Rain was promised every day this week, although for the most part it has failed to materialise.
Monday I didn’t walk.
Tuesday I set off again for Salares via the mountain tracks, my first long walk with the backpack. I started off on the first two thirds of my training walk and then instead of dropping down to the fabrica, I climb up to the through track that leads back to the lorry road in Canillas in one direction and towards Fogarate and Salares in the other direction. Up to this point the walk had been various degrees of incline which made me very aware of the extra 7.5 kilos I am carrying. Once I reached the top track, the six kilometres to the Salares fork are fairly level and then downhill for 4.5 km into Salares.
Lyn had arranged to join me for the end of the walk as she didn’t have time to do it in full. Jens-Kristian gave her a lift to Fogarate and she walked to meet me a few hundred metres before I reach the fork. We stop for a few minutes at the junction so that Roly and I can have a drink and he has a few biscuits, and just as we were ready to set off again, Helen and her dog Tring rounded the bend, having climbed up from Salares, and became a party of 3+2. It was great to have some human company after slogging for almost 20k with just my faithful four legged friend.
We set off down the hill that Helen had just climbed, but it seemed that my ambition to walk 25k is to be thwarted again, when I am out-voted by Lyn and Helen who thought it will be a good idea to join David in Bar Theo to have a bite to eat. I cannot honestly say that I put up much of a fight as by now I was feeling very tired from lugging that extra weight for 23k. Oh well, there is always another day to set a new record. Here is a photo of the charming Theo.
Wednesday saw us driving to the coast to do a few chores, including buying a printer to replace the one that had just died, and collecting our official papers that allow us to keep our horse at home (only two years after the event!).
On Thursday I felt a definite painful twinge in the region of my shoulder blade and declared it a day of rest.
Friday started off lazily, but just before lunchtime I felt the need to do something positive, so I loaded up my pack again, this time to 8.5k and invited David to accompany me on Liana for the 8.5k circular walk through the natural park. No twinges today, but I was very aware of the weight whilst walking uphill. Today I noticed that the beautiful wild orchids were coming into flower. They bloom all over the hillsides and are absolutely stunning.
On Saturday we drove to the coast as our favourite band were playing in one of our favourite restaurants. ‘El Camarote’ is situated at the marina in Caleta de Velez and when we arrived at about 1pm all the tables were taken at this popular fish restaurant.
However some kind people indicated that we could share their table and we gratefully joined them.
It was a pleasure to share a table with such a lovely couple, Brigitte (French) and Ferie (sp?) (Dutch). We had a lot in common and had a great time with them.
The band, ‘Guiri’, play a mixture of rock, blues and soul and are always brilliant. The sun was shining from a cloudless blue sky, the fish soup was the best there is and we had a fabulous afternoon.
By contrast, Sunday, was a miserable, grey day with lots of rain. I spent the day sorting through my gear, cutting down on weight where I could by being creative with containers for toiletries, being ruthless in deciding what I would not take, and checking that everything would fit into my pack. It was good use of time and I managed to reduce weight by quite a few grams – and as every gram counts, the more I can reduce it by, the better. There is a rule of thumb that one should not carry more than 10% of one’s weight. My problem is that I really want to take my ipad, and I have to balance that by not taking other items.
I love the idea of a miserable grey Sunday sparking the ability to “reduce weight by several grams.” Another trick you’ll definitely have to teach me, alongside making fuel-briquettes from horse dung and desserts to die for (not using the same mould, I hasten to add). Maggie, you’re an inspiration. In the few short years we’ve known one another you first learn to ride a horse from scratch — and with admirable ability; then in the space of three months turn yourself from a declared hater of walking into a hard boiled hiker. To top it off, you demonstrate a natural writing talent in a delightful blog that will make following the trials and tribulations of the trepidatious traveller in the weeks ahead a daily pleasure. Given that I’m a life long horse rider, serious walker and supposedly professional writer, you have no choice but to accept this is as well-founded praise 😉 Be proud of your achievements and talents. And Happy Birthday (April 5th)!
Lots of love,
P.S. One request for the blog: more photos, please, of the faithful four footed friend who I feel isn’t getting his full ration of stardom.
Thanks Lyn, lovely comments. I am planning to give Roly headline billing with his own post. However, although I have taken loads of photos of him, it is quite difficult to do him justice in a photograph as he just looks like a black straggly indistinct mess and he is not very good at posing. I shall nevertheless persevere.