We eventually dragged ourselves away and climbed gently towards an acequia. The sound of running water, was music to our ears as it made it’s way down to the terraces below. However, we followed the channel upwards but as it can’t be too steep, I was thinking it was going to be a nice steady walk. Of course, we’d both seen the profile of the walk but the sound of the water had bewitched us both and we walked along, a little more slowly, as the sound of the trickling water took us to the next stopping point. This was where an overhanging tree provided a shady spot for a bit of lunch, or a shady bit for a spot of lunch if you prefer. Mrs S has her modes and I discovered I’d gone into seaside mode, as boots and socks came off and my hot feet were dipped into the cold babbling water. What a moment, almost better than…… football. Mrs S followed suit and there we were, eating sandwiches, with our feet cooling in the beautiful cold water, while again, looking out and wondering what word to use next to describe the views from on high.
It was very difficult to get going after a stop like that but after reluctantly putting our socks and boots back on, we pressed on, finally leaving the acequia behind but with a plan to come back another day and see where it led. Up we climb, through scented pine trees and a quick check of the GPS showed us to be on course but I had to disagree with the details it gave me,regarding time spent walking and time spent not walking. It’s clear that the pace we sometimes walked at, didn’t count as moving on this particular model, that or we’re actually faster than we think we are. I discussed this with Mrs S, who agreed with me that it was definitely the first option. We zig zagged up and along a hillside and left the cover of the trees behind us, to find that the sky has become a little more overcast. Moving along, we passed an old lime kiln and then found, what we though were wild crocus dotted all around us. By this time, we were at about 1100 metres but it was still a surprise to find them there. The land widened out in front of us and we saw an old cortijo and next to it, not one but two walnut trees. Snack time I thought, view break thought Mrs S. We stopped and my conker retrieving days were revisited, as I brought a handful of walnuts down and into my welcoming hands. We sat and soaked up the beauty and silence of the area and for some bizarre reason, I started thinking about the Lord of the Rings films. I thought to myself that Mrs S and I were like Frodo and Sam, although I doubted the books would have been so short if we’d actually been given the responsibility for the ring. I shared my thoughts and it seems we both thought more on the lines of being Sam. So, we fought, wrestled and I stole the last precious walnut. Sorry, my mind went off track there. No, we sat and Mrs S said “It didn’t get much better than this.” We’re easily pleased it seems but at that particular time, I couldn’t disagree.
Reluctantly, we packed up and set off in what the GPS gave as a “That way” sort of direction. This involved some more climbing, up to the highest point of the walk (big cheers were heard) However, by the time we’d made our way there, the weather had conspired against us and the mist had rolled in a little, meaning the panoramic views were no longer panoramic. This made for a surreal atmosphere, with the mist coming and going , the clouds rolling through the gorges behind, which gave teasing glimpses of what might have been. It was still a lovely place and well worth another sit down and that was a good decision because the mist began to clear, although not entirely but enough to give a hazy view right down to the coast.
However, time was not standing still and we began the descent, which was fairly gentle to begin with but as we turned onto a very uneven track, gentle was taken over by extreme. We were warned by the book that the knees would earn their keep and that was no exaggeration. This track goes down at pretty much 45 degrees and as I said, is very uneven, small gaps to trap your foot and turn an ankle run down all over the place , so we had to be very careful as we picked our way down. We never thought that walking down would take so long but it did and by the time we reached the bottom, my kneecaps felt like they were vibrating up and down on their own.
There was no question that another rest stop was needed and Mrs S produced the trail mix as my eyes lit up. Another little thing but what a delight when you’re on the ragged edge so to speak. Perked up by the trail mix we bound off along the dried up river bed (not really, just reliving the sugar rush) We picked our way alongside the river, working our way back towards Sedella and gradually the pace picked up to something like normal, due to the flatter section but as soon as we came to a downward slope, my knees reverted to vibrating mode. I have to say, it’s a very odd sensation and even eating trail mix on the move didn’t help me any. We reached the molino and knew we didn’t have more than a mile to go, which was a great boost. Unlike a previous walk, it wasn’t getting dark, so that was another bonus. Feeling so good, I could almost have broken out into a whistle, except that would have been a little too Disney at that time.
We made it back home a little while after, still in one piece, still light outside and still talking to each other. The GPS feels sorry for us and refuses to show us how far the walk actually was but does however, tell us that the 3 1/2 hour walk took us 9 3/4 hours. Granted, the author did say that his times were for the walking only and did not include view breaks, lunch breaks, grazing or photography. Still, we’d done it and it was crossed off the list.
All Images © 2008- TheSlowWalkers