Monday, 22 March 2010

22 Mar 2010 - Baranco Inferno

Bright and sunny as we met at Benimaurell for one of the most impressive walks we do - the 2000 Steps and Baranco Inferno. There had been heavy rain during the night, and we were expecting the walk to be cancelled. Fortunately it cleared up leaving a fresh and sunny morning.

The walk leads through the village towards Fleix. The next time we see this bar on the left will be at the end of the walk. Let’s hope that the beer is in the fridge waiting for our return!

We have soon left Benimaurell behind us. The building on the hill to the right of the village is the hotel used by HF Holidays for their Costa Blanca walking holidays.

It’s not long before we leave the Fleix path and head downhill to the valley bottom. This part is easy going on the excellent mosarabic trail.

This is the view as we wind our way down the endless steps which zig zag into the valley below.

I have to thank Peter for taking this one, which includes me in it. Half way down the trail we pass through this arch which is an excellent photo opportunity

With a very short stop to wait for everyone to catch up, and take the group photo, it’s onward and downward again.

An hour or so after we left Benimaurell we finally reach the valley bottom and join the dry river bed, which will lead us to the Baranco Inferno.

Previously we had followed the river, which involved clambering over some rocks. But this time Peter found a path which ran alongside the dry river bed. Though easier than following the river, this way also included a little clambering!

Eventually we reached the spot where the 2000 Steps starts its long climb back up to Benimaurell. However we would push on for another half hour to reach the Baranco Inferno.

I thought we had already done some scrambling, but as Peter confirmed this is where the scrambling really begins.

We follow the river bed through a steep valley with huge rocks moulded by the water which fills this river when there are heavy rains.

The Baranco Inferno is a like a large cave where the river ends. There is a hole at the top where I assume there is a waterfall when the river fills with rain. Unfortunately we were unable to cover the final few hundred yards due to water from last night’s rain. There are often pools of water at this point, but previously we could work around them quite easily – but not today.

Peter went ahead to do a recce, but soon confirmed that we could not go any further without getting very wet, and the rocks were very slippery.

A short break to admire the surroundings…..

….and yet another photo opportunity

Then it was back the way we had come

Until we found a suitable spot to stop for lunch.

And then it was up, and up and up back to Benimaurell. This is a really steep climb, and for the first section the path is no more than a goat track. Worse it had been damaged by rain and wild boars, so it was even worse than I had remembered it from last year.

Eventually we reached the mosarabic trail which leads up to the village, the bar and the very welcome cold beer.

Next Week

Pat and Peter have done a recce of a new walk from Tormos. I have no idea of the route, but it is a completely new walk for this group. We will meet at 10am at the Piscina car park in Tormos. NOT at the usual parking area on the Orba-Sagra road. Hope to see you all then.

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