Welcome

On these pages you will find all the available information associated with

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.

So……..see you on the route sometime soon, regards Malcolm.

The group organizer is Phil Woolford.

This blog is edited by Malcolm Thompson.

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NEXT WALK

The next walk is on Friday 20th of June 2014.

See ‘June Walks’, opposite, for full and complete details.

 

 

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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

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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

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

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June Walks

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

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NEXT WALK

Phil writes…..
It was to be expected that given the short notice of today’s walk,16th May, we wouldn’t have a big group, but only 5 of us turned out for it; although we did have a couple of apologies as well. Nevertheless, we had a good time, it was a bit cool when we set off, but it wasn’t long before the wind dropped and the air warmed up so that we could enjoy our ramble around the hills near Encebras and the air was clear enough for us to enjoy the stunning views. The basic walk was only about 6km, so we added on a little out and back spur to see what was at the top of an adjacent hill and that brought the distance up to a more respectable 7Km. So what was at the top of this hill? Yes, you guessed it, more views, albeit from a different aspect. Mick had his trusty iPad with him so we all posed for a ‘selfie’ and as you can see, the sky was blue and the sun was shining and we didn’t get any mud on our boots.

Next Friday’s walk, 23 May, is also a relatively short one at 7Km again.and is back in the Hondón Valley, starting from the top of Camino de la Ermita in HDLF. (This link will give you a map to help you find the start point: http://goo.gl/maps/zcuL6)

The shortness of the walk is somewhat compensated for by a little, slightly difficult, climb that I have put in to make a loop rather than an out and back; however, if you don’t fancy a bit of a scramble up a hillside you can always take Patricia’s original route. You can make your final decision at the start point on Friday morning. It is intended that if we have groups going 2 different ways we will meet up at a convenient viewing point and continue the walk together.

Looking ahead to June and with the experiences of last year in mind, I am intending to offer a walk in early June at our normal time and an evening walk later in the month so that we are not walking in such high temperatures. Watch this space for further details.

Regards,

Philip

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Phil writes.

Hi all,

The first Cross and Marcha held in Hondón de los Frailes, on Saturday the 10th May, attracted well over 200 competitors, of which there were 140 walkers and 120 runners. Six members of the Hondón valley Walking Group took part and had a very pleasant evening on the 10Km circuit, with just over 200m total height gain. The weather was perfect, warm when we set off, but cooling as the sun descended so that by the time we returned to the village we were not too overheated, but still ready for that pint of beer or glass of wine… or two!
The route took us up to the ridge between the village and Albatera on Camino de la Ermita, which was where the group started to string out. Then along the white road that links Ermita with Camino de los Serranos and on to the ridge track that runs towards Abanilla. Finally turning down Camino de la Murada, onto Camino Casas Alta and finally down Camino Vertiente and back to the village centre.
Some people decided to make it a comfortable stroll, whilst others decided to go for a good time. Our first two in the bar were Amanda and Philip, who much to Amanda’s disgust crossed the line in 1 hour, 30 minutes and 59 seconds; whereas she had been aiming for an hour 30! Probably the KOS she was walking with held her back…! However, all of our walkers completed the walk in less than 2 hours
The runners set off an hour after the walkers and the front runner was coming down Camino Vertiente after only 30 minutes or so; I am glad I didn’t decide to run it would have been embarrassing, but then I never have been a runner since I left school.
Several people have asked what the run was in aid of, thinking that it was a charity event. However the only purpose was to encourage more people to take exercise in this wonderful local that we have for walking and running in. So, it was just an excuse for a bit of fun and to get a bit healthier. It was great to see so many people of all ages from all the nationalities that live here taking part with so much good humour. Well done to all who participated and if you missed it this time, hopefully, you will get the opportunity to participate next year.

Incriminating photos attached…

 

Regards,

Waiting for the off Ready to go Is that a beer I see before me 1Hour, 31 mins later

Philip

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Two walks in May

I apologise for the relatively short notice, but the next 2 walks are almost upon us.

Brian will lead a walk from Encebras this Friday, the 16th May, starting as usual at 10.00. Meet in the centre of the village of Encebras to drive out to the starting point. There will be the opportunity for a menu del dia after the walk, but no need to book as the restaurant we use in Pinoso will be able to cope. This will be a moderate walk, not too long and mostly on tracks with some fairly steep climbs and descents on sometimes lose shale. Boots recommended. Here is a link to a Google Map to help you find the meeting point: http://goo.gl/maps/Swnb9

The following walk will be a variation on the recce that we did this morning and will take place on Friday the 23rd May. The starting point will be by the old tree at the top of Camino de la Ermita in Hondón de los Frailes and we will set off at 10.00. This will also be a moderate walk of about 7Km, mostly on tracks and again with some steepish ascents and descents, sometimes on lose stone, so again boots are recommended. Here is a link to help you find the start location: http://goo.gl/maps/zcuL6 Again we will decide on lunch arrangements on the day.

Regards,

 

Philip

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