Minutes of First Meeting

Initial Meeting Notes – Friday, 28 September 2012

  1. Philip welcomed 23 people to the inaugural meeting of the walking club, which was held in Bar Rayca in Hondón de los Frailes, and stated that it was his intention to form an ad hoc group with the minimum necessary administrative bureaucracy to allow us to safely provide walks for all.

  2. The idea for the walking group/club grew from the experience of running the annual RBL 10km Poppy walk, where participants had suggested that it would be a good idea to walk more often.

  3. Forty three people had expressed an interest in participating in such a group before the meeting; by the end of the meeting we had 54 names and another e-mail later in the day took the number to 56.

  4. Philip stated that he had made the following assumptions before the meeting:

    1. That we have enough people interested for us to be able to proceed with forming a club.

    2. That we will need several levels of walk difficulty to accommodate everyone who has indicated an interest in walking.

    3. That we will need some people who are willing to help with planning a programme and leading walks.

    4. That anyone interested enough to continue would release their contact details to facilitate contact for the running of the club; although we would always try to use bcc for e-mail contacts.

  5. There being no objections to these assumptions a list was circulated and those present provided e-mail and telephone numbers (home and mobile where relevant) for contact. People also self assessed their hill walking experience on a 3 point scale of Beginner through Intermediate to Experienced and some people agreed to help with the organisation of a programme and to be walk leaders. For those who could not attend today, would you please e-mail Philip with contact telephone numbers, if you have not already done so, and indicate your assessment of your hill walking experience and willingness to contribute and lead walks. (This is so that we may build up a knowledge base of walks for future use; you don’t have to lead if you don’t want to but we do need input.)

  6. Those present were then asked some questions to provide a basis for planning:

    1. How frequently would you want to walk?

As expected there was some variation in the responses and it was agreed that we should begin with 2 walks per month; one at an easy level for beginners or those needing to build up fitness and one of moderate difficulty. As the group develops and a programme emerges we will increase the frequency and add in more challenging walks as we gain experience of one another’s capabilities.

  1. What days are not suitable for you?

From those present, the only day that didn’t cause a problem for anyone was Sunday; Tuesday was the most troublesome day, followed by Monday and Thursday, then Friday and finally Saturday. Clearly we will not be able to satisfy everyone, but we will do our best.

  1. Do you just want walking or some social activity as well as well?

The consensus seemed to be that a walk followed by a menu del dia was a good idea and that meeting where we could get a drink before starting or at the end of a walk or even a pub stop part way through a walk would suit some people. Obviously there is no compulsion to participate in these extraneous activities!  Moreover, we know of very few walks with a pub in the middle!

  1. Communication & Cost

We anticipate that all initial communication will be by e-mail so there should be no cost of membership; once we are established a paper programme might be produced so a nominal charge might be necessary to cover costs.

So, no cost initially, except your own costs for equipment and any social activity.

There was a brief discussion about what to call the club/group and it was decided that the decision should be deferred until people had had time to think about it and make suggestions.

  1. Teaching Grannies to Suck Eggs, but:

    1. Please wear proper footwear and appropriate protective clothing when that is necessary. Walking poles or sticks can be useful to improve stability on rough ground, but are a personal choice.

    2. A small First aid kit should be in everyone’s knapsack.

    3. Always carry sufficient water for the duration of the walk and ambient conditions.

    4. Please observe Group Walk Discipline:

      1. No one in front of the walk leader.

      2. No one behind the back marker, unless the back marker knows and always check back in with the back marker when returning to the group after a comfort stop.

      3. Help others where appropriate and don’t let vegetation snap back onto someone following you.

    5. We will produce a guide to walking etiquette when we can.

  2. Philip will lead our first walks in October, dates and meeting places/times to be notified in a separate message when arrangements have been made:

    1. Max 5Km (3miles) easy walk, mostly level on tracks, mainly for those wanting to get their legs working, or anyone else who wants to come along.

    2. 6.2Km (3.9m) medium difficulty walk mostly on tracks with one scramble and some river bed walking; excellent views and interesting geology and artefacts. Height gain 90m (290ft) This should be suitable for all except for those needing to get fit first, waterproof footwear (boots) strongly recommended, or carry a second pair of socks and trainers in case of getting feet wet in the river bed!

  3. Actions:

For those at the meeting there are no actions yet.

For those not at the meeting:

Please provide Philip with contact telephone numbers and,

Advise any days that are not suitable for you,

Indicate your own level of expertise in hill walking on the beginner, intermediate or experienced scale.

Also, let Philip know if you can help with knowledge about walks or are willing to act as a walk leader.

For Philip:

Arrange and announce the details of the first two walks.

Liaise with volunteer walk leaders and those offering knowledge of walks to develop the first three month’s walking programme.

Yours aye,


Philip Woolford
Hondón de los Frailes 28 September 2012