AUTUMN EQUINOX TREASURE HUNT

Between 1030 and 1130am on 23rd September 2018, fifty-five people in fifteen cars left La Proa restaurant on an exciting adventure. Over the next three hours and covering over 50 kilometres, they were challenged to solve over a hundred clues and recognise ten special features from photographs.

the start a

The course climbed the mountain at Valdelentisco and down into Las Palas then on to La Pinilla and up to Cuevas de Reyllo. Then in Fuente Alamo some considerable confusion was caused by a temporary diversion barrier across the planned route! Some, skillfully, diverted and picked up the clues further up the course while others, cunningly, walked a few hundred metres to discover the missing clues.

Just a few stragglers, determined to solve every single clue, kept the hunters waiting a little while but most had arrived at the destination in time to start on the magnificent lunch provided by Maria at La Gran Ventica, Las Palas at the appointed hour. The adjudicating team worked frantically to determine the results which were announced as the starters were served. Hampers of goodies were
dished out as prizes and everyone was happy, even the losing team who received a box of tissues each to cry into on the way home. All went away in good spirits having had a demanding but enjoyable day.

The event was organised on behalf of The Humanists of Murcia by members Margaret & Deryck Davison who had travelled the route many times in the preceeding weeks perfecting the challenge. Just about half of the participants were already members of the humanist group and at the end of the day, many of the visitors were expressing interest in the group’s beliefs and activities.the lunch b

Humanists are non-religious people who seek to live ethical and fulfilling lives on the basis of reason and humanity. Locally, The Humanists of Murcia, have regular programmes in their walking, gardening, philosophy and discussion groups. They use the solstices and equinoxes as a good excuse for a celebration in addition to many informal get-togethers such as summer lunches or games afternoons. For details of local meetings and events visit https://humanistsofmurcia.com and for more general information on Humanism see https://humanism.org.uk 


Darwinian Gardeners 7th April 2018

 

On April 7th a group of 30 gardeners went by coach to visit the famous, but little known Cueva del Puerto caves of Calasparra.  Fortunately the coach driver knew the way, it would have been easy to miss the tiny signpost marking the narrow road up to the large, but almost empty visitor centre. These hypogenic caves were formed millions of years ago by groundwater rising and falling and eroding the soft limestone, and have been enhanced by the formation of stalagmites, stalactites, curtains, corals and 'popcorns' caused by rainwater dripping into the caves from above. 

 

April Gardeners

 

 

 

 

 

The caves were discovered in 1963, and after several years preparing it for visitors, building paths and stairs, opened it to the public.  We walked slowly for about 500 metres admiring the wonderful formations, cleverly lit to show them at their best.  Then after a short talk by one of our guides, we walked back the way we had come, admiring everything from the other side.  An hour and a half later we emerged, climbed back on the bus and drove through Calasparra to the restaurant Coto Riñales where we had an excellent menu del día.

 

 

 

 


Almeria Walk March 2018

Most people met at Meson Pepas on time, next to the fountain with no water. The drive to the start was uneventful, no convoys to negotiate, and the walk began with a fellow telling Mike L that we were all mad to go up the hill. The first stop was the crystal mine.

We were joined by Rog & Sue who had had problems with constipation (of their dog?). Angie lost her soul (Ed: should that not be sole?), some string was found by a basura and repairs were made. Interesting walk with historical details supplied by Mike B. Lovely goats on top of tree branches, a smelly sewerage farm, and to round it off a long hill.almeria walk a

Back to the Venta for lunch. Everyone liked the food, particularly the fish. Thanks to Mike & Mike.


Spring Equinox 2018

The walk began at Los Puertos, near Tallante, and headed around the neighbouring countryside. It followed a path with unique plants, old carob trees and a few fincas with big dogs.

Great views and ably led by Audrey. After 3 hours, the eight walkers drove to Gran Ventica Restaurante in Las Palas where they were joined by Deryck & Margaret and had a really good menu del dia for 11€.

GranVenticaLasPalas a After the meal, Annie handed a Spring Equinox Questionnaire with 12 of the most difficult questions imaginable. Audrey won with 8 correct answers.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Easy Walk 10th March 2018Easy Walk 10th March


Darwinian Gardeners Wild Flower Walk

On March 4th a group of gardeners were led by Chelo on a wild flower walk along a section of the Via Verde. Chelo trained as a park ranger, and is an expert on wild flowers. Along the way we saw a good selection of spring flowers which thanks to the recent rain were abundant. We learnt to recognise several plants which are good to eat; the leaves of wild rocket, wild Swiss chard and Purple Mistress (moricandia arvensis) and we tasted the flowers of Vipers Bugloss, which look pretty in salads. Chelo pointed out some wild flowers which would do well in our gardens, due to their drought and pest resistance. Along the way she knew where to find orchids, and we several Sawfly and Dark Bee orchids. She also explained how the yellow Cistanche (known in Spain as Wolf’s Penis) is a parasitic plant and how a small purple ‘weed’ is being used in the fight against breast cancer.

Darwinian Gardeners 3a

An unexpected bonus were the ruins of a large Roman Villa and the quarry for wash stones. The rain clouds were gathering, so we walked briskly back to our cars, reaching them just as it started to rain. The walk was followed by lunch at the Siena Restaurant in Mazarrón.


Darwinian Gardeners


As well as our regular monthly event, the gardeners this month had the opportunity to visit a private garden whose owners specialise in growing cacti. In the older part of the garden, which has been established about 15 years, there was a wide variety of cacti and aloes. The owners talked very knowledgeably about the care and propogation of their plants. In another area of dry garden there were many more cacti and aloes, many of them in flower-
Three comercial-size greenhouses contained breeding stock, including new varieties hybridised by the owners. Here were cacti, succulents, lithops, and aloes in varieties too numerous to mention.
We were able to buy plants for our own gardens, and were entertained to home made cake before leaving for lunch after a thoroughly enjoyable visit.Darwinian Gardeners


Our regular monthly event was a visit to the Astronomcal Observatory at Puerto Lumbreras

Our regular monthly event took place on the evening of February 24. A group of 27 gardeners visited the Observatory in Puerto Lumbreras. We joined the coach at various locations around Mazarrón and were driven to the Bocadillón restaurant in the centre of town, where we had a very nice meal.

Observatory 2a
Then an exciting drive on a narrow, winding road up to 800 metres where we found the Observatory. After a brief film we split into 2 groups. In turn, one group used the telescope where, one by one, we saw bits of the moon magnified 700 times, while the other group went outside to look at the constellations – The Great Bear, Orion and Cassiopeia stood out, the others were more difficult to see due to the brightness of the moon. All very interesting and informative.

observatory 1a


Darwin Day 2018

The Annual celebration of Charles Darwin´s birthday took place on February 12th. It is 209 years since Darwin was born. This year´s entertainment was a film show by our member Deryck, of the RHS gardens at Wisley, and also film of a variety of beautiful local flowers and insects. This was followed by the third instalment of our member Annie´s talk on Charles Darwin´s voyage of the Beagle.We left him on the west coast of South America, and look forward to hearing about his visit to the Galapagos islands next year.

This was followed by lunch, after which we sang happy birthday and consumed the birthday cake.

Darwin Day Cake


Are you a Humanist ?

This is a more or less serious set of questions designed to help you think about whether you are committed to a religious view of the world and how this affects your moral beliefs. However many people have a fairly mixed collection of beliefs, and few are completely consistent, so it is possible that none of the profiles below truly reflects your world view. But they do give an indication of what most humanists believe – and don't believe.

Which of the following statements is closest to your point of view? (You can choose more than one answer to each question if you need to)


1 Does God exist?

A) I am sure there is a God ruling over the universe.
B) It depends what you mean by God, but I think so
C) I don't know.
D)There is no evidence that any God exists so I'll assume that there isn't one..

2 When I die …

A) My soul will go to another place where I will be rewarded if I was good and punished if I was bad.
B) I will survive in some kind of afterlife
C ) That will be an end of me.
D)I will live on in peoples memories of me, or because of the work I have done, or in people's memories of me.

3 How did the Universe begin?

A) God created it
B) It was set up by extremely intelligent aliens from another universe, who drop in every now and again to see how we;re doing
C) I don't know.
D) The scientific explanations are the best ones available, no gods were involved.

4 The theory that life on earth evolved gradually over millions of years is..

A) Just a theory. My religion tells me the true story
B) Likely to be true, but I think my God had a part in it too.
C) Probably true, because my science teacher said it was true.
D) True, there is plenty of evidence from fossils, DNA and other sources, showing that this is how it happened.

5 When I look at a beautiful view I think that ….....

A) it must have been designed by God
B) it would be a nice place for a motorway.
C) this is what life is all about – I feel good.
D) we ought to do everything possible to protect ths for future generations.

6 I can tell right from wrong by...........

A) reading a holy book or listening to a religious leader
B) I don't really think about it much, people should just do as they like
C) accepting what my parents and teachers say.
D) thinking hard about the probable consequences actions and their effects on other people

7 Its best to be honest because ….....

A) my religion tells me so.
B) it's usually against the law or the rules to be dishonest.
C) people respect you more if you're trustworthy
D) I'm happier and feel better about myself if I'm honest.

8 Other people matter and should be treated with respect because.........

A) God created us all in his own image.
B) they are useful to me
C) they are people with feelings like mine
D) we will all be happier if we treat each other well.

9 Animals should be treated..........

A)with respect because they are part of God's creation.
B) however we see fit – they don't have souls and were created for us to use.
C) kindly because they are sweet and fluffy and nicer than people.
D) with respect because they can suffer too.

10 The most important thing in life is.......

A) to have a good relationship with God.
B) to make lots of money.
C) to preserve the planet for future generations.
D) to increase the general happiness and welfare of humanity.

Interpreting Your Answers

This is a more or less serious set of questions designed to help you think about whether you are committed to a religious view of the world and how this affects your moral beliefs. However many people have a fairly mixed collection of beliefs, and few are completely consistent, so it is possible that none of the profiles below truly reflects your world view. But they do give an indication of what most humanists believe – and don't believe.

All or mostly A's You definitely have a religious faith and Humanism is not for you, though you may agree with humanists on some issues, especially if you collected a few C's and D's.

All or mostly B's You may have some religious beliefs, or you might still be exploring ideas and not made up your mind. Some of your choices are not very ethical – so you're unlikely to be a humanist.

All or mostly C's Your answers are fairly neutral, perhaps a bit dependent on authority or other people,or pure emotion. Humanists try to think, and to think for themselves. You may be an agnostic, or a humanist, or vaguely religious, depending on your other answers.

All or mostly D's You are a humanist or very close to humanist thinking. Many people are, often without even knowing it! Humanists don't agree about everything, and you may have collected some other answers too, though if they include A's and B's you're unlikely to be a humanist.