On the subject of slow walking.


Sedella Axarquia House Spain Sun Walking Slow Walkers
Village house (Not ours)

With this blog being called The Slow Walkers, I thought it was about time that walking was mentioned, or slow walking to be more accurate.

Back in the UK, walking wasn’t something we did much at all, certainly not planned walks and suchlike. Ok, we’d walk to the shops and things like that but not too much else. Visiting Sedella changed all that, as it’s such a glorious place to be, you just feel the need to wander around…..

The wanderlust grew and we started to branch out a little and did a small walk down to the Roman bridge. Of course, the path leads on past the bridge but we thought we’d turn back while we were winning or more precisely, while we had the breath and the energy to get back to the house. It isn’t far at all but you mustn’t rush these things and after all, we were on holiday. On the walk back we could see across to the path that led on from the bridge and we were curious to know where it led, as it seemed to disappear over a hill but obviously not curious enough to have explored at that time though but you know what we mean.

Anyway, we planned to go on past the bridge in a couple of days time to see what we could find. Being complete country walking novices, this was no small matter for us but there’s only one way to find out. Well, more than that actually but we didn’t have the internet, so couldn’t look on google maps and we hadn’t yet found an actual paper map covering the area. Since the last walk, we’d heard there was a cortijo, somewhere over the back and past the bridge, so that was something to aim for. Anyway, armed with a couple of bottles of water, sun hats and some scooby snacks, we set out into the wild blue yonder. Out of the front door and almost immediately, we were met by some of the steep village steps. Having had no time to ease into the walk, I have to say, we made hard work of it, even though it shouldn’t have been. I put it down to the rarefied atmosphere, having come from almost sea level in the UK to almost 700 metres had got to count for something hadn’t it? Plus, I’m over 6 feet tall, so even more so for me.

So, calf muscles burning and both vowing to get fitter when we got back to the UK, we reached the top of the steps and moved on through the village and down one of the side streets where we met a small dog that sounded like it’s bark was worse than it’s bite but the look of it’s bared teeth seemed to suggest the opposite and neither of us were keen to find out, so we broke into a marginally faster walk than we’d expected to do. We made it out of the village with no further issues and were greeted by the views across the valley and up towards Mount Maroma. It was breathtaking then and still is, each and every time we see it. We made it to the bridge in what seemed like no time at all and pausing to sit down, we listened to the water flowing under the bridge, while we took a few sips of water. It was so relaxing that there was a temptation to stay there but we were on a mission and so, we left the bridge behind and began the walk up the other side.

Roman bridge Sedella Axarquia Walking Holiday Slow Walkers
Roman bridge, Sedella.

The path was easy to follow but a bit loose underfoot and my old shop Clark’s bought boots felt every stone underneath my feet. Mrs S was feeling the same way and we decided to look into buying proper walking boots when we got back to the UK. Up we went, following the path as it levelled out, dropped a little and then levelled out again, before splitting into three or four paths. No sign of a cortijo and numerous paths in front of us, we opted for the middle (ish) path, which took us into some trees and no sooner had we got there, when a few more paths were offered up. Again, we took what was the most central path and this proved to be a good decision because no more splitting of the path happened. Instead we got to duck below lots of branches, as we made our way forward but it was quite shaded, so made it cooler as we walked. We came out of the trees and the ground sloped down quite steeply and we saw the hairpin bend in the road from Sedella to Salares just in front of us and still no sign of the cortijo and no real path leading other than the way we’d just come.

Mrs S suggested sitting in the shade and having a bite to eat, while we thought what to do next, which I thought was a great idea. Well, it was a good idea to have something to eat but the what to do next could wait a bit. So, sitting and nibbling our cheese and chorizo roll, we looked about and decided that the only way forward, was to go back. We felt a bit disappointed, as we’d clearly missed a turn off somewhere but at least we we’d been out in the fresh air and the sun, albeit, currently sat under a tree. So, another trip out was decided upon to try and find the elusive cortijo but that would have to wait for another holiday, as there wasn’t enough time left on this one. And so, after a good hour, sitting and chatting, we began the walk back through the trees. For some strange reason, we were offered a number of paths, not seen on the way in but being able to see the path on the other side of the valley, kept us more or less on the right line. We came out of the trees and were making out way down towards the Roman bridge again, when we saw a small cairn at the side of the path. There wasn’t much in the way of a path off that we could see but we didn’t think the cairn was marking the path we were on. It looked like an option but not one for that time and so, it was filed in our dodgy memories for future use.

On the way down, I’d already mentioned to Mrs S that my right foot felt as though it was rolling outwards and a little further on, we stopped, as it was becoming more of an issue. Sitting on a rock, we discovered that the boot had given up the ghost. The stitching had gone and a rapidly widening hole ran along the outside. Admittedly, on the positive side, this made walking cooler for the right foot but the sheer awkwardness of a flapping boot was more of a negative. There wasn’t a lot I could do, taking it off was out of the question, as it was rough enough walking with them on, so it stayed on, sort of.

Crossing the bridge and walking in a literally footloose manner back up towards the village, we stopped briefly and looked across at where we roughly thought we’d seen the cairn. No path could be seen going up from there either, which made us even more determined to try it out the next time we came out. The walk home took a little longer, due to the untimely demise of my now ex-comfortable boots but at least Mrs S found it amusing. The walking boots were looking a decidedly good option at this point, especially if we were going to take walking more seriously. We made it back without too much further deterioration of the boot and they were reluctantly consigned to the bin. They’d done well in the UK for quite a while but were no match for the Spanish terrain.

So, we went back off to the UK and researched walking boots, which opened up a whole new world of other things we might need. Another time perhaps.

All Images © 2008- TheSlowWalkers

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