Friday, 7 May 2010

6 May 2010 - Castell d'Aixa

When we realised we would not be able to walk due to the rain on Monday, we arranged with David and Rosemary to do the Castell d’Axia was from Pedreguer. With the sun and blue skies it was hard to believe it was only three days later.

This is the fourth time that we have walked around Pedreguer this year, three times with David and Rosemary. This is the same walk that we did a few weeks ago on our own, but this time we would climb the hill to Castell d’Axia.

There were a great variety of flowers, all of them in full bloom. Jan and Rosemary were in their element, and there were many stops to admire a particular bloom, such as this Pyramid Orchid. I have to admit that even David and I were impressed.

There was a serious fire in this area two years ago, and it cleared all of the undergrowth. There are still many blackened trees, making the profusion of colour all the more striking.

Rosemary was very excited when she saw the first Anemone, but we soon found many more of them.

This part of the walk is particularly exposed, and on previous visits has been very cold and windy. There was a cool breeze today, but the sun was warm and the overall effect very pleasant for walking.

Rosemary has always been very excited when she found a Bee Orchid, and I could never understand why as (to me) they look like weeds from a distance. I had not realised how much they look like a bee and such fine detail. She even picked one to show me at close quarters and was pleased when I agreed how interesting they were.

It took us just over two hours to reach the hill on which the ruins of Castell d’Axia stand. Last time we stopped at the foot of the hill to have our lunch, and were tempted to do so again today – especially as it was just after 1pm when we got there. But David wanted to look for a new path which seemed to start at the castle. So we all agreed to climb the hill.

The views throughout this walk are very impressive, but became even more so as we gained more height. This is a view of Castelet de l’Ocaive. We had climbed this hill to view the castle about four years ago with the Costa Blanca Mountain Walkers.

In less than half an hour we had reached the top, and were surprised to find a large flat area covered in grass and flowers, looking very much like a meadow. There was also a prominent trig marker, but not much sign of the castle.

The views had been impressive so far, but these were really breath taking. It was interesting to identify the surrounding peaks and walks we had done. Indeed you could see almost all of our regular walks from here.

We had not encountered any other walkers, and we could see none from our viewpoint. There was however lots of butterflies and low flying birds for company.

We were spoilt for good spots to sit and have our picnic lunch

We would normally spend no more than half an hour over lunch, as muscles get stiff and getting started again can be difficult. However it was so pleasant today that we spent a full hour here, and were sorry to leave.

The walks in this area have been well signposted within the last year, but putting the regular yellow and white on the trig marker was a bit over the top.

Then it was time to go, and the downhill walk back to the car. It was 5pm by the time we finished, but still a warm evening. So we walked into the village for a very welcome cold clara (shandy) outside one of the café’s in the square. This is definitely a walk we will have to do with the Monday Club after the summer break.

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