22 May 2012 Section 11 Barranco Aguadero.
We had plans this week to walk the full 19.5 kms of section 2, we had organised 4X4 transport to drop us off and then meet us at the finish. All this planning was to no avail as it snowed on Sunday evening and the whole path was under snow. Don’t get me wrong, snow looks fantastic on the mountains, and short sections of it on the path are fine, but we don’t do all day treks in it.
Plan B was put into operation, we would return to last weeks turn around point on section 11. The road down to this point is a little rough but Mark had thought he would be able to get his trusty little Renault down to it. Unfortunately over the weekend it had developed a wheel bearing problem and taking it down the forest road might have turned it into a three wheeler. So we pressed Kees’s Transit into service but we knew we would not be able to get this down the rough bit. With the Suzuki now repaired, and running better than ever, we decided to use it as a shuttle bus over the last 5 km of track to the start of the walk.
We made good time on the journey up and, leaving Kees’s van at the picnic site, we set about ferrying everyone to the start of the walk. This did not delay us much and we were soon all in place at the start of the walk.
We had set out last week to do this section and more, but it was oppressively hot and not suitable for a hard day’s walk, but today it was ideal, warm and sunny with a nice breeze. The path starts by following the forest road a short distance before heading down to a shady river crossing. From here the path is uphill following the barranco Aguadero for the next 6 km, for much of the time the path is in forest and we said we would come back again in the Autumn when the Chestnut trees were in full colour. Our destination was Collado de los Huertectcillos and we were last here on the 22 September 2011, it was great to visit the place again, but it also means we have completed all Northern, Southern and Eastern sections of the walk and we only have 33 km left to do, all local at the Western end of the walk.
A few weeks back Graham pulled a ligament in his knee and it keeps locking up on him. The only way he can keep it moving is by walking fast, but because he is walking the same route as us he keeps having to double back on himself to keep us in sight, it’s like having a dog with you, you feel like throwing him a stick to fetch. On the way back he decided to forego the shuttle bus and instead opted to walk the extra 5 km back to where we had left Kees’s van. So while the rest us had a lazy stroll back and a relaxing break under the Chestnut tree, Graham was pounding along the tracks and forest roads that led back to the picnic place.
With another shuttling of the group we met up again for our journey back home but first came the most important part of our day out. Which bar were we going to in Cadiar, it has to be Cadiar because they don’t serve tapas in Almeria provence, but there was a rebellion brewing amongst the lower ranks, Rene and Mark were pressing for a change of bar, I think they were hoping for a better tapas, something with meat in it. In the end, for the sake of unity of the group, I relented in my autocratic leadership and allowed them to choose the bar.
Last week on the journey back, some 6 km short of Cadiar the Suzuki had lost all its power and we had to limp into Cadiar, after having it fixed I was confident it would be fine but at exactly the same spot the same fault reappeared and once again we limped into Cadiar.
The two rebels had found a new bar on the way into Cadiar where we stopped for our long anticipated drinks. I promise I did not say a word to the waiter, but it was funny when the other table got meat tapas we got cheese. If all democracy can produce is a cheese sarni I think it’’s back to the dictatorship next week.
It was a great day out, I have really enjoyed the walks at this end of the Sierras.
The car was returned to the garage where it caused a lot of head scratching, the main conclusion reached, don’t drive on this bit of road into Cadiar. It’s a good job we have finished this end of the walk.
The walkers Mike, Kees, Ray, Graham, Rene, Mark, Clare and myself.
Distance walked on route today,8.9 km. Total distance today 17.8 km. Height climbed today 753 metres. Total distance walked on the Sulayr path 267.3 km. Distance left to do 32.7 km. Total height climbed 21513 metres. Total distance walked 617.1 km.