Welcome

The Hondon Valley Walking Group.

We extend a warm welcome everyone in the Hondon Valley and surrounding area and cordially invite you to come and explore one of the most beautiful areas of Spain with us. We organise walks for all abilities from short, flat walks to view the almond blossom in spring to the heights of El Cid and La Penya Mena.

We are multi-national and multi-lingual and we welcome well behaved and obedient dogs, (usually on lower level routes). Every month in the winter, spring and autumn we try to complete 2 or 3 walks; normally 1 easy, 1 moderate and 1 difficult, usually with altitude.

There is no walking in the height of summer.

One takes part at ones own risk, however, we take mountain safety very seriously and every route is usually surveyed by one of our experienced ‘walk leaders’ well in advance of leading the group. S/he is able to advise participants about length, duration, gradient, surface and fitness levels required.

» Please read our Aims & Ethos page here

So…….. see you on the route sometime soon.

The group organizer is Phil Woolford.
This blog is edited by Derek Cook.

Posted in Walking Group

Walk: Thursday, 23 Oct 2014

An update from Phil:

The sun shone, the wind abated and the cars just kept on coming as we gathered for this morning’s walk (Ref 301), the first of the new season.

We actually filled the car park on the old Hondón to Aspe road and a mix of regular walkers and some new walkers set off on a gentle amble down a well made track along a dry river bed towards Aspe and back.

Thirty five walkers and one well behaved dog completed the walk in 2 hours, plus a 30 min coffee stop (Ya Bar) in Aspe.  (Don’t get used to this ladies and gentlemen as there aren’t many coffee shops in the hills where we usually walk!). Everyone seemed to enjoy the walk and thought it would be a good route to take visitors who don’t walk a lot on to enjoy our area.

So, on to our next walk,  which, is on Friday next week (Halloween). It starts from the car park at the 7km marker on the Hondón de los Frailes to Albatera road to set off walking at 10.00. This walk will be a little more challenging than today’s, but it’s still an easy walk.

I look forward to seeing as many walkers as possible next week, and the car park is bigger than today’s! :-)Regards, Phil.


 

Easy does it!

(Ref 301) : Our next walk (graded easy) will be on Thursday, 23rd October at 10.00. It will be a very easy walk,  more a social amble of just under 9Km on predominately good tracks with a little road work and it is almost level, apart from a couple of ups and downs in and out of a dry river bed. Unlike most of our walks, there will be a coffee and comfort stop, just after the half-way point, so this, is, an ideal walk for those, who would like to try us out and for our regular walkers who may need a more gentle walk to get their legs back into gear after the summer recess.

 ♦ The Rendezvous (RV)

On Thursday, 23rd October, we will rendezvous (RV) at a new parking and picnic area on the old Hondón to Aspe road in time to set off promptly at 10.00.

♦ How to get there?

From the Hondón Valley, take the CV 845 towards Aspe and as you leave Hondón de las Nieves and climb up the hill towards the Holcim quarry take the left turn onto a minor road in front of the quarry entrance, see photo. Holcim: Old road to Aspe Proceed 2.7Km along this minor road, passing several picnic areas and you will see a parking and picnic area sign, almost opposite a road joining from the left. The car park will be on your right just around the bend to the right in front of you. From Aspe or La Romana take the turn off the Aspe / La Romana road, the CV 846, that is just outside Aspe and is sign posted “Hondón de las Nieves 7” and also has an orange sign for the Polideportivo. Aspe: To Deportivo Sign Proceed 2.7 Km along this road and you will see the parking area on your left. NOTE: As ever, please wear appropriate footwear and carry your own water supply, a first aid kit and, if appropriate, protective clothing. Thank you, Phil.

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Walk Friday, 31st Oct’ 2014

Off Road

(Ref 302) : The second walk for October will be on Friday, 31st October at 10.00. This one will still be quite easy, but, nonetheless, rather more demanding than the one scheduled for Thurs 23rd to help get us all back to walking fitness.

This will be almost entirely on unmade roads and tracks. There will be more ups and downs, but no significant overall height gain. The distance is about the same as the first walk (about 9Km), but it is a bit more strenuous, which should help to get us all back to some sort of hill walking fitness for the rest of the season.

 ♦ The Rendezvous (RV)

On Friday, 31st October, we will RV on the parking area at the 7Km milestone on the CV 873 Hondón de los Frailes to Albatera road, again in time to set off promptly at 10.00.

Meet on the Albatera Road

NOTE: As ever, please wear appropriate footwear and carry your own water supply, a first aid kit and, if appropriate, protective clothing.

Thank you,
Phil

Posted in Walking Group

October… It’s time to take a hike!

Oct 2014: Horray! The Hondón Walking Group now resumes its activities after the Summer Recess (too hot) and an enforced delay caused by the weather at the end of September (too wet!)

» OCTOBER WALK #1: Thursday, 23rd October at 10.00 [ DETAILS HERE ]

For those new to this blog a few words of welcome:

INFORMAL & FRIENDLY: We are an informal walking group, no committees, very few rules and those only for safety and we are open to anyone who is able to walk without endangering others or spoiling the enjoyment of others.

MULTINATIONAL: For safety reasons we prefer English speakers, but we are a multinational group with British, of all sorts, Dutch, German, Belgian and Spanish members. There are no fees, no obligations about the number of walks that you participate in and no obligation to join the occasional social activity if you don’t want to.

HILLS: As we live inland and in the case of Hondón de los Frailes, for example, at heights between 400 and 500m (1,300 to 1,640ft) we are inevitably a hill walking group, so if you don’t like or can’t climb and descend hills we are probably not for you. However, if hill walking is for you then please feel free to come along and give us a try.

FREQUENCY & GRADING: At present we do two or three walks a month and for simplicity we have three grades of walk.

Our standard walk is graded as Moderate and tends to be 8 to 12Km with a height gain up to 500m and might include some rough ground and short scrambles. Either side of this we have an Easier grade, which might be shorter, will certainly have a smaller height gain, and might have less demanding terrain underfoot. Our more Demanding walks might be longer, have more height gain, be on rougher terrain or any combination thereof.

We aim to have one easier and one moderate walk per month and in some months we will have a more demanding walk. So, there is an easy entry option if you are new to walking and a route up through the grades as you gain experience and fitness.

LUNCH: Some walk leaders arrange their walks to allow a menu-del dia afterwards, but these are entirely optional. Some people go to the pub for a drink after, whilst others just go home. It is entirely up to the individual walker.

TRY IT! So, if you are reading this and hesitating about giving it a try, why not come along to one of the walks this month and give it a go?

» OCTOBER WALK #1: Thursday, 23rd October at 10.00 [ DETAILS HERE ]

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October Walks!

Hello everyone,

And the wall came tumbling down in Hondon

Flood Damage in Hondon

Firstly an apology for being a bit tardy of late. I had the walks for October sorted out and then the heavens opened, three times in three days and we lost a good stretch of the garden wall and the garden and drive were inundated with water, debris and mud. I attach a photo for your interest!

I also managed to smash the end of my right index finger while clearing the debris so that we could get the car out, no photo, too gruesome! So 4 stitches and a large dressing later I am finding many jobs including typing quite a bit more difficult than usual.

Then I realised, after looking around at other damage in and about the village, that I needed to recce the chosen routes to see if they are still walkable and if not to recce alternatives.

So there will be a slight delay in publishing the October programme, please bear with me. I am still planning 2 walks this month, one very easy to get us back into the swing of things and then a more moderate walk later. So both walks may now appear in the second half of the month.

For those of you who have read Malcolm’s plea on the Blog and feel like having a go at being a blog master but haven’t got around to volunteering, don’t worry, the position is now filled. Dez Cook has taken it on; you know the old saying, if you want something done find a busy person…!

Regards,

Philip Woolford
HV Walking Group Founder

Posted in Walking Group

Time

Talking about being confused…….!

I was thinking about the time in between now and the first walk in September and it occurred to me that this quote is eloquent in it’s simplicity:

Time flies like an arrow.

Fruit flys like a banana. 

See you all in September.

TTFN

Mal the blogmaster

Posted in Walking Group

Summer Break

June, July and August are upon us again.

So let common sense prevail and after the last walk of this season, (on June the 20th), activities are suspended until further notice in the autumn. Enjoy your summer and ‘god willing’ we will all meet again when the weather moderates in September.

Mal the blogmaster.

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Words and Pictures

“Patricia and Twister’s Walk”

On Friday, 23rd May, 17 people and a dog (Twister) gathered at the top of Camino de la Ermita in Hondón de los Frailes to try a new walk. The group was mixed with varying levels of fitness so two options were provided. The ‘Gung Ho’ Brigade put their trust in Philip, a most unwise decision really, whilst the more cautious followed Patricia and both groups met on top of the ridge at a viewing point looking over the plain of Murcia and our local quarry.

From the parking area by the old Olive Tree, Patricia’s group took the road off to the left and started ascending Monte Alto on the unmade road that starts at the end on the asphalted surface of Camino de la Ermita and worked their way up to a junction where a well defined track goes off to the right. They then followed this until it apparently petered out at the viewing point. Philip’s group went off to the right and followed a track around the ridge until it seemed to be petering out much lower down. But it wasn’t really, it just became very narrow and very steep, which was a bit of a challenge for some people, but all that started up arrived at the top in one piece.

They must have done well because this group were first to the viewing point, even after sampling another viewing point part way up the ascent! Nevertheless they were assured that Philip hadn’t led them to far astray as they could see Patricia and her group approaching. After a break and some photo opportunities, the combined group walk along the track that the more cautious walkers had used until they were on the main ascent track for Monte Alto. At this point some walkers elected to descend back to the cars, having enjoyed just enough exercise for them. The remainder carried on up to the cross roads at the top of the Monte Alto ridge and on down to the Albatera Road, before turning left past the Coral de Sarastro and various minor roads and tracks to get back to the cars.

All in all it was a pleasant walk on a beautiful walking day. Incriminating photos courtesy of Kees.”

Regards,

Philip

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Posted in Walking Group

Walks, June 2014

Hola todos

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:

https://www.google.es/maps/ms?msid=209882208873193021770.0004fa48b6cd5beebd6be&msa=0&ll=38.375745,-0.678663&spn=0.027151,0.055747

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.

https://www.google.es/maps/ms?msid=209882208873193021770.0004f9e96fff6a32598c1&msa=0&ll=38.304621,-0.852299&spn=0.027177,0.055747

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.

Regards,

Philip

Posted in Walking Group