After six weeks away, it was wonderful to get back walking again, although the high temperatures at the beginning of March were a bit of a change from the weather that we’d been experiencing in the UK! Thankfully, we’d had a chance to get in some hot weather practice beforehand and I remembered my sunhat for David and George’s route around the Pantano de la Cierva (Mula) on 16th March. It was very hot and we had at least one very steep incline. Despite spending more time out of Murcia than in it, the two leaders had somehow managed to fit in three or four reccys which resulted in a beautiful 12km circular walk into secret and hidden territory in an area that we drive through regularly. They even managed to find a rock face full of climbers – what entertainment!
Unbelievably, the walk on the following weekend was in bitterly cold weather – March has certainly been changeable and it’s always disappointing for the leaders when their walk isn’t seen in the best light. When Tina and Kevin showed us their route in the Moratalla area they had managed to sneak in a high-spot from a previous walk which none of us had anticipated. We’ve nicknamed it The Turtle Pool and couldn’t resist taking photographs from behind the waterfall under the fascinating geology. The chill in the air had us all grateful to be able to take our picnics under the shelter of the walls of the abandoned hamlet of Barranco de Hondares. Those who had thought to bring woolly hats were very grateful for them and a couple of friends were seen sharing a pair of gloves – it’ll never catch on!
On the final Saturday of the month we still had cool weather, but the stars of the walk were the views. If you’ve not yet ventured up to Sierra Espuña then you really should plan a visit. Starting at the fascinating and very informative Visitor Centre Ricardo Cordoniu, Caroline led a 16km walk on a beautiful trail that had far fewer steep hills than had been anticipated. With wonderful views in every direction, the saddle between one valley and another was clearly a favourite spot for taking photographs. Further rewards at the restaurant Fuente del Hilo completed a very satisfying and enjoyable day although sadly an airport run meant that I missed this route as well.
A fortnight later the cold Saturdays continued for Sheila & Doug’s route above Moratalla Town. Sandwiched between two very significant storms on 6th April, we were grateful that the weather managed to remain considerately dry for our 11½km labyrinth. I used the word deliberately because our leaders must have worked very hard indeed to connect so many different places of interest. Although occasionally our boots gained heavy, sticky, mud passengers, the route called ‘Agua Ruta’, plus sections of the local pilgrimage path and various inventive sections of local knowledge, was a delightful variety of novelty and views and the two novice leaders should feel very proud of how well they shepherded us all through a very enjoyable experience.
By the time that you read this we will have completed the remaining three walks of 20 this season, finishing on Saturday 27th April. I will start the annual task of tidying up the email circulation list, before planning our 2nd AGM as an official Spanish asociación. It’s a very useful opportunity to reflect on the closing season and the lessons and decisions which we’ll take forward to what we hope will be an even better experience for everybody involved for the new one.
Full details of future outings are sent to those on the WARM mailing list, normally about a fortnight ahead. If anyone would like to be added to this mailing list, please contact Jessica on
Warm2005@gmail.com. Please indicate where your nearest town is.
Only those on the mailing list can access the closed WARM Facebook page.
The majority of outings will be in the Northwest Murcia (approximately 1½ hours’ drive from the coast).