We have planned 2 walks in June, the first is a revisit to an interesting walk that Alan has led before and the second is a new walk at the Hondón de las Nieves end of the valley which Philip will lead.
1. La Senda de San Pascual (Moderate)
Thursday 5th June 2014; Depart at 10.00, from Bar Nuevo, Orito.
The route for this walk is the San Pascual route from Orito and Alan Smith will lead the walk. This walk essentially follows the route of the traditional romeria (procession) from Orito up to La Cueva de San Pascual and then does a loop within the Sierra de Aguilas before returning to Orito. It`s listed as PRV 179.
The total distance is 7.5 kms with a height gain of 265m. It’s expected to take about 2.5 hrs, including a break at the Santuario.
The first and last 25 minutes are on tarmac and wide paths, but the main loop is on narrow paths, often stony, and occasionally slightly vertiginous, with 2 steep (albeit short) ascents (one on bare rock, the other over loose stones) and 2 steep (albeit short) descents (on narrow paths with loose stones). The views are fantastic and there are several points of interest en route to compensate for these slight difficulties.
The circular walk will start at 10.00 from the Bar Nuevo in Orito. No arrangements have been made with respect to food, but a good selection of tapas is available in the bar for those who wish to partake.
Malcolm adds: every year on May 17th there is a huge pilgrimage to the shrine of San Pascual at Orito. The village holds a fair/market and there are coach loads of pilgrims. The pilgrims also walk and cycle from miles around and the pilgrim route from Crevillente to Orito, called the ‘Romeria San Pascual’ is quite famous. This year it was as big as ever and the atmosphere was wonderful with a huge pilgrims mass in the village plaza. The ‘Romeria’ goes along the new cycle/walk route by the outskirts of Aspe to Monforte Del Cid and is somewhere near 30 Km in length in total. This route also crosses the Southern branch of the equally famous ‘Camino De Santiago’ that goes to Santiago de Compostella, about 1700 Km.
How to get there:
Head for Aspe, then Monforte del Cid (CV825). At 1st roundabout in Monforte follow directions (right) to the A31 for Alicante. Once on the on the Autovia take the next exit (221) to Orito. Just follow the road into Orito and Bar Nuevo is at the far end of the 1st plaza on the left. There is some parking next to the bar, but also on the right hand side of the main road, or in the streets off to the right of the main road. Here is a map link in case you want to look at the route from the A-31:
2. The Boqueron Loop (Moderate)
Friday, 20th June 2014; Depart at 0900, from Museu Municipal (1928), Hondón de las Nieves.
This route is basically circular, but with a short spur out to a viewing point added for interest. Philip will lead this walk and please note that it starts an hour earlier than usual in anticipation of the heat on a flaming June day! We will meet and park by the Museu Municipal, which is a short distance out of Nieves on the road to Boqueron, map on the following link and photograph attached to help you find and identify the building. Please park prettily! The map also shows the route of the walk.
The walk is all on roads, mostly unmade roads, but with about 1km on asphalt at beginning and end of the route. Overall the route is about 9.5km with a height gain of 435m and should take 2.5 – 3 hours. Once the road starts to rise, shortly after leaving the Museu, it is an almost continuous climb for about 4km, although the gradient drops off considerably over the last km which seems almost level by comparison! :-) Then we start a long 5km descent, interrupted by a short climb and descent to and from the viewing point.
These will be the last 2 walks before the Summer break, so as this walk will be our end of term I am happy to organise a menu del día in Hondón de las Nieves if you would like one. Please tell me if you would like an end of term lunch and I will organise it once I know the numbers.