Photographs by Den Morgan.
Den Morgan writes…
Chicamo River Gorge, 10th Febuary
On 10 Feb a small group of Hondon Walkers joined the Fortuna Walkers for the Chicano River Gorge Walk. Considering how close this to the dry, barren, desert of the Hondon Valley (poetic licence I appreciate that Hondon is beautifully green but it is dry!) to do a walk where your main consideration is keeping your feet dry is somewhat amazing. The start point was the small hamlet of Umbria – off to the left of the road between Macisvenda and Abinilla.
On arrival it was interesting to see a villager topping up water canisters from the river! (I should explain the Chicano is not the Amazon, Nile or Yangzi, nor is it the Tyne or Thames but it is wet and it does flow and we would call it a stream at best). Most of it is underground and can only be discerned by the dense vegetation above it. However, for long stretches of this walk it is on the surface and in some parts deep enough to give the knees a soaking.
25 of us set off (and finished) a 2 to 3 hour gorge walk (scramble) which was fascinating in its variation: from stepping stone accuracy, to plodging, to rock scrambling, through to crevasse crawling and tunnelling through jungle thickness bamboo (mild exaggeration). It was also an extremely multilingual, sociable event especially when we encountered 2 groups of similar size coming from the opposite direction as each party tried to explain in Dutch, German, Spanish and English how best to keep the feet dry on the walk they had already encountered. Bottom line when in doubt jump in and get on with it!
To sum up a thoroughly enjoyable, variable, interesting and at times mildly challenging walk but a stroll it is not.