Tuesday, 10 November 2015

More from Altea la Vella and a hike in the Sierra de Bernia

Jackie and her dad on the Saturday stroll to the village

Life here is at a gentle pace, so we have not done too much, Saturday was the traditional walk down to the village for the papers and a lunchtime shandy, before, almost unheard of in this house, supper on our laps in front of Strictly Come Dancing. Sunday was a little more active as we were seven for lunch, roast pork with all the trimmings and crumble and custard. Good mix of people, Michael, Elizabeth’s brother in law, home alone while Jane is in the UK, and Carolyn and John with their mega bouncy chocolate Labrador, Jack. Very cute dog, ran around like a mad thing for the first five minutes but was then very well behaved. Pepa vanished as they arrived, but didn’t go far and was around once they had gone so all was well.

Sunday lunch on the patio. LtoR: John, Carolyn, Elizabeth, Richard, Jackie and Michael
Not forgetting Jack the labrador
Yesterday we thought finally the time for some activity, so we drove up the hideous windy broken road to park near to the old fort. Not content with the standard tourist path Brian had found a route that involved one two or three summits. Summit one gave some very fine views over the hills, and some close up views of lots of orchids. Summit two was more of a scrambly challenge and resulted in us having more great views of the hills and this time over Altea and Benidorm, though there was a lot of humidity so distance views were a bit hazy. 

Afternoon snooze in the sun for Richard
We could see summit three, along a very narrow ridge which the book did not recommend, “made of rotten rock, two thirds of which would fall down if exposed to a Pennine winter” Not an enticing write up! We went a short way along before deciding to descend to the big path at the bottom. This was easier said than done involving scree running which always makes me think of broken ankles and bushwacking through hideous spikey undergrowth that I always associate with Spanish walks. Could have been worse this was the first time  on this walk, however with the cloud coming down over the ridge and our water supply being nearly drunk neither of us fancied the opposite bushwack and scree plod up to the third summit which the book said had no path, so home for tea and cake! 

See our Youtube video: 

Mondays walk in the Sierra de Bernia. The long ridge to the right is the Bernia Ridge, we're hoping to do that next week
Starting the walk. Benidorm in the distance
Pleasant evening out with Dee and her friend Robert at a local restaurant, Dee is an old family friend of my Father’s, they were friends before her father married my grandmother! She hasn’t changed a bit so it was lovely to catch up.

The ruins of the Bernia Fort
The knife edge arete leading to the western summit
Today is being spent readying the house and receiving final instructions for Dad and Elizabeth’s departure to the UK tomorrow at the unearthly time of 04.15. Fortunately Brian is taking them! How to get into the drive, through the huge metal gate if there should be a power cut something we hope we won’t need but who knows…… Readying the house was slightly harder than expected as while we were out yesterday there was a problem, they thought, with the drains, so the man was called and arrived good as gold at 09.00, to declare it wasn’t the drains but the toilet itself, fortunately not the one we use, but as he had done nothing no charge was made! Coincidental with him leaving the water went off but fortunately all the washing is already done, and even ironed, by me! May not be the best ironing job ever as it’s not in my skill set, but at least it’s done!
Wild orchids growing on the hillside
Jackie standing on the eastern summit of the Severinos with the Bernia ridge in the distance
Part of the narrow arete leading to the western summit. we eventually abandoned the attempt as the rock was too loose
Standing on the summit of Pena Ovenga
A final look back at the end of the walk
Elizabeth and Jackie enjoying a pre-dinner glass of wine on the patio
Early morning on the balcony as the first rays of the sun shine on the mountains
A squirrel in the trees surrounding the garden
Signs in the kitchen


  1. Very much enjoyed the video b&j - could we have a bit of "here we all are at..." Next time Joan Cross styley circa 1995! Glad a fab time is being had! Xx

  2. Interesting video thank you. So isolated and rugged. Thank goodness you are both such sensible walkers and climbers. It looked like as far as you could see (except for the Benidorm shot) there was no one and nothing!
    Have fun, be careful.
    Lots of love,
    Helen and Ian xx

  3. Loved the video/ I can recognise movie maker now! Where was the music! Fab views looks like you are having a wonderful time! X