What, another walk this week?
‘T was a cool morning. OK, in places it was downright cold. As we drove up the twisting and turning hairpin-rich road from Pego towards Vall d’Ebo, the car irritatingly bonged a warning to inform us that it was a mere 3°C outside. Shortly thereafter it fell to 2°C outside. Good job we’d brought fleeces with us.
We skirted Vall d’Ebo and continued climbing to Alcalá de la Jovada, which is at an altitude of 650m/2100ft. Mercifully the mercury had not continued to fall as we climbed. Vall d’Ebo is probably in a frost hollow. It was still cool, though, maybe 6°C. We parked and joined another six Costa Blanca Mountain Walkers for The Landing Strip Circuit from Alcalá de la Jovada.
The Landing Strip Circuit is another of the CBMWs’ blue grade walks. This one looked like being nothing particularly taxing which, for my third walk in a week, was perhaps no bad thing; it is billed as 8.8kms with 210m of ascent. It was a mixture of forest tracks, which we could have driven up, and lightly wooded paths, which we could not.
The mountains in our neck of Spain are all quite similar and all quite attractive. The interesting feature along this walk was, as the title implies, an aircraft landing strip. This is no ordinary landing strip, however. This is a landing strip used to refill fire fighting planes used when either Mother Nature or some inattentive/malicious bozo sets fire to the landscape.
About half way around the walk, we reached the top of a gentle gradient to find, at the top of the hill, a flattish, straight-ish, partially tarmacked, gravel-strewn runway. Beside said runway were a couple of large water tanks, the upper one of which had a pipe running into it, presumably to fill it with the water required for forest fire fighting. What was not clear to me was where the water came from that got into the pipe that fed the tank – there was little higher ground to provide any run-off so where’d it come from? I know not.
We finished the walk, having covered 9.5kms after a few missed turns, with an obligatory beer – the temperature had warmed to something like 10°C so, being hardened mountain walkers, we sat outside – before Francine and I left our walking companions and headed across into another valley and to Benalí for a bite of tapas for lunch.
What a pleasant way to be able to spend a Saturday in January, despite being a little cool … by Spanish standards.