Bright and sunny, but quite cold, as we met at Kilometer Seven on the Castells to Tarbena road. It is often a few degrees colder at Castells than Parcent, and today was no exception. Most arrived in shirt sleeves, but quickly donned jackets or jumpers.
Ken and Sylvia joined us again, after a break of two weeks to entertain visitors. They brought our numbers up to a respectable eight. After a recent incident when a walker with the CBMW got themselves lost, that group introduced a rule that everyone should have whistle. Our merry little band was quick to demonstrate that whats good enough for the CBMW is equally good enough for us.
It is just over a year since we last did this walk, and everyone was quite pleased when it was suggested. It’s a long drive for some of our group, but the beautiful scenery makes it well worth while. It is not one of our longest walks, but it is one of the most enjoyable
The warm sun and cool breeze made it feel quite like walking in UK, and the profusion of spring flowers provided ample opportunity to stop, admire and photograph.
Thanks to David for this one. It is well known that I am no expert on flowers, but he informs me that it is an orchid. If not, all complaints to David please.
We set off at a good pace, and it was not long before we had a short break to remove jackets and jumpers. It was one of those days when it was a little too hot in the sun, and a little too cold in the wind. It was very pleasant to be able to walk without overheating, which will soon be a problem in the coming weeks.
We made very good time, and arrived at the foot of the castle hill just after midday. Pat is a stickler for not eating until 1pm, but was overruled today. This is by far the best place to have our picnic. Lovely views, lots of good seating area and the opportunity to climb to the castle for the more energetic. Today only Peter fell into the latter category. The rest of us were more than happy to settle down for an early lunch.
This is typical of the paths we followed today. On such a lovely day they look so inviting, like a photograph from one of those glossy walking magazines.
As I mentioned earlier, there were a mass of spring flowers throughout the walk. This is a good example of what I mean.
The good paths also meant we could look around as we walked. In sections it was necessary to watch where you put your feet, but mostly it was ok to admire the view. This photo demonstrates why this is such a popular walk.
David led the walk, and he and Peter pushed ahead at one point. As they waited for the rest of us to catch up I took this photo of the “old men of the mountains”!
Monday 4 May 2015
Next week will be Col de Rates. Meet at the tourist information in Jalon at 10am