The air smelt different this morning and my feet on the tiles were cold when I got out of bed. It must be autumn then and the walking season is officially open for 2018-2019.

On the last Sunday in September we celebrated with a social event at Joe and Jane’s house (very brave of them to invite in nearly 50 people!). I’m not sure exactly which was the main attraction for everybody, but we were incredibly lucky that Joe had been able to engage a genuine star to entertain us. Johnny Sax has played with the greats (Climax Blues Band, Aretha Franklin, The Real Thing etc.)

It was one of those perfect afternoon/evenings as we sipped and supped contentedly by the pool listening to soft blues and hard rock whilst the sun settled colourfully to sleep for another day. At least most of us did, our wonderful hosts spent the evening attending to our every need – they’d even set us up with a bar and barman!

We had our first formal AGM as an officially registered Murcian walking group and minutes have been circulated to all on the email list. They’ve all also received the current version of the 21 walks on this year’s programme. I say ‘current’ because things always change slightly. We’d dealt with the AGM – thankfully quorate – after initial mingling. We’d reviewed the previous season and planned the one ahead. Martin had updated us all on the progress with the walking book. Hopefully by the time you read this it will have been printed and I should have more details for you next month.

On to the walking. On Saturday 6th October Judy and Tony repeated the hugely successful ‘3 Rivers walk’ from last year (so pretty that it has been included in the book). This walk is on the eastern side of Moratalla and was deliberately chosen as the first walk of the season because it’s not too long – even in October we can be caught out by an occasional day of temperatures in the 30’s. Apart from featuring a cooling waterside environment, it also includes a well-documented walk through history because it passes alongside the remains of the ancient Iberian settlement of Bolvonegro.

Crocus

In the absence of our Treasurer, Fiona (she’s a recent new gran), Judy was delegated to collect everybody’s 5€ contribution to the insurance fund.

Cistus

Twenty-eight people picnicked contentedly to the sound of water gurgling through some beautifully eroded rock formations. In this unusually moist atmosphere in the Northwest of the region and on another beautiful sunny day, it WARMed the soul to see the brightness of the late-flowering Cistus and Oleander as well as the delicacy of the autumn-flowering Crocus. Although nothing could really match the delicacy of the ever-present damselflies and their joyful, busy dance to feed up before the arrival of much cooler days. Less welcome (though rarely seen) was the horsefly! However, hopefully the photograph of the happy faces tells the truth of the experience.

Damselfly

On the last Saturday of October, the 27th, Carla and Douwe took us to the Almadenes Gorge on the Segura upriver from Cieza. Details next month.

Oleander

Planned for November (all on Saturdays):

10th Ruta del Agua, Moratalla

17th South of Bullas near the hamlets of Avilés and Coy

24th Moratalla

As always, full details of future outings will be sent automatically to those who are already on the WARM mailing list, normally about a fortnight ahead. If anyone would like to be added to this mailing list then please contact Jessica on Warm2005@gmail.com

Please indicate where your nearest large town is.

The majority of outings will be in the northwest of the region and only those who are on the mailing list can access the closed WARM Facebook page.