Saturday 15th October
Today we took Blue to Su's after walking him a shorter way than usual, we know he'll be on the go all day when he's with Su and Ron. Then off to Casares for a long walk. This time we wanted to do the first route again, but the other way round. We parked at the top of the village in the walkers' car park then walked right down to the bottom of the hill to where the path up the mountain begins. That in itself is about 3/4 mile quite steep descent all the way. The track starts off decent enough, then gets harder as you climb, some bits are really scary, but I found it a lot easier going up because I wasn't looking down....and getting a foothold is safer too. I'd found the first time really hard on my knees climbing down as it's such a long way and so steep with loose stones, that part was not fun! But going up we could have a breather when needed, which was a lot of stops! And it was cooler, still morning and trees shading us. We reached the Refuge hut after about an hour and a half's climb, so we had an early lunch and good rest. While we were eating and enjoying the fabulous views we were entertained by a few vultures, at times about 20 of them, very close, circling in the currents around the peak in front of us, great to see them in such detail. We started uphill again, but much easier this time, taking the path to the view point, another easy start but very steep at the end, reaching a stone walled information point and the most beautiful view 360° stretching almost to Marbella in the north and Morocco in the south. Worth the effort. And then Roy called me and I turned to look at the vulture flying actually below us....amazing to be above a vulture in flight...stunning, superb, couldn't have got any better...
After a few minutes there, we're off along the good safe track just below the top of the mountain ridge, very enjoyable walking, beautiful views all around, lots of different butterflies and other insects, Roy had a fresh date picked from the palm, the sun hot on our backs but not too hot to make us uncomfortable. We then reached the pine forest area, of which a large part had been felled since we were last here, the thousands of dried needles and cones had laid a thick carpet for us to walk on, and the pine aroma was just gorgeous. Then the descent,a 3 mile steady one which at times was steep and hard on the knees but the path is wide enough here to zig-zag making it easier. It's a road actually here, with some drives off each side to the fabulous properties dotting the landscape. Some parts cement, some loose stone, a bit of tarmac now and again. I nearly trod on a snake near the end of our walk, I'd not seen it as it was similar colour to the path just there, just saw it at the last second, so it scuttled away to cover unhurt. Finally back at the car, just over 7 miles so a good hike.
We're both done in when we get home, so a good rest after long cold drinks. A short walk to Castillo village for a meal tonite and feet up watching tv.
Quiet couple of weeks ahead so more next month.