Friday, 27 April 2007

12 Haza de Lino, Alpujarra, Andalucia

Lynne & I walked 14 kilometers in the Alpujarra - the foothills of the Sierra Nevada. This circular walk is from the book of Alpujarran walks by Jeremy Rabjohns. It takes you from the bar in the small settlement of Haza de Lino up 200 - 300 metres through a forest of cork oak and onto a high point from where there are great views down to the med, and up to the snow capped sierra. Then we went down again through a very picturesque valley and up onto the road, from where we walked back to Haza. Distance:- 9 miles with the time taken at 3.75 hours. Going:- Regrettably it was a cloudy day with some rain and a cold wind up on the top. The views were not as good as we would have wished. The pictures were taken on an earlier occasion when I did this walk alone. Progress:- walked 142 - 358 to go.

The Sierra Nevada....

......highest peak is Mulhacen at 3749m or 11414ft, at which height the bio-climatic type is tundra, and the peaks are snow capped all year around. 50 km away, and at the other ecological extreme, is the Desierte de Tebernas, the only semi-desert in Europe. Therefore on a 50k walk you could potentially pass through all the bio-climatic zones of Europe. The variety of flora and fauna is as wide as the view above.

The View Towards the Med....

.......on a hazy day and looking into the sun. You can just see the white uprights of wind turbines on the ridge below, with the coastal plain in the background on the right hand side, and a mountain village bottom left hand side.

Cork Oak (quercus suber)... can see the cut around the top of the trunk where it the bark was harvested a few years ago. Here the cork oak grows at an unusually high altitude (c.1400m). When the bark is stripped the trunks turn in colour to bright orange, and then weather to a red-oxide/purple hue as the bark layers begin to regenerate.

Wednesday, 25 April 2007

11. Ipswich - Stowmarket

Details:- This was a linear walk along The Gipping Valley Way, from Ipswich to Stowmarket. The path follows the river via man made cuts which were part of the old navigation system. The are still several locks along the way - all disused now. Distance:- 17 miles, which I did @ 4mph in 4hrs 15 minutes, the fastest that I have ever done a longer walk. Going:- very easy, and on a lovely sunny spring day. Map:- OS Explorers 197 & 291. Progress:- walked 133 - 367 to go.

Sculpture.... the countryside - I'm starting to see more of it in the UK, and about time too. Not entirely sure about this though!

Snake in the water.

His head is on the left, and the ripples behind are caused by the motion of his body below the surface - doing the snake paddle I suppose. It's a great time for flora and fauna - the wild flowers are up and doing, and I saw a mink working a riverside boardwalk for signs of lunch. Little varmink!

River Gipping in Ipswich.

For a river that turns into the large Orwell Estuary downstream of Ipswich, it's a remarkably minor affair upstream, and up at Stowmarket is little more of a stream than a river.

Forgot me knots.

This is the best of the floral shots taken to-day. The poet Longfellow called the stars the forgetmenots of the angels. Hmmm.


...........both ancient and modern are along the route. This, at Baylham is probably the most appealing of the lot.

Stowmarket Railway Station.

Perhaps Suffolk's finest station building; in an elaborate Elizabethan style, and built in 1849.

Sunday, 15 April 2007

10. Dunwich, Suffolk.

Details:- Lynne & I walked 9 miles along the Sandlings Way from Dunwich to Southwold on a warm April morning when the sun was warm, and the air heavy with the scent of gorse. This was a linear walk; so we had to drive back to Dunwich afterwards and collect the other car. Distance:- 9 miles; Going:- good; I've never seen so many people walking the footpath bet-ween Southwold & Walberswick. Map:- OS Explorer 231. Progress:- Walked 116 - 384 to go.

The Nightjar.... the symbol of the Sandlings Walk . This footpath was only recently created and runs 60 miles between Ipswich & Southwold, We did the last section and a half, and we are now doing two long distance footpaths simultaneously - the other being Hereward Way. The walk connects the remaining heathlands of the Suffolk Coast. April is a great time to be out on the heath - the colours , scents and sights are an endless source of interest. Goerge Borrow would have enjoyed being out there to-day - 'There's the wind on the heath brother; if I could only feel that I would gladly live forever.'

Towards Southwold.

Westwood Marshes

Walberswick Church.