Archive for January 30th, 2010
Watching my steps, all 11,300 of them

Maybe I read too much Famous Five when I was young, but I love a mystery, so when one of my fellow early morning swimmers told me of Saturday morning mystery walking trips from Los Cristianos, I was keen. Pushing storm warnings to the back of my mind, but packing a warm jumper, I was ready outside the Apolo centre at 10am and ready to roll. About 50 mature (is that diplomatic enough) walkers had gathered and the organisers Frank, revelaed that El Medano was our destination.

A few wrong turns later, our motorcade parked up in El Medano just round the point at Playa Cabezo. Looking back I could see Montaña Roja, a walk I did a few weeks ago, rising up into a grey sky, but it was warm and we set off with enthusiasm. I have never seen such a range of hiking sticks, metal ones, knobbly gnarled wood ones, collapsable ones, and some that looked like James Bonds latest weapons, I’m not keen myself, but I can see that people do find them very useful, so good luck to them.

Off we set at a leisurely pace, along the sea front, the waves were kicking up a bit and Playa Cabezo was almost deserted, noy even any of the usual kite surfers. The path veered off past the Arenas del Mar hotel and around the many new developments that have sprung up at that end of El Medano. As we neared Montaña Pelada the path steepened until we had to split into those who wanted to tackle the 228 feet climb head on, and those wanting to skirt around it. Being a reckless fool I took the direct approach, and found it surprisingly testing with smooth sandstone slabs alternating with loose rocks. As always the view from the top was worth it, the wind turbines of ITER marched down to the sea ahead of us to the east, and to the west the path led down through the national park to the sea of solar panels.

ITER (the institute of renewable energy) has been spreading out in recent years, the walk down to the edge of the protected park took us just past the other entrance point to take a snack stop on the perimeter wall by the latest ITER panels. As we waited, the party that went around the mountain joined us ready for the mush flatter walk back to the start point. In all it took us about two and a half hours, and was very enjoyable. On the final leg I discovered that one of the chaps walking was from my home city Oxford, so we took a detour dowm memory lane.

Don’t ever assume that it is just the younger generation that are plugged into technology, one of the ladies informed me that her IPod had recorded her as taking 11,300 steps, don’t ask me how, I’m Betamax Man. Apparently 1,320 steps are one km, making our journey 8.5 kms or around 5 miles. I am officially impressed by that information. I’m sure I will be dipping into these walks again.