1st March from Encebras.
After a miserable and wet Thursday, Friday, 1st March, St David’s Day for the cognoscenti, dawned bright and clear, with a sprinkling of snow on the higher ground to add piquancy to the already beautiful day. So, 15 of the more intrepid walkers from our group and one very joyful dog, set off for Encebras, near Pinoso, where we parked up in the centre of the village and donned our warmest walking gear. After giving us a short brief on the route our walk leader, Brian Grass, set us off on our 8.95Km circular walk around and over part of Monte Coto. Starting on a metalled road, we left the village behind and walked through some valley bottom farm land with dispersed ancient and modern habitations. Then just as we were settling down to a steady pace, we turned sharp left and began the climb, which would eventually take us to our maximum height of 829ms, a height gain of 325ms. The route continued on the metalled road for most of the way and every bend revealed new aspects of the hills and valleys that we passed through.
The scenery was subtly different to our valley with some fascinating rock formations, a special frog watering hole and a crossing point in the road with appropriate road signage to alert the unwary motorist and eventually the snow line. However, to be fair the snow line was probably rising faster, with the benefit of the brilliant sunshine, than we were, but then we had to stop to shed some of our warm clothing! After a short diversion to visit a camp site and picnic ground, which has a large car park that we may use as an RV for a future walk, we left the road for a mountain track that took us past a huge, derelict farm-house, which raised fantasies of reformation projects until the isolation and the view of a large quarry persuaded even the most enthusiastic that perhaps not…!
Once we reached the summit, the views over the valley, with the snow on the hills behind it, were magnificent and only the chill wind and the prospect of a menú del día to assuage our well-earned hunger pangs drove us back into our warmer clothes and off the hill and back down to the cars. This was an excellent walk and Brian’s first lead for us, so if you missed it you can walk with Brian and Elizabeth on our next walk on Friday, 22nd March, when we walk near La Romana.
Finally, we repaired to the Oasis restaurant in Pinoso were we had an excellent lunch, served with both aplomb and humour. I may have to go back again soon to resample the Cointreau with melon dessert, served with a straw for drinking the overflow Cointreau! Fortunately, Adele was driving me home and she had a more sensible pudding.