Days 102 & 103 – Cacti, Sage, Rosemary & Thyme

Wednesday 24th – Thursday 25th October 2018

Cacti, Sage, Rosemary & Thyme. Either a poorly named Simon & Garfunkel tribute band or an equally poorly named firm of solicitors.

A more probable explanation of the title of this blog is the Flora Mrs P and I are surrounded by as we continue with our climbing here in the extremely sunny Costa Blanca.

32 degrees. Pass the sunscreen

After climbing all day the temperature inside Gandalf in our return is a balmy…

Oh for air conditioning

Still, mustn’t grumble eh? Still not working, not commuting, not sitting staring at a computer screen all day as our muscles atrophy.

Despite the undeniable and somewhat depressing fact that all this must one day come to an end and we must ultimately return to the UK to figure out how to continue paying the bills, mortgage, pension etc. we struggle on, having a great time. It’s a tough job but someone has to do it.

The last 2 days we have been fulfilling our role as people who are having fun by climbing. Two different areas, both great, both sun traps.

At Font d’Axia the climbs are 20-25 metres high, very steep and there is no shade after about midday. So, it’s hot! It is very quiet here. Only 2 other climbers. The view over the terraced olive groves is stunning and the smell of sage, rosemary, lavender and thyme fill the air (I had to photograph them then look them up). There is a constant buzzing sound too as bees (I didn’t have to look these up) in their hundreds busily move around this wild herb garden heavy with flowers. It is a place to visit even if you don’t climb.

INTERESTING FACT No 1: Rosemary was used as a herbal medicine to relive wind, toothache, headache and even baldness.

INTERESTING FACT No 2: I can safely say that it doesn’t work on baldness… or wind. Pardon me!

Font de Axia – Hot!

The following day we climbed at Murla. Not quite sure why it’s called Murla since it is a good few miles from there but, possibly better than calling it Crag above some houses neither in Alcalalí or Murla.

Mr P donning his Rosemary packed helmet at Murla

Short climbs here, just 15 metres but great quality and a lovely aspect. Once again the scent of lavender, sage, thyme and rosemary fill the air. The same as Font d’Axia, only in a different order.

Wild something
Wild Rosemary – utterly useless at curing baldies

We also spotted a pair of peregrine falcons. I have a photo of a patch of blue sky that utterly fails to prove this sighting.

INTERESTING FACT No 3: I was reading – when I say ‘reading’ I really mean looking at the pictures – a Spanish climbing guide book and I found out that Climbing shoes In Spanish is, Pies de Gato. Literally translated this is Feet of the cat or Cats feet. Brilliant! So much more interesting than boring old climbing shoes (dull!) and considerably more descriptive.

Mrs P putting her cat feet to good use at Font d’Axia

As I mentioned yesterday, we are staying at the incomparable Camping Vall de Laguar where we are very happy to report that we have found a very different and considerably more active type of snow bird (retired people who move South for the winter) from those we encountered on the coast. More about that tomorrow…

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