Friday, 25 November 2016

24 November 2016 – Benimeli Aerials

After another grey and wet week we were fortunate to have a cold but dry and sunny day for another of our favourite walks.
With a turnout of 19 it was also our largest group yet.   It would have been even larger but one couple had to cancel at the last minute, and we had already turned down another two new walkers to keep the total below our limit of 20 in each group.
The walk started badly when we found a group of workmen working on the “Stations of the Cross” path from the village
Fortunately I remembered the alternative track we had used many years ago when we first did this walk
It was only a very small diversion, and we were soon back on the familiar track to the aerials
It is quite a steep track right from the start, and some of our group found it more difficult than others
With a larger group its always harder to keep everyone together, so we had a couple of brief stops to allow those at the rear time to catch up

Although a short walk of only 7km, there is still a climb of just over 400 metres, including this steep section right at the start.   Some of our newer members found it quite a challenge
So our banana stop at the abandoned finca was a welcome chance to have a sit down and recover.   The views from here are not bad either.
We broke the walk into two groups for the second part of the climb.   David took the “A Team”.   Jan and I took the rest at a slightly slower pace over the rocky surface

After a short break at the car park and view point,  we continued up to the aerials and along to the end of the ridge

It would be hard to find a better spot to have a picnic lunch, and the sun made a welcome appearance
We often have to find shelter from the wind, but today there was no need
Jan has started a new tradition of supplying boiled sweets during the lunch break, which seems to be quite popular with everyone

And of course we had to take the traditional group photograph.   If the group gets any larger I will have to invest in a wide angle lens!
Once more we had an early lunch stop, partly because it is a shorter walk but more because this is such a good location.   Again no one complained.
Although it is a steep climb up, it is a pleasant and gradual stroll back down to the village
The flowers were looking particularly bright and colourful, perhaps because of the recent rain.  Anneke was not the only one to be tempted to record them

You might expect the bar to be pleased when 19 thirsty walkers unexpectedly arrived on this quiet midweek afternoon.   However the barman did not appear to be particularly impressed.   Perhaps because he had to set up some extra-large tables for us all.
Another very enjoyable walk, and just what was needed to cheer us all up after a grey and wet start to the week.   Thanks to all for joining us again.

Walk Stats
This walk of about 7 kilometres from Benimeli at around 90 metres above sea level reached a high point of 435 metres near the top of Segaria and included a total ascent of about 410 metres.   Including breaks and a lunch stop it took abouit 4 hours to reach the bar in the village square at an average walking speed of 3.0 kilometres per hour.