Sunday, November 15, 2009

14 Nov 2009 - Alt de Ample

The more popular name for this walk is "the dead dog walk". I don't know why this is so, but I do know that twice a walker's dog has been poisoned by bait left by local hunters. Apparently they leave poisoned tins of tuna fish to kill foxes. The last time this happened the owner had to rush the dog to the local veterinary hospital, and happily the dog was saved.

Unlike last Monday, the weather today was warm and sunny. In fact we were back in shirt sleeves again. And by the time we had climbed the steep hill at the start of the walk we were all "glowing".

The walk starts near Jalon, but you are soon well away from civilisation. In fact during the whole walk the only other people we came met were a couple of Spanish hunters with their dogs. Its clearly an area popular with hunters, as the track was littered with used cartridge cases.

We were joined on the walk with David and Rosemary. None of us had done this walk for over two years, but we followed the route without any problem. We had expected it to be overgrown and were surprised to find that the track at the start had been cut back.

We had forgotten just how good the views are on this walk, both of the Jalon valley and towards the coast. This view towards Jalon shows the unsightly urbanisation's overlooking the village.

There is one part of the walk where the path is difficult to find, and we remembered that you had to head towards this dead tree. Actually its obviously not quite dead, as it had been in this condition for at least two years.

This is the lovely spot where we stopped for lunch. It is just before we start to come down the hill again, and provides excellent views of the surrounding area. The only drawback is that there is not much shade or shelter. However though warm today, it was slightly overcast so the sun was not a problem.

As we started to follow the mosarabic trail downhill we came across this strange rock formation. I often wish I knew more about such things, but sadly don't.

Another view, this time towards Parcent and "the green horse", the twin peaked mountain on the right, which was last Monday's walk. We could easily identify the church tower of Parcent, and just make out our house on the hill behind.

The downhill walk is much longer than expected as the path takes long zig-zags. As you walk down there is a finca in the distance which seems to get further away rather than nearer. But the views are excellent, and frequent short stops are recommended to admire it. The track is one of those where you need to watch where you are putting your feet all the time, so looking and walking are not recommended.

The last section of the walk is through a wooded area, and when we last did it the path was badly eroded. That is the reason we did this walk as a recce. It was even worse today, and we all got scratched quite badly. But at the end we found a good path, and David walked back to confirm that it would be a good alternative to the bad one we had used. This means that the walk would be very suitable for a Monday Club walk in the future.