers. We all appreciate the wonderful countryside we walk through so helping some less fortunate people in the area is something we are happy to do.

N M Cummins