We were continuing our familiarization with the Costa Blanca Mountain Walkers terminology today, as well as continuing our exercise in preparation for our impending Andalucian walking trip with Explore!. Overhearing a few conversations between longer standing members of the CBMW, they are having a little trouble with “easier” walks, where easier seems to be defined as that which is possible by a human, without the need to be a mountain goat. Today, they were advertising a Benigembla Stroll, Benigembla [pronounce it Benichembla and you’ll be close enough for an Anglo-Saxon] being a village a little further up the Vall de Pop from us. We popped off to join in for a relaxed 10:30 start.
Once assembled, we sauntered out of the village on the flat. Very soon, though, we turned right and headed up. We continued up for about the next hour. The walk had been described along the lines of a walk around the Benigembla bowl, which did sound gentle. Far too gentle, I suspect – quite clearly we were heading for the rim of the bowl, or close to it. It was pleasant enough though, and nothing anywhere near as strenuous as the Col de Rates assault which left legs screaming. Our second hour continued the circuit and descended back into Benigembla.
‘T was a good wander but still caused the lungs to puff on the inclines. The CBMW brigade continued their emphasis on the “M”. Most walkers repaired to a local restaurant, as usual, for a menu del dia lunch. Francine and I dipped out. Menus del dia are excellent value but simply too much food for our tastes in the middle of the day.
Instead, the sun was out and we tried our luck Odo-hunting at a couple of new pools in a different location along the local river at Alcalalí. Our meagre haul amounted to a couple of uncooperative Red-veined Darters (Sympetrum fonscolombii) – uncooperative in that they were posing only on the ground – and an Emperor (Anax imperator), which did at least offer a chance of a flight shot. A female also put on an ovipositing display, which I snagged. Only back at home base did I notice that my ovipositing shot included a resting Bluetail (Ischnura sp). It’s amazing how the mind focuses.
The dragonfly situation is depressing; I’m seeing hardly anything and there appears to be more action back in the UK. I can’t work out what’s going on.