Tuesday, 19 January 2010

18 Jan 2010 - Smuggler's Cove

Smuggler’s Cove is the walk which we decided against last week as it has been raining and we were worried about the path. Despite the absence of rain since then, the path was still very slippery, especially at the start which is through a wooded area which never seems to dry out. Rosemary, Tom, Ken and Barry tackle the rough track.

This is followed by a barranco (dry river bed). This section involves clambering over large boulders and you have to watch where you put every step. However the rocks were dry and no one slipped. Jan, Rosemary and Tom make their way along the barranco.

Then we reached Smuggler’s Cove. The weather was overcast, but dry. It was cold enough to require jackets or jumpers when we started, but by now we were well warmed by our exertions and the first layer was removed. This was a good opportunity for the first group photo of the day.
The beach was decorated with attractive cairns. It must have been done within the previous day or two, as the earlier heavy winds would have blown them all down. Some months ago David had demolished a similar cairn when he tried to add to it. He was determined to make amends today, and built two new ones.

Tom admires the cairns, whilst Pat looks less impressed

From the beach it is a steep climb to the coastal path, which leads to Cumbre beach. As always everyone set their own pace. Margaret and Tom are setting a good pace and have left the next group behind.

Parts of the climb require a little scrambling, but Jan does not seem particularly bothered by it.

The coastal path runs under a cliff face which is impressive, if corroded in places. This is one of our favourite coastal walks. For most of the length it is a very good path and there is no need to watch where you place your feet, so you can enjoy the sea views.

The coastal corrosion does not seem to have deterred the building of villas right on the edge. This part of the coast has many such “front line” properties similar to the one above.

This was our first view of Cumbre beach, our destination today. When we were here last year the area on the right of the beach was a large car park. A recent storm has washed it all away and damaged the beach bar.

The steep road leading to the beach is undamaged, but has been closed. This has not stopped at least four drivers from moving the barriers and driving down to the beach rather than walk on the steep road. Despite the many boulders which had broken through the metal nets on the cliff to stop this happening.

Not only the car park, but also the foundations, have been swept away. The pink building on the far left was the beach bar. Part of the building has been dismantled and taken away.
From here we climbed back up the road to a viewpoint, where we had lunch. As we were getting ready to start the return journey Peter spotted a group of dolphins out to sea. They were too far away to photograph, but could easily been seen with the naked eye. Rosemary had a pair of binoculars, which were in great demand. The discovery resulted in an extended lunch break as we watched them basking and leaping out of the water.

On our return journey we had frequent stops to watch the dolphins. There were also a couple of fishing boats, which did not worry them at all. The distraction of the dolphins made the return journey a very easy and enjoyable one – at least until we reached the steep and difficult section which led down to Smuggler’s Bay. As always it proved much more difficult going down than it had coming up.

When we reached the bottom we had a well deserved rest. Pat, Tom and Barry share a boulder. Then it was back through the barranco and through the woods. Fortunately the path had dried during the day and the going was much easier.

No comments:

Post a Comment