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New Seasons Blog

I am no longer posting to this Blog, please visit the 2016/17 seasons Blog is available ramblingwithal2.blogspot.com The new seasons sched...

Saturday, 27 August 2016

New Seasons Blog

I am no longer posting to this Blog, please visit the 2016/17 seasons Blog is available ramblingwithal2.blogspot.com

The new seasons schedule for Saturday's and Thursday's are shown there.

Thursday, 25 August 2016

La Bola

Today  a few of the Thursday rufti tufti's took a hike to the top of the Sierra de Mijas and the weather radar at the peak known as la Bola. Apart from John Campbell and myself no one else had done this before and the route that we took was new to me.

The route took us to the Fuente de Acebuche and then to the Casa Forestal, two landmarks that have become quite well known to us over the recent weeks. It was then up from the Casa along what was possibly the Mule Train route over the mountain which is narrow in places and very rocky underfoot. We then reached Puerto de la Encina, which we crossed and then onto a very sandy and rocky path towards the summit. This particular path proved to be very strenuous because of the sand that was actually quite deep in places. Part way up this path a short-cut appeared and three of the girls in the group couldn't resist taking it, despite it being steep and rocky.

We finally reached the summit and took in the breathtaking 360deg views. Unfortunately whilst the weather was clear enough to see as far as Estepona the coast of North Africa and Gibraltar were obscured.

We retraced our path back to Puerto de la Encina but then took the, easier but longer, fire track back down and then retraced our route back from the Casa to the end.

The whole hike was quite tiring but very satisfying.

Mr John Campbell is a keen photographer and runs a group called Shutterbugs and he has kindly allowed me to post a 360 deg panoramic photo that he took from the Pico Mijas. This gives you the opportunity to see for yourselves the views that we experienced.

They are available in several formats to suit whatever platform you are using. Click on the link that is suitable for you, for the panorama that you wish to download.
Once you have opened a panorama, you can navigate around it by dragging the mouse in the direction of interest. You can zoom out by holding the control key and zoom in by holding the shift key.
You can look up and down as well as left and right.

My grateful thanks to John for allowing me to use this.

Saturday, 20 August 2016

Out of season Hog Roast

To try and keep everyone in touch out of season, this was the second get together, and at Paula's suggestion it was a Hog Roast and held at her and Davids home in Alhaurin de la Torre.

We ended up with 31 of us for the evenings social, and one of the prime reasons for holding it on this date was to wish Alan Kenah all the best as he is leaving to return to the UK at the end of the month. Also it was the week before Andy & Gina's wedding, which is next Friday in Gibraltar.

We presented Alan with 2 Polo Shirts with the new 'Rambling With Al' motif, and one of them had  the names of a number of walks that he had done with us during his time with the group. Alan has been a stalwart and valued member of the group, always taking on the responsibility of 'Tail End Charlie' when asked. It was he and I walking together on Thursdays that sporned the Thursday Adventures group, seeking out new routes and testing others.

The whole evening was a great success and our thanks go out to Paula and David for opening their home and pool to us, also to Daisy for being our Photographer in Residence, to the Hog Roast Caterers and to Stuart Hilton for the Tray Bake Deserts.

Thursday, 28 July 2016

Rio Alaminos - Barranco Blanco, Coin

We were hoping to make it to the waterfall that was supposed to have been used for the Timotei Shampoo advert, but unfortunately we ended the walk about 100 mtrs short as the route was just a bit beyond us old farts. However the route that we did walk was really good and enjoyed by all. Two of our group did make it up the penultimate waterfall and to the top of the cliff and jumped into the pool below. We had to walk in the river for a lot of the way and at one point had to swim because the water was so deep Something different and a good bit of fun.

Monday, 25 July 2016

Chocolate Trail & Dove Ravine

Walking at this time of the year can be very difficult because of the heat, and the scheduled walks have now ceased until September, one needs to find shade to walk in and that is limited to the areas of forest on the north facing slopes of the Sierra de Mijas and this had a finite number of routes.
The start of todays walk took us on one of our well trodden routes, departing from the track on the edge of the woods and taking the Camino Forestal until we met what we know as Tina’s Trail, a well used path through the forest which meets the fire track ot the old Helicopter landing area. 

It is then along the really quite well maintained fire track towards the Casa Forestal, but just before this is the start of the Chocolate trail, so called because of the number of Carob tress on it. The actual name of this ancient water course is Cañada de las Paloma (Glen of the Dove)and I am reliably informed that no water has run in this course for at least the past 10 years (despite some prolonged periods of very heavy rain in that period) and possibly for many hundreds of years before. We have walked this course before and we emerge back onto the Camino Forestal, which we now cross and venture onto new territory to us the bottom section of the Cañada. 

This is more open that the upper section and with many rocky ‘steps’, what would have been at one time, waterfalls. The floor of the route is strewn with loose rocks and in places became quite wide which would possibly have been large shallow ponds.
The banks of the Cañada are in places sheer cliffs and are potted with many small orifices and some larger caves. One of these we climbed up to and found that there were several bats flying around.

At, what is now, the bottom end of this Cañada is the former home of Gerald Brenan CBE writer and Hispanist, from here we took the metalled roads through an urbanised area and back to our parked cars.

Thursday, 14 July 2016

Trees & Lakes

The purpose of our Thursday walks is to check out new routes and assess their suitability for the main Saturday group, that has diverse abilities, and today the route was suggested by John Milborrow from Teba.

We made an early start as the temperature at this time of year is usually very hot, but fortunately today’s weather was almost perfect with a cloudy sky and a cooling breeze.

The general area of the walk was the Embalses near to Ardales, otherwise known to most as ‘The Lakes’ and our route started from a parking area just over one of the dams. The first section of the
route was along a somewhat rough track which rose quite steeply from the main road and after only a couple of hundred metres we encountered our first problem, a locked gate across the track. This was obviously to prevent vehicles from entering the Olive Groves as we found that the fence stopped some metres short of the gate and we were able to access the field and by-pass the gate and then back onto the track. This track took us through some very large commercial Olive Plantations but offered us some amazing views across the vivid blue lakes and to the surrounding patchwork of fields.

The route then takes a right turn up a quite steep field track and departs the Olive Plantations and takes us along the edge of the Pine Forest. At the top of this rise we were treated to more splendid views, this time towards
Teba, with it’s Castle and the Embalse Guadalteba which flooded the village of Peñarrubia in 1972. We continue our ramble along the well maintained access tracks in the forest and eventually come upon an information board relating to the Necrópolis de las Aguilillas and decide that a detour is called for to investigate this.

This proved to be a very interesting find, we followed the route to the Necropolis and then onto
discover a Trench that was built and used to defend the hill in the Spanish Civil War. Whilst in this location we were privileged to see almost a dozen Eagles soaring on the thermals above us and one even passed within 10 metres of us, a magnificent sight. We continued to follow the marked route back to the entrance of this feature and re-joined our planned route back to the start, through the Pine Forest, until we reached the Tarmac road back to our parking area.

We then ambled across the dam, viewing the large fish in the water below us, and to El Kiosko for a well earned lunch.

This route is definitely included in the Saturday schedule.

Saturday, 9 July 2016

The Chocolate Trail

The ramble today was unfortunately the last one of the season, the temperatures are just getting too unbearable to walk in, and it was fitting that we ended the season on one of my favourite trails.

Because of the high temperatures and blazing sun our routes for the past few weeks have been in wooded areas that offer good shade and today we started on the Camino Forestal outside of Alhaurin el Grande. The early part of the walk is on well surfaced and maintained tracks, as these are necessary to provide access for Fire Fighting vehicle in the event of a forest fire, but have quite steep inclines as we head for the Fuente de Acebuche. After a short break under the shade of a large Carob tree we head again upwards towards the Casa Forestal, and this particular path was originally constructed as steps without the aid of machinery and all the materials would have been found in the vicinity. We have now made several visits to this Casa and one can never tire of the views.

From the Casa Forestal we again head upwards and again on a path that appears to have originally been stepped, it is thought that many years ago this was possibly a major route between Mijas on the south side of the Sierra and Alhaurin on the north side. After a reasonably challenging climb along some very rocky stretches we reach the trail that, had we turned left, eventually leads to the Picas
Mijas or summit, but that is not our goal today and we take the route down. After a quite rocky descent we reach the upper reaches of the stream bed that we will eventually take, but now we climb out of this and onto some softer and easier surfaces. This path now takes us past the ´hidden mine´ and down to the old Helicopter landing area.

Our route now takes us along a well surfaced track and reasonably level and offers magnificent views to our left over the Guadalhorce Valley and to Malaga. This is the easiest stretch so far and leads us to the start of what is known as the Chocolate Trail. It´s a bit of a scramble over a few rocks as we leave the main track and head into what is a stream bed, now very dry, who’s official name is Cañada de las Paloma or ‘Glen of the Dove’. This particular trail is exceptionally beautiful and at times dramatic, and also some sections are a little challenging as we have to climb down what would have been (and no doubt will be again) waterfalls.

This trail brings us out onto the Camino Forestal and we then have an easy walk back to the start.