Almeria Walk - April 2017
Twenty-two walkers and 3 dogs arrived at Café Meson Pepa. Buddy & Paco claimed they were early but they had no time stamp verified by a San Juan magistrate. Mike and Mary were last.
Then the leaders drove off at breakneck speed, passing the fountain with no water, towards Pulpi. Luckily there were no German campervans convoys to disrupt the drive. After 20 roundabouts and a mountain, the start of the walk was in sight.
The route followed a wide path littered with giant stones up a steep hill. Only 4 walkers slipped on the stones including the Welsh gentleman who fell “gracefully”, according to the Belgian lady (not Martine).
There was a great view from the mirador and lots of flowers (not as many as in Murcia) and Mike L found a tortoise for Jim to photograph.
He was moving faster than some of the walkers.
It was a good walk, good weather, great scenery, pleasant people and a lot of talking some of it interesting. “I carried 50 kilo across the Brecon Beacons”, “My load was 80 kilos and a rifle with no strap”, “I had 120 kilos on my back and I pull a howitzer with a rope between my teeth”. There were 10 from Murcia and 12 from Almeria.
The lunch was in the Belgian restaurante (no relation to either Martine or the Belgian lady). Usual stuff, everyone got what they ordered eventually due to the attention of Mike and Mary, although the wine supply was not overly generous. Thanks to Liam for supplementary supplies. The Scottish lady may have had a hangover on Sunday?
Final Easy Walk of the Season
On a perfect April morning, 15 members met up at El Saladillo Church and set off on the last Easy Walk of the season.
We took the motorway underpass and walked along the road to a ruined windmill. Soon we were in the campo - so pretty with poppies!
A long downhill took us towards the rambla, where several pairs of Stilts were noisily courting and nest building.
Returning by way of the Hot Springs, we observed the Saturday morning golfers trundling around the course in their buggies. Not nearly so elegant as those Stilts!
This delightful stroll in the campo was followed by lunch at La Siena in Mazarron. Hope to see you all next season.
Humanists of Murcia March Walk
The Notorious (Noisy and Nice) Nine set off from La Siena towards the hills behind Mazarrón, only to stop at Mazarrón Cemetery for Joan to pop in and buy a niche. Under the autopista, AP-7, and the walk started in earnest. Three records were set on this walk. The fewest number of walkers, Paco and Buddy arriving 3 minutes early and Paco and Buddy LEADING the walk, oh, and the highest number of decibels (Ed: That’s four records?).
It was a beautiful day, the track climbed steadily upwards, but with flat sections to catch one’s breath, and the flowers were fantastic. The views weren’t bad either. Two hours and forty minutes later and the cars appeared at the top of the last incline. A frantic phone call to Barrie to let him know lunch would be early. Time for a cerveza before sitting down for lunch and Barrie and Jan screeched into the car park. Barrie broke the bank by paying 2.10€ for the toll.
La Siena filled plate after plate with salad, entremeses (Great Manchego) and strange croquetas. The owner kept saying “No tenemos prizas” and “Tranquila”, so we stayed until 10 pm. They even served chupitos, all for 12€.
Serious Walkers - January Walk
There were 24 walkers when “The Roundabout Kings” (Mike & Allan) finally joined the group just off the main Aguilas to Lorca road. The board track meandered its way up into the hills passed a scattering of large private houses and friendly packs of dogs.
At the top of the climb, there were spectacular views down the coast, but the walkers did not stay long as the wind was icy. The walk continued on and down through an area that had been a reserve but had been bulldozed flat. A water hole for animals was half filled in.
A good walk in a new area, thanks to Mike². Then it was back to Venta San Felipe for a different kind of lunch. No choice. Great salad which is not always the case these days, chicken noodle soup, pork or chicken, (Joan said Jim ate all the pork?), not enough fried fish and, at last, a choice of puddings. All for 10€. Oh yes, Mary and the Septic Tanks arrived for lunch. John and Colette having travelled for 3 days and nights especially to be there.
Humanists of Murcia Walk Into the New Year
And also celebrate their annual AGM
On a beautifully clear and sunny morning, 24 intrepid Easy Ramblers assembled in the car park opposite the Bar Puente in La Majada on 14th January for the first two hour walk of 2017. Despite the brilliant sun, the bitter wind led the walkers to don almost as many fleeces, scarves, hats and gloves as they might have worn in UK.
Ably led by Audrey we left from the eastern side of the village, causing great excitement for the many dogs in the gardens and orchards that bordered the road. Soon we were out in open fields with distant views of the surrounding hills and down to the sea in Mazarron bay. A steady pace brought us back via the rambla and then past more orchards and greenhouses to the Bar Puente
in time for the AGM.
Officer's reports were presented and accepted, and those committee members who wished to continue were confirmed. The new Publicity Officer, Martine Smets was welcomed and finally our outgoing Chairman, John Blakey gave a short resume of the development of the group since it was started by he and his wife Rhian in 2010. The chair was then taken by the new Chairperson, Anne Edwards, who proposed a vote of thanks to John and Rhian for their sterling work in leading the group from small beginnings to it's present 60 paid up members. After the meeting was closed, Rhian offered some food for thought from the latest BHA bulletins.
We then adjourned to the dining table for the usual excellent lunch of the Bar Puente.
Boxing Day Walk
Congratulations to our Totana members Rick and Carole for organising a great walk and good walking weather on 26th December.
The walk was in the foothills of the Sierra Espuñas and geared for the Easy walking group. We had 27 members, friends and visitors including Spanish friends from Ontinyent who had just recently formed their own humanist group. There was also a good representation of visitors from the UK enjoying our beautiful seasonal weather.
At the half way stage Rhian quoted from a recent BHA article drawing attention to the problem and dangers of educating girls as seen by a certain sect of the Jewish religion. As humanists we are against such discrimination and actively campaign against such treatment.
Lunch was held at La Cruz restaurent, where Manel, one of our guests from Ontinyent outlined his plans for the future of his group.
Easy Walk to Campillo de Adentro
On Saturday December 10th, thirty walkers, accompanied by five dogs, assembled in the rambla opposite the church at La Azohia for the last easy walk of the year. One brave man wore shorts, and the rest of us debated whether or not we needed jackets until we were called to order for a prompt, well 11:06, start.
Ably led by Audrey, we took the left hand route up the rambla, then took the left hand turn which leads to the Pozo de Campillo ,or village well. During the refreshment stop there, Rhian told us some of the latest humanist news, including concerns about Northern Ireland´s abortion laws which breach the European convention on human rights, and the results of a recent Comres survey which showed that the vast majority of British Muslims do not support faith schools.
After this, a short walk took us to the Campillo de Adentro social centre, where preparations for the festive season were well under way, for coffee etc. The direct route from there took us back to La Azohia, and after the distribution of lemons, it was off to Isla Plana for lunch, where we were joined by several non walkers.
Easy Walking in November
The euro was at 1.16 to the pound, the sun was shining brightly and not a cloud in the sky. 32 intrepid walkers including 2 visitors from Los Alcazares as well as 5 dogs left the car park at La Colora restaurant for a 2 hour ( plus ) walk into the campo of Mazarron.
First down the asphalt road past the Club Hipico where a horse was going through its dressage routine but no sight of a carriage. Next past the desalination pumping station where water from the Bolnuevo works is distributed around the local area. Then out into the campo and walking tracks. Down past the herd of domesticated miniature wild bore or is that perhaps an oxymoron. They soon scuttled away from us to the shade and sanctuary of some trees in the distance.
Down again into the rambla where we had a stopping point under the trees for Rhian to give us an update from a BHA bulletin on the murders in Bangladesh of bloggers who were free thinkers, humanists or any one who blogged against the majority view. We did a quick plug for the next Discussion group on 3rd Dec at El Puente in La Majada where Martine will lead a discussion on a book entitled : The Possibility of an Island.
A final plug for the solstice meal and quiz on 21st December, then we were then back into the campo on the return leg of the walk.
The final point of interest was hectares and hectares of newly grafted mandarin trees and finally past the established apricot trees. 29 walkers and non walkers enjoyed a menu at Casa Colora.
Next Easy walk on 10th Dec in the area of Campillo de Adentro
November Walk (Difficult)
The meeting place was the same Restaurante Casa Colora which led to some confusion and Buddy & Paco
arriving to the Easy Walk 60 minutes early and the Scottish contingent going close to Mojacar. Twenty five
people set off up the hill. At the top of the first hill, the fitter lot went up to the 881m (25,000 ft) (Ed: Surely
you mean 2,500ft) Fire Lookout Point and the less fit walked round to the picnic area.
Everyone met up at the picnic area where John B gave an up date on future Humanist activities and what is
happening in the Humanist World. Jon gave the walkers a true history of the area involving Cartagenians and
Romans and silver & lead. Then, it back to the cars and onwards to Los Cazadores Restaurante where
service and food were very good.
The next Walk will be 17 December 2016 in the Mazarrón area, most probably at Los Rojos, near El Pareton.
Meeting place "The Bar With No Name". Jon has to check out if it is open. On the walk, Jon will tell you the
name of the "Bar With No Name" AND the true story of what happened at Los Rojos.
Easy Walking on Historic Railway Line in October
Thirty members and friends, and one dog, assembled opposite the El Saladillo restaurant between Mazarron and Camposol on 8th October
Our route started along the side of the restaurant and then along what we all refer to as “the old railway line to Puerto,” although actually there never was a railway line, just a proposal and some preparatory diggings. Nevertheless, it has resulted in a good flat walking surface, which is duly appreciated.
The "old railway line" is scheduled for improvements by the Region of Murcia Tourist authority with more than 2 Million Euros allocated to the project. The project will create a part of the Network of Greenways of Murcia, and improvements will include provision of shaded rest areas, signage and planting of native species of plants. The railway was started in 1926 by the dictator Primo de Rivera but due to economic reasons was never completed.
Eventually the more active members of the group (most of them) took a right turn into the pine woods, which gave some welcome shade The promised temperature of 26* was felt by quite a few people to have been exceeded.
We soon rejoined the rest of the group, and after a welcome break in the shade of a large pine tree, started on the return leg.
By 2:00pm we were all assembled in the La Siena restaurant in Mazarron, along with one or two non walking friends, to enjoy our Menu del Dia
Another great walk from the Boys Down South. Twenty-one walkers más y menos, Mike B wasn't sure with
last minute cancellations and additions. Ray Vella appeared out of the mist. Apparently he has been busy
with a (new) long standing "friend". No change there then. Eight point one miles, wide tracks, a few steep
gradients but no ravine. Mike M collected some fir cones to light the fire in the coming winter months and
Joan found a sheep's head to scare the granddaughters at Halloween. Do Humanists believe in Halloween?
(Point to ask Rhian).
Belgians cooked up a good lunch, if you don't mind panga. House wine was good.
Next walk 19 November 2016, Coto Fortuna, details to follow early November.
0945 hour start for those travelling from Totana.
Twenty-six walkers set off from the Social Centre in El Pareton and walked both sides of an impressive rambla,
built to stop the plain flooding. Lots of birds including a booted eagle and some blacks stilts and 3 horses.
Thanks to Pete all the walkers made it back to the Social Centre and it was off to Restaurante Maria Josafa,
across town, where Maria took charge of everything, all for 12€.
The people who cancelled before the walk (late builders, airport runs and Yellow Wind Alerts) missed a pleasant
walk in fairly strong winds that was amazingly uneventful. The two Mikes did not get lost, nobody fell on their ass
like Paul used to, no dogs, wide path, lots of mines to fall down. Only moment of panic was when a lady in hand
knitted socks forgot her sticks, but it was only a 30m walk back to the mine shaft to collect them.
Audrey gave us a surprise when she was seen with a cigar in her mouth but it turned out to be a chocolate biscuit.
They has even taken away the fun of crossing the river by building a bridge. (Not Mike(2) but the council).
Back to San Juan de Terroeros to Mesón Mi Cortijo for some Belgian food, eventually. Service was a little slow but
generally the food was of good quality, even though Barrie moaned about the lack of salad and had trouble
explaining what tap water in a jug looked like - free! And Joan did not like gravy on her cheesy pork dish. And
John W ate ALL the mushrooms and more and more. It seems he likes mushrooms!!
Everything had been going fine until "Oh (having specially asked for Res. Maria Josafa), we can't come", "Nor
me","Nor us". "We are on holiday", "Can't you change the date" etc., etc.
The happy news is that the date has been changed and it will be on the 26 March 2016. See "Whats On".
Everyone drove off into the sunset, a Green Freelander (RHD) 500m on the wrong side of the road.
The walk started off disastrously as the heavens (Surely, “skies”: Ed) opened the day before and it was
decided not to do the the Rambla de Algeciras as it would be full of water.
Then there was a long cyber discussion on whether to change the meeting point/ walk/ lunch etc. After consulting
with the Alhama de Murcia Cycle Club (Vegetarian Section), it was decided to walk along the canal path.
The cancellations started. Jon (Stitches), Avril (Lost in IKEA), Jan (Black eye), Barrie (No wife), 3 people from
Almeria (No border documents) and finally Bernice had too many G&Ts the night before. That was what Jim said.
But in the end, 20 walkers turned up at La Taberna de Lucia in Librilla and began walking. It was decided to go
up the hill straight to the Mirador overlooking the Embalse – The Blue Lagoon.
There Rhian did a spiel about Humanists business and John read out Jon’s “facts” about the date “16 January”.
Some people pointed out his mistake on “Columbus sailed the ocean blue….” and most people were not interested
in Cymru Fydd (Wales’ first independence party).
No further information was reported on the reminder of the walk, but the consensus reckoned it was most
The lunch was in Restaurante Lo Pagan on the edge of the A-7, where 22 people sat down to lunch. It was not as
good a meal as November 2014, a little rushed and not a great choice, although to be fair, the staff were confused
by Vincent’s eventual choice of main course. Lots of red wine that’s the main thing.
The next walk will be in Almeria Province, led by Mike², if they can agree a date and route, and the March walk will
be, by special request of Mike Lee, the Rambla beside El Pareton and the meal in Restaurante Maria Josafa.