The days of the calendar just slipped by unnoticed this past month... and before I realised it Fall had arrived! And that means HIKING SEASON!!! Although some crazy folk still hit the trails under the blazing summer sun, most slightly more sane folk wait for the change of seasons to head out again with a lower risk of dehydration or sun stroke. ;o)
Even so, on my first hike back we were a pretty small group, just 20 people hopped on the bus organised by the "Trenet Senderista". One of them was my Dad! I managed to convince him to join me for my first hike of the season (he hasn't come since last February, or was it March?)!
It was really nice to be headed back up into the mountains and Alicante's greener "backcountry" between the towns of Relleu and Sella,
even if it was just for a "light" hike with one of the "non-strenuous" groups I join from time to time who hire a bus. This one dropped us off at our starting point near the top of the Puerto de Tudols (a mountain pass that's apparently famous during the Vuelta de España cycling race).
From there it was pretty much all downhill (with some flat spots and one bit of a light climb), a descent of 200 m (~ 650 ft) over roughly 12 km (~ 7.45 mi). Basically a light hike to starting warming up our legs and feet! :o)
It gave me the chance to get a closer look at Alicante's highest peak, the Aitana (I have trouble calling it summit when it's so flat on top!), which I have yet to climb. Some winters you can see it from the beach, under a blanket of snow. Beautiful! I hope to get the chance to hike up there on one of those rare snowy days...
I also got to enjoy a different view of the Puig Campana (the mountain behind Benidorm with a "hole" in it which I climbed last December, and will again this year). I'm used to seeing it from the "front", the view from the back with the vegetation and the "mist" made it look like a completely different mountain, and a much prettier one too! ;o)
I had to include this shot, my Dad making fun of me and all my picture taking! :p
Along the hike we passed by a khaki or persimmon farm! I've never seen these trees... pity the fruit wasn't ripe yet, those green trees would have looked cool with bright red fruit hanging from them!
It was a jolly hike, everyone was in a good mood and glad to be hitting the trails again, and some of the regulars getting to see each other again.
Short hike, in just under 3h we were at our lunch spot the Font Major just outside of Sella! Lovely place for a picnic:
but why didn't anyone tell me there was a swimming hole there?! Argh!!! I was so jealous of the people jumping in and swimming around! Had I known... ;o)
*sigh* At least I got to dip my feet in...
And considering I had managed to get a couple of blisters on my pinky toes and the rest of my feet were complaining as well (apparently 3 months of flip-flops aren't that compatible with a sudden shift to socks and hiking boots!)... well let's just say that I really enjoyed sitting there in the shade with my book while my feet enjoyed the cool water. ;o)
And so the hiking season has begun! This was #1, Sunday September 23rd, and last Sun Sept 30th I already did another! Won't be going out this coming weekend though... I think I need to let the feet recuperate from a second, scarier, set of blisters. More on that soon!