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Calpe, Spain Holiday - February 2020

The first week of February 15 Footprints members travelled to Calpe on the Costa Blanca in Spain to enjoy some varied walking in warmer climes.

On the Tuesday 6th early attendees drove to the Font de Partagat for a little known walk along uplands and then along a crest – unfortunately the group had to turn back due to the very precipitous terrain (10.9km, 583m ascent).

On Wednesday all 15 members walked together completing a circular walk around Guadalest Water (a reservoir) mainly on good tracks (10 km length, 50m ascent). On completing the walk we visited Guadalest village to take refreshments before visiting the village church and museum.

On Thursday the A party walked from Benimaurell village along a country track viewing an ancient and picturesque font before passing through a natural tunnel (the first of 3 on the holiday) and descending by thousands of steps (c.6000) into a local canyon and reaching a dry riverbed – the Barranco del Inferno). The group followed the bed upstream past waves of white sculpted rock before stopping for lunch. After lunch the group proceeded out of the gorge via a zig zag mule path and then had an easy walk back to the village. (12.9km, 489m ascent). The B party completed a circular walk via paths/tracks with a steep central section. (5.5km, 200m ascent).

Friday was a “rest day”. Most walked from the hotel to the headland at Penyal d’Ifach – a towering limestone rock jutting 332m out of the sea and dominating the local coastline. Some members walked along the gentle climb to a tunnel (the second of the holiday) before turning back, some walked further on to a local viewpoint, and six members completed what is best described as a scramble to the top of the d’Ifach rock, in places hanging onto fixed chains for security. After this most people visited parts of the old town followed by a visit to a local nature reserve with many types of birds including Flamingos.

The next day the A party completed a circular trail through the Pinos Valley below the Bernia ridge enjoying swathes of almond blossom and many other wildflowers. (11.7km, 536m ascent). Towards the end of the walk we passed some beehives and unfortunately two of the walkers were stung, fortunately not seriously. The B party completed an out and back walk along the coast from Calpe to the Cala Advocat (7 miles).

On Sunday the A party completed a circuit around the Sierra Bernia – firstly climbing up a long zig zag path in single file before reaching a tunnel (the third of the holiday) through which we had to bend/scramble through before coming out on the other side of the mountain to magnificent views. From here we contoured and then climbed to reach the Fort de Bernia. After lunch here we had an easy walk back down to the cars. (9.1km, 597m ascent). The B party walked from the cars to the Fort to meet the A party and we returned to the start together.

On the last day the group walked together driving to Javea further along the coast. From the port we walked up a headland before turning inland past a lighthouse, then a monastery before arriving at some 13th century windmills which provided a lunch spot with great views over Javea and the sea. We then walked back downhill into Javea stopping at the local Yacht Club for refreshments (9.6km 327m ascent).

This was another great holiday and I suspect my write up does not do justice to the area/walks. Many thanks to the drivers (Richard, Dave, Aline, Simon, Debbie, Marie). Also to those who led walks – Richard, Aline, Simon. To all for being good company. Especial thanks to Richard who compiled/planned the walks, including finding parking and also very welcome refreshment stops for each walk.