Onward and upward -13.02.13

After missing another practice walk yesterday, due to dreadful windy conditions, it was not quite so blustery today and I braved the elements. I expected the route I had planned to be at least 15km, which would be reasonable progress.

I walked into the natural park again and the climb to get there is becoming a little easier. The last time I rode Liana on this route I noticed that someone creative had arranged some pine cones on the track and a week later, despite the fierce winds, they remained in the same position – looking most artistic.

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The edges of the tracks are lined with plants – lavender, thyme and rosemary are plentiful. A huge variety of beautiful colourful wild flowers will appear over the next couple of months, but at the moment broom (cytisus) abounds on the banks with its vibrant yellow fragrant flowers.

The views today are magnificent, beautifully clear, both towards the wide expanse of coastline and inland to the mountain peaks. The mountains here are covered with pine trees and after the recent strong winds there are pine cones covering the ground.

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It is difficult to know what to wear when leaving for an early walk, so as not to be too hot or cold. It is quite warm in the sunshine, but when I turn a bend and am suddenly in the shade and the breeze picks up, it can instantly be very chilly. However I seem to have assessed it well and remain comfortable. A well remembered Aesop’s fable comes to mind, “The North Wind and the Sun”. The story concerns a competition between the North wind and the Sun to decide which is the stronger of the two. The challenge was to make a passing traveller remove his cloak. However hard the North Wind blew, the traveler only wrapped his cloak tighter, but when the Sun shone, the traveler was overcome with heat and had to take his cloak off. The moral being, persuasion is better than force. My mother frequently read to me from Aesop’s Fables, as I in turn read them to my girls, and they still often tease me about how I would always ask them at the end of the story what the moral was. However I have noticed that Rosie has a copy of the fables on Mikey’s bookshelf, although I can’t remember if it is the one that I used to read from or a more recent copy.

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My walk in the natural park takes me high above our village of Canillas de Albaida and after climbing for a few kilometres the rough, stoney track starts to descend and the neighbouring village of Competa comes into sight far below.

There are tracks in the park taking you in all directions, but they are all quite rough and I do not want to risk a sprained ankle and an interruption to my training, so I am not planning to walk too far in these conditions. After about 5km from home I reach the graded track that leads to ‘Cruz del Monte’, a long established urbanisation high above Competa. From here the going is much easier (and downhill), and I soon come to the road, where I choose to walk away from the village and take a circular route past the well advertised ‘Angelino’s’ pet food shop, which also sells firewood and plants, then down onto the main approach road to Competa, through the village and onto the goat track, past the ostriches (yes,really), and back home.image

My pedometer tells me that I have walked 17km but I think I need to check my stride length to ensure that it is telling me the truth. It certainly feels like 17km! I have stopped several times enroute to give the dog a drink, and worry a little that I am testing his stamina. But when we are close to home he spies a discarded tissue, which although he knows he is not allowed, he loves to rip them to shreds. He grabs the tissue and charges off out of reach at a rate of knots, to shred it in peace. He is obviously still full of energy, all the trekking with the horse has prepared him well.

I would like to work up to at least one walk of 20-25km a week and two more of similar or less distance. So far – I feel – so good.

About magwood

Trepidatious Traveller - camino blog is about preparing for and walking the Camino de Santiago. Many future pilgrims have found the blog useful and inspiring, and many who have no plans to walk the camino have simply enjoyed the dialogue http://www.magwood.me
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