Where do you start to write an article about a walking group when we have been in quarantine since 16th March?  It could just be a blank page, except as with many things in theses unprecedented times, you need to be creative.

I would imagine that responses to the quarantine will be varied, but at either extreme I think there are the hibernators and the hyperactive and of course everything in between.  There will have been endless to do lists and for me, once I had spring cleaned the house and terraces, WARM was bombarded with a bit more energy than usual.

Jessica, our President and I had a few things on our list and we have managed to get all of them done and we are feeling pretty pleased with ourselves. We are ready for our AGM in the autumn, organised to recruit two new committee members and we are finalising a guide to help new walk leaders. We need more leaders as we develop a range of options to include shorter and easier walks for next season.

On our Facebook page people have been reminiscing about walks from previous years and I asked them two questions; what is your favourite walk and how have you been keeping fit during lockdown?

If you just indulge me for a second, mine was last year when we went to Ojos; a sleepy little village near the border with Castile-la-Mancha. It was a fabulously crisp day, ice in the pools and a few tough uphill stretches, but fabulous views and rounded off with a delicious meal in the village restaurant.  Keeping fit is not easy when you have neither a garden nor a dog, but we do laps of our back terrace and have a mini gym with fitness bands and weights and use online sessions from the lovely folk at Centro de Salud y Deporte H2O in Mula.

There was little consensus from members, but two walks did get more than one mention:

First – a 2018 favourite in Nerpio with walkers dicing with the River Taibilla. It was just outside Murcia and into Albacete, with a stunning gorge. The vegetation was like Northern Europe, complete with cowslips, pussy willows, but the abundance of Griffon Vultures gave it away.

Second – a regular in our programme; The Caves Of Zaen with lots of interest along the route; prehistoric cave paintings, fields of lavender and fascinating wild flowers. It’s a walk in a beautiful landscape surrounded by limestone hills covered with evergreen oaks and junipers.

What have people been doing to keep fit with no walks or recces to do? Top of the list is gardening and spring cleaning. Lots of people have been doing laps of their gardens, swimming pools etc. Those people with animals, dogs and horses are kept fit with exercising them. Using technology to do classes in aerobics, Pilates etc has also popular.

We will soon be looking for ideas from our volunteer walk leaders for our 2020-2021 season starting in September. We send details of the next walk to our WARM mailing list, normally about a fortnight ahead.  If you are interested in joining us on a walk and want to be on our mailing list then contact Norma on Warm2005@gmail.com Please indicate your nearest town. The majority of the outings will be in the North-West of Murcia (approximately 1½ hours’ drive from the coast).