Not only are we the slow walkers but also at the time of this walk, were not fully seasoned walkers, having not long progressed from promenading around the village to striking out into the wild blue yonder. Using the trusty guide book, we’ve started off small and tried to build up to something a little more challenging. Anyhow, we decided (without the aid of wine) to try a 10km local walk, which, happily went in a circle. I don’t know why but circular routes seem to feel more comfortable in the planning stage. This walk was classed as a 3 in the guide book, which is a leap from the so called 1 of the walk we last told you about. Also, according to the book, 3 is average and by the way, we’d be back home in 3 1/2 hours. What could possibly go wrong?
So, Mrs S made her usual packed lunch, which consisted of olive bread, with chorizo and cheese, her secret recipe for trail mix, which is so secret that not even Mrs S knows it and so it changes each time but it is always superb and very welcome. Something biscuit or cake like usually finds it’s way in and of course, there’s the wonderful local fruit to finish off. I am on water bottle and rucksack filling and when weather dictates, flask duties. As an aside, I’m so glad we opted for a stainless steel flask, as the first time we used it, the bloody thing slipped through it’s holder and hit the ground, which turned out to be a good test, especially as we hadn’t even left the house at that point.
Off we set and out of the village on a beautiful morning for walking. A slight gradient takes us further away, before we have to employ the previously under used leg muscles in earnest. It’s one of those walks, where you encounter what we would call vertical walls fairly early on but Mrs S was doing fine and in her “Can’t talk, walking” mode. I have to say that I’m getting better at noticing this mode and no longer worry when I get no reply. So, we carry on in relative silence, that’s to say, me chunnering on and Mrs S doggedly scaling the slopes. We take one of our “view breaks” and soak in the wonderful scenery, while trying not to sound or look too out of breath. A little water is taken on board and off we go, onto a more sedate slope. I know it’s gentler because Mr S has become more vocal and we enjoy a bit of a chat as we wend our way towards an old cortijo, which is going to be another “view break” and a chance for a little something to eat. I’ll admit it, I’m a grazer, if it’s there, I’ll eat it and more so, if I know it’s there, I want to eat it. The cortijo gets closer and my taste buds start tingling but what’s this? Another view break! I see her smile and know she’s just prolonging the arrival time a little longer but you can’t help but enjoy the views wherever you stop, so it wasn’t a bad thing. We arrive at checkpoint nibble, sit down in the shade of a walnut tree, sip more water and I turn into hunter gatherer, foraging for walnuts and bringing them back for extra grazing points and very nice they taste too. I’ve come a long way from scrumping for apples as a kid, both figuratively and literally.
Suitably refreshed, we take the next bit of the walk, which is one of those steep hills that has no one way to get up it but any way you find is still not going to be easy. Then, as we say, if you want the views, you have to put in the effort. As we climb, I realise the Mrs S hasn’t yet given her early opinion of the rating this walk really should be. This is a good sign I think to myself. We find a route, which seems to follow a curve up the hill but this is a deceipt and we soon end up in the middle of a steeper climb. At this point, Mrs S breaks the silence with, not so much a rating as more of a comment “This is why this walk’s rubbish” and went back to CTW mode. It was the way it was said and I just couldn’t help laughing out loud at the short but concise outburst. Mrs S saw the funny side too, which was fortunate as she was armed with two walking poles at the time. We climbed on until we reached a threshing circle, which is rather apt, as I’m beginning to feel like I’ve been threshed more than a little and I’m sure Mrs S felt the same way. It was a good spot for both a water and view break, so, we we’re getting even better value for money.
We sat and looked all around at what can only be described as breathtaking views. I would have said stunning but having watched a few episodes of A Place in the Sun, I realise that stunning doesn’t mean what I thought it did. We both agreed that in this case, breathtaking is the word of choice not least because we’d left quite a lot of our collective breath on the last hill. We talked and Mrs S expanded upon her brief outburst when climbing earlier. It’s one of those walks where all the effort is in the early stages and so leaves the less than fighting fit, fighting fatigue. I agreed and we wondered how having busy full time jobs can leave us physically lacking but agreed again to do something to improve our fitness, when we got back home. Anyway, to sit and look across undulating countryside, sloping down to the sea and then 180 degrees and Mount Maroma looming over you like a tidal wave set in stone, coupled with only the sounds of birds, the feint ringing of goat bells and my tongue performing gymnastics as it tries to get a piece of walnut from my tooth, it was a moment to savour.
All Images © 2008- TheSlowWalkers