Tuesday, 23 April 2013

15 April 2013 – Baranco Inferno

I was quite surprised that we had such a good turnout for this walk.    It’s one of the most impressive walks we do, but also one of the hardest.   So a turnout of ten was pretty good.
The walk combines part of the 2000 steps and the Baranco Inferno.   The first part is a steep downhill walk on a good mosarabic trail, half of the 2000 steps part.   Easy walk and a good opportunity to admire the views
We were fortunate to have a nice warm day, with a cool wind, ideal walking weather.   It felt just like a warm summer day in UK
At the bottom we go what looks like a cave, and find this sturdy bridge.   An ideal spot for a group photograph.   I always take one here, and it’s interesting to compare this one with the previous three.

Then its downhill again on this winding path to reach the bottom of the gorge

Here we had a short stop to allow Peter and Mike to explore, and the rest of us to have a well deserved rest.

Then downhill once more to reach the dry Rio Ebo.   The river bed was completely dry, and more overgrown than last time we were here.  There is no pat h to follow, just try to find the easiest way through the large boulders.

As we near the Baranco Inferno the going gets more difficult.   It’s well used, and someone had left two iron hand holds to make it easier.   Some of the group, particularly those with shorter legs, needed an “extra hand”.
This is the entrance to the Baranco Inferno itself, and another photo opportunity

The Baranco Inferno is this steep and narrow chimney.   To climb up or down requires some climbing skill and a good rope, not to mention a good head for heights and some courage.   It is a well know danger spot when heavy rain turns this into a water fall.   A few months ago an experienced local man was drowned here when he attempted the walk with a Spanish walking group.

Sue and Jackie seem well pleased with themselves, and who could blame them.
Thanks to David for this one of me, just to prove that I really did make it all the way.

This one of Jackie and Mike was not staged.  But I may have taken too long to take the photo, judging from the fixed smile on Mike’s face!
The approach to the Baranco Inferno is through a narrow, high sided gorge.   The sound of bird song and the sun on the pools of water make it a magical place.
If Peter had planned to arrive back at the entrance at exactly 1pm, then he is to be congratulated as that was the exact time we got there.   It was an excellent site, with both sunny and shaded areas to sit and enjoy our picnic.
The climb back up from the river bed is the worse part of the walk.  It looks quite easy in this photo, but most of it was on a very steep, very narrow and much eroded path.   In fact the path had been closed for a long time, and we all agreed that it was really too dangerous to tackle again until it has been repaired.
The path eventually joins the 2000 steps again, but not the way we had come down.  Indeed there was some discussion exactly what was, and what was not, part of the “official” 2000 steps.   Suffice to say they are all Mozarabic paths and climbing up is a long and difficult task.
It’s best for each walker to do this part of the walk at their own pace.   It’s not a race, and far better to have a break when you need it.   There is only one path, so it would be impossible for anyone to get lost.   At the top those at the front sat and waited for the rest to catch up.

Then it was back to Benimaurell and a most welcome cold drink.   It will be a shame if we cannot do this walk again in the future due to the poor condition of the track.   It is a hard walk, but the experience of visiting the Baranco Inferno makes it all worthwhile.

Monday 29 April 2013
Eye of Montgo.   Meet at Las Brisas on the Jesus Probre to Javia road at 10am

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