Wednesday, 3 April 2013

1 April 2013 - Orba Castle

Orba castle is a very local walk for Jan and I, indeed you can see it from the bottom of our road.   Unfortunately Jan was absent again this week, her wrist is taking longer to heal than we had expected.   Hopefully a visit to the hospital next week will result in some improvement.
There were ten of us this week, including Barry who has not walked with us for a few weeks.   We expected another two, and even delayed our start for five minutes when they did not arrive.
 Walking around Parcent we pass the historic font and village wash house, where it was interesting to find a young local lady doing the weekly wash.
We started with a newish path from Parcent to Murla which leads through very peaceful and attractive fields, and with views of Orba castle to remind us of our destination.
On the outskirts of Murla we has a look around the abandoned restraurant, which is now showing serious signs of decay.   Peter was fascinated by four large circular buildings, and has tasked Sylvia with finding out their purpose through her Spanish contacts.
 David suggested doing the climb anti clockwise for a change.   The climb this way is shorter and steeper, but much easier going up than it is coming down.
And it did provide us with lovely views of Parcent, and Col de Rates in the background, when we had a short stop to rest and recover.
It took us two and a half hours to cover the 6 kilometers to the top of Orba Hill, so we arrived a little early for our picnic lunch.   But everyone was ready to eat so there were no complaints.

 Rosemary prepared lunch for a grumpy looking David.   This is an optical illusion, as he was actually in a particularly good mood - despite suffering from a nasty cough.
 While the rest of us enjoyed a well deserved rest, Ken set about repairing the tumble down tower.
I was confident of finding the path going up to the castle, as we had often used it in the past.   But I was less confident about the path back.   This was the first time I had done it in this direction.   There is no path as such, just a series of signs on the large slabs of rocks, so I would have to depend on being able to find them.
I managed quite well, with a little help from Pat, until we had covered about two thirds of the way.  Then we could not see any signs, and a recce also failed to produce them.  So I had to choose left or right - and choose the wrong one!    There was never any danger of not finding our way down, but we did have a slightly more difficult descent than we would have done had I been able to follow the approved route.
It took us five and a half hours to cover the 14 kilometer walk, and when we finally reached the Cooperativea in Parcent Jan was waiting for us.   As we had our well deserved post walk drink she cleared up the mystery of our two missing walkers.   Apparently they had arrived at the start point an hour late and rang her to find out where everyone was.   They had overlooked the change to summer time last Saturday!

8 April 2013

Next week will be Carrascal Ridge.   Meet at the Piscina at 9.45.  This is to allow time to take a couple of cars up to the restraurant on Col de Rates so that we dont have to walk downhill to the start point at the end of the walk.

In response to many requests Pat has produced the following list of forthcoming walks

15 April - 2000 steps and Baranco Inferno
22 April - To be advised
29 April - Eye of Montgo
6 May - Smugglers Cove
13 May - Lliber to Senija
20 May - San Antonio Light House
27 May - Tarbena short walk and lunch

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