Boots on again.
Which reminds me, buying walking kit in this part of Spain isn’t as easy as one might expect. On a descent from our first outing up to the cross above Senija, my toes had been bumping into the front of my old boots; most uncomfortable. I wanted new, better fitting boots. Asking around, I discovered that we are somewhat spoiled in England with outlets such as Blacks/Millets, Cotswold Outdoor, Go Outdoors, and numerous other specialist outdoor pursuit equipment vendors. On the Costa Blanca, nada. Well, almost nada; there are a couple of Decathlon stores with their cheap Quechua brand gear, and maybe a little more besides. I did find half a dozen boots to choose from in a local department store called Aitana and happily, they were comfortable and seemed to fit. So far they’ve done admirably and were a snip at 45€.
So, my 45€ boots were donned again today for one of the Costa Blanca Mountain Walkers green grade walks – the gentlest of their categories. We may have liked something just a little more challenging but this would keep the legs limbered up. We met in Tormos at 10:30 for the Tormos Stroll, billed as 8.5kms/5mls in 3 hours with only 200m of total ascent (though I think it felt less than that) – very gentle. Possibly because it was an easier walk, it attracted a lot of interest; there were 23 of us.
Whether by design or by happenstance, our walks have had little snippets of interest along the way. The interest today was a dam, the narrowest dam in the severest of gorges that I’ve ever seen. Said dam is nearly always empty of water and is thus thought of by some as a folly. Not so. It was built with a specific job in mind, the job being to hold back flood waters and stop them rushing headlong down the rocky valley to the relatively nearby sea. At such times, the reservoir behind the dam fills but is not retained; rather the water seeps back into the aquifer and replaces much needed ground water. It is not lost to the sea. Clever.
Once we’d gone “ooh, ah” at the dam, we did a little more of the modest ascending to begin our return along a higher level path complete with a tunnel. We assumed that the tunnel was built to open the way to the dam wall for maintenance purposes. The back marker in this picture is yours truly so you can see the 45€ boots. Oh, the green shirt is also a Quechua from decathlon – in Milton Keynes. 🙂
It was a fun walk at a gentle pace complete with a handful of dragonflies darting about on a small pool that we past towards the end – Common Darters (Sympetrum striolatum), of course, though no wildlife camera so no detailed picture.
A walker going nuts over dragonflies caused a few raised eyebrows but others understood. I may even have sewed the seeds of a speaking engagement next winter with the U3A. That’d be fun.
Another beer, too? Surely not.