Wednesday, 25 November 2015

23 November 2015 – Serrella Castle

Despite an overcast morning and rain on the coast, there were thirteen of us for today’s walk from Castells de Castell to Serrella Castle.   It is quite a long time since we did this walk, it seems to have been replaced by the Rock Arches walk.   I had forgotten just how much uphill work is involved.
As always it is colder at Castells, and today was no exception.   Fortunately we had all come prepared, though some more than others.   Having carried her jacket  throughout last Monday walk, Jan was not wearing her usual layers of warm clothing.   Worse still it started to rain just as we started the walk.  
The rain did not last long, though Peter checked the weather app on his phone which warned of heavy rain about 1pm.   If true that would be just as we were sitting down for our picnic.   You can tell that winter has arrived because Pat is wearing her ear muffs.   David is working on his principle “never stand if you can sit”, even for a very short water stop.
The most memorable part of this walk is the very steep path up to the base of the castle.   It seemed a little easier today, because of the cold.   The effort kept us warm, so the only problem was breathing!
We had a banana stop at the castle, and surveyed the winding road leading to our picnic stop.   It looks very picturesque from this spot, the distance hiding how difficult the path is and how much climbing is involved.   The sun was still shining on our lunch spot, but the clouds were starting to gather again.   Mindful of Peter’s warning about heavy rain at 1pm we did not sit for long.
This gives a better impression of the track surface.  It is particularly difficult going downhill from the castle at the start of this section.   The rock strewn surface is less of a problem going uphill towards our picnic site.
We have our lunch stop at a lovely spot, but it is very exposed and today was also very cold.    We were not pleased when a vehicle arrived with four young Spanish who were also planning lunch there.
As we settled down for lunch we found it difficult to ignore the ugly fencing which has been erected just behind our traditional picnic site.   No indication why, it does not appear to be protecting anything.
However the scene to our front was much more impressive, with a view down to Guadalest and the coast beyond.   Even on a cloudy and misty day like today it is a magnificent view.  But it was very cold, despite being sheltered from the worse of the icy winds.  The cold, combined with Peter’s weather forecast, ensured that we did not have a leisurely lunch.
We kept up a good pace throughout the return journey, mostly an attempt to keep warm.   We had not anticipated just how cold it could be so soon after the recent warm spell

We were also fortunate that it remained dry for the rest of the walk back to Castells.   The rain started just as we left the village, and it was obvious from the roads that there had been heavy rain during the morning.   So we were really very fortunate to miss all but a very light shower
As we got back to the village there was a lot of male interest in this “man toy”.   Not the sort of transport you would expect to find in sleepy Castells

Monday 30 November 2015
Next week will be the long Bernia circuit (not via the tunnel).   Meet at the usual car park at the start of the walk at 10am.

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