#309 13th Feb. The Almond Blossom Walk

Almond Blossom Hondon ValleyWalk Ref: #309.
The Almond Blossom Walk

Day: Friday. Date: 13 February 2015.
Time: 10.00am
Distance:  8.5 Km. Height Gain: 111 mtrs.
Estimated Duration: 2hrs 30min

Est’d Difficulty*:
Easy, plus a some rough ground and a short scramble.  (see below for walk grades)
RV Location: Barbarroja Social Centre, in middle of village.  (N 38.277166 : W -0.962231)

Post Walk Report by Phil:

(Not) the Blossom Walk Friday 13 February
After a couple of weeks of UK style weather, the sun broke through on Friday the 13th: See, I told you it wasn’t unlucky in Spain! So, 32 relieved walkers turned out, with 2 well behaved dogs, to set off on our annual Almond Blossom Walk.

HWG 2015 Feb13

Unfortunately the combination of last year’s drought, followed by excessive rain at the end of September and the unseasonably mild autumn that followed had so confused the trees that the majority had gone straight to leaf production without going through the blossom phase. This was disappointing for us, but is much worse for the farmers who already had a bad crop year last year and now face an almost no crop year.

» More Pictures in the Gallery

Nevertheless, the sun shone, the wind wasn’t too bad and when we got into the shelter of the barranco it died altogether, resulting in many discarded fleeces being carried. A good pace was set and the group stayed together quite well. Despite the overall lack of blossom, although we did see some, everybody seemed to enjoy the walk and returned to the Barbaroja Social Centre with a good thirst after their 8.7 Km stroll through the countryside.

Yes, in the Social Centre, €9.00.    If you wish to take lunch, please book with me by 10.00 am Wednesday 10th Feb  philipthewalker @ fastmail.es  Please also advise if any non meat options are required.

Walk Description:
A circular walk starting on metalled roads out of the village and moving onto unmade tracks amongst the almond fields. Two very short interludes on roads and descending into a dry barranco for the second half of the walk. Emerging into almond fields again, with a short walk through a 1.8m concrete pipe (I am 1.82m tall, so I need to duck!) . The alternative to the pipe is a short scramble out of one field and into the next. Returning through almond fields and a road to Barbarroja.

Special Notes:
Equipment:    Some of the tracks were badly degraded by the September weather, but most have been sorted out to provide access to the fields; however, they have yet to settle firmly so there is quite a lot of walking on loose stone. Walking boots providing ankle support recommended and a stick or pole if you feel uncomfortable on loose footings.

Dogs:    This walk is suitable for well behaved dogs under owner control.

Other:    For those who have done this walk before you will notice considerable changes in the barranco, with the bottom now being up to a metre lower or higher than it used to be! The bee hives are in the usual place, so we will avoid those, and the fields after the barranco have again been recently ploughed. So in response to observations last year I have changed the end of the walk and we will now return via a good track and 0.9 Km along the main road.
Don’t expect too much blossom this year; the weather has not been kind to the farmers!

Photographs: If you take your camera and you have enjoyed your walks perhaps you can share your photographs on here for others to enjoy. You can email them to Derek Cook (Blog Master) : > blogger [@] digitalidiom.co.uk
» Our Photo Gallery is here.

* Walking Grades / Difficulty Standards:
Easy:    The easier walks are usually shorter, say 5 to 10Km, have a smaller height gain of, say, up to 200m, and are mostly on roads, good tracks and established footpaths; although we try to avoid metalled roads where possible.
Moderate:    Moderate walks tend to be 8 to 12Km with a height gain up to 500m and might include some rough ground and short scrambles.
More Demanding:    The more demanding walks might be longer, have more height gain, be on rougher terrain or any combination thereof.
Height Gain: For anyone unfamiliar with the term “height gain” this is the total amount of going uphill on the walk and consequently, going downhill. It is not necessarily the altitude difference between the start point and the highest point of the walk.

» Learn more about the Hondon Valley
» Club Frailes (Hondon Community)