Due to a bit of a mix up Miquel had to collect us and drive us to suitable point a short way along the route. The beginning of Monday’s walk was to be along a quiet but tarmac road but he dropped us in the central square of a village on the outskirts of Les Preses. We were soon on a stony track climbing quite steeply through woodland.
Joanetes to Santa Pau: Easy paths enter the Natural Park of Garrotxa passing Romanesque churches in picturesque woodland settings. Continue through beech forest between dormant volcanoes before reaching the medieval village of Santa Pau, an ancient barony with a castle founded in the 11th century (11.8 miles, 6 hours).
Mas la Serra to Joanetes: Enter the heart of the Collsacabra, a high isolated plateau with views across the whole of the Garrotxa. After visiting the hermitage of Sant Miquel de Castelló perched on a rocky outcrop, descend into the valley below to spend the night (5.9 miles, 3 hours). Or, a more challenging route with magnificent views takes you via the delightful village of Hostalets d’en Bas (8 miles, 4 hours).
Often on ATG walks you’re offered a choice of routes to reach the next point on your itinerary. Needless to say we chose the longer walks on this trip.
“Day 2 Rupit to Mas La Serra via La Salut: From Rupit, pass the Salt de Sallent, follow paths along the edge of the Collsacabra with splendid views, then walk through open grassy pastures and woodland to the superbly situated Santuari de Nostra Senyora de la Salut, before continuing on to accommodation in a spectacular setting (10.2 miles, 5 hrs).” [As usual we made some detours and covered more mileage than this … and took longer, of course]
Last week was my annual summer walking trip with my sister. For the sixth consecutive year we chose an ATG Independent Footloose holiday; our first in Spain. I say Spain, but we were very much under the impression that we were in a country called Catalonia with its own language, flag, foods and distinctive geography.
Welcome to St Dyfnog’s
On our way back from Foel Fennli we stopped in the village of Llanrhaeadr, bypassed by the main road, to visit the church of St Dyfnog and its famous Jesse Stained Glass Window. The church gains 3 stars in the Jenkins Wales book. Apparently, the “rhaeadr” part of the name means waterfall.
This walk covered points 1 to 7. We ended by walking back along the road to point 1.
On Wednesday we drove into the nearby Clwydian Hills to attempt a walk called “Foel Fenlli and Moel Famau”. Moel Famau is the highest point of this range of hills. It took us a while, with a couple of false turns, to find the narrow road through the range between Llanbedr-Dyffryn-Clwyd and Loggerheads and the Moel Famau Country Park car park starting point. The route begins along the road which on this sunny weekday was very quiet but I can imagine is pretty busy during summer at weekends.
Later on Tuesday we drove over to Anglesey with the intention of visiting the burial mound Bryn Celli Ddu which is just over the Menai Strait and very near to the village with the longest name (Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch), which is shortened to Llanfair P.G.