Malcolm Thompson writes…
In this part of Spain there are two major pilgrimage routes. The main one is the Southern branch of the Camino de Santiago or the Way of Saint James. In this Provence we have quite few kilometers; the entire route goes from Valencia to Santiago de Compostela in Galicia. We can see way-markers on the shrine at Orito and the wall of the church next to the Town Hall in Novelda. Also, the road from Novelda to the Church of Santa Maria Magdalene there is a signpost directing you off road and this takes you to a delightful cycle path to Elda. But the pilgrimage route I want to describe starts in Crevillente and cuts across the CV845 inbetween Hondon de las Nieves and Aspe. This route is the ‘The Pilgrimage of Saint Pascual. From there the route carries on to the shrine at Orito but this is best done on a bike.
The Romeria San Pascual
Crevillente/CV845 leg: 8-10Km
We begin the route by walking out of Crevillente on a way-marked road that heads for the well known Arabic Aqueduct. Refurbished in recent years, it still provides a magnificent gateway to the mountains. From there we follow the road uphill with scattered houses on each side keeping a careful lookout for the signs and symbols pointing the way to Orito. After a somewhat tedious trudge uphill we pass ‘The Golito’, a huge rock that overhangs the road and then bear left onto the hills where the tarmac ends. From there the path passes through some stunning mountain scenery. Above us to the left we can see the radio mast on La Vella. Soon we start the downhill leg and pass through the middle of a goat farm. Eventualy we see the CV845 ahead of us; this is where we end the walk as the route continues to Aspe and Monforte del Cid and then to Orito.
Having done the entire route both ways on a bike, I can recommend the Crevillente/HDLN leg to the group. It would require transport at both ends, not an insurmountable problem.
Look out for the Saint pointing the way with his shepherds crook.