Our second social event of the summer was a Full Moon Walk around the emblematic lump of rock called Almorchón that’s situated on the northern edge of the cereal plains of Cagitán. Just to give you an idea of the area’s vast beauty I’ve attached a photograph that was taken on a previous visit, which shows the distinctive profile of Almorchón on the left-hand side of the building in the foreground. During daytime, Cagitán is a work zone for agriculturalists, but at night-time other creatures rule the territory and any solitary walker should maintain all senses alert. Thanks go to Odette for suggesting the route and leading us safely through the darkness.
It was very difficult to explain to everybody how to arrive at our meeting point. As with many of our routes, we tend to select some very remote areas and Cagitán, although it’s criss-crossed by a network of dirt roads, most of them are designed for tractors. In fact, so direct was the advice of one couple’s GPS that they christened the route ‘The Dakar Rally’! The unique landscape around Almorchón (it lies within the triangle of land between Mula, Calasparra and Cieza) has no mains water or electricity and is therefore typified by endless beautiful, isolated, abandoned hamlets which nowadays serve as little more than grain stores. The lack of light pollution makes it an astronomer’s dream.
We’d been advised to bring torches just in case, but were actually able to find our way using only our enhanced night vision. It would have been sinful not to take advantage of the chance to stop regularly and appreciate the vast moonlit landscape of Cagitán’s changing scenery. 23 of us did exactly that; stopped regularly on this short and easy route, to enjoy the night-time atmosphere and the changing views – sometimes over the Ciezan fruit orchards, or towards the Sierras de Oro or de La Molina and sometimes across Cagitán. Surprisingly, within such a relatively small number of people, we represented seven different nationalities and it’s the first time that I’ve met somebody from Armenia. Most conversations were in either English or Spanish as usual (and Dutch) but it’s not often that Russian is also heard on our walks.
Returning to our vehicles, chairs and tables were unfolded from car boots so that the cava and wine could be poured safely. I don’t know how the couple who had flown in to Alicante at 3am coped with the late evening, but it was well after midnight when most of us packed up our picnics and left. Sadly, I couldn’t get my camera to work very well so the remaining photos are poor, but hopefully you can see happy people either on blankets or chairs, all enjoying the evening, the atmosphere and the company.
Changing the subject to an update regarding the progress with the bilingual walking book (15 routes), everything has been checked and re-written many times and also checked out on the ground for accuracy. We’re aiming to have copies available for sale at the end of October.
Summer’s over now and the walking season is soon upon us. The first walk of the new season will be one that’s featured in the book. It’s near Moratalla and will be on Sat 6th October. The programme for the 2018-2019 season is also well underway and hopefully by the time that you read this, it will have been circulated to all WARMers. Full details of future outings are sent to those on the WARM mailing list, normally about a fortnight ahead. If anyone who would like to be added to this list please email Warm2005@gmail.com indicating your nearest large town.
The majority of outings will be in the North-West of the region and only those who are on the mailing list can access the closed WARM Facebook page.