Archive | March 2014

Spain’s Costa Del Sol: Sierra Almijara + Sierra Tejeda = La Axarquia

Dramatic coastlines on the Torre Caleta walk.

Dramatic coastlines on the Torre Caleta walk.

Author/researcher Charles Davis sums up this beautiful, unspoilt region thus:

Map segment for the Torre Caleta walk.

Map segment for the Torre Caleta walk.

“The Axarquía is one of Spain’s great places, and among the greatest places within it are the Sierras Tejeda and Almijara, which form the backbone both of the region and the present publication. Blessed with high summits, dizzying pinnacles, dramatic crags, deep ravines, dozens of springs, delightful rivers and the best coves on the Costa del Sol, this is an area that has something for everyone. And the only prerequisites for benefitting from all this are a desire to get off the beaten track and a set of relatively, sometimes very, sturdy legs.

If you’ve not seen them already, you can get an idea of how dramatic these mountains are from one simple fact, that the high peaks, including Lucero (1775 metres), Navachica (1832 metres) and La Maroma (2070 metres), are all within ten kilometres of the coast, rising out of the sea like a succession of immense pedestals, just waiting for humankind to enthrone whoever or whatever we find most sacred or simply most lacking in our quotidian lives.”

Axarquia; Las Cuadrillas, Walk 24.

Axarquia; Las Cuadrillas, Walk 24.

You can see a sample walk here:- http://www.dwgwalking.co.uk/axarquiasamplewalk25.pdf

There’s information about the book Walk! The Axarquia (available as a printed book or as a pdf download book in A4 format) and the maps available for the region (printed, on paper and on Super-Durable material); there are also Custom Maps for Garmins for GPS users.

Walking the Yorkshire Dales – Just the Thing for Spring

Wharfedale - following Walk 5

Wharfedale – following Walk 5

The village of Gayle, visited on Walk 25

The village of Gayle, visited on Walk 25

The Yorkshire Dales is deservedly well-loved for its history, the beauty of its landscapes and its many unspoilt little stone villages, most with tempting pubs.

The best way to appreciate the Dales is on foot – and one of the very best times of year to do so is Springtime – right now!

If you have a Garmin GPS you can download Yorkshire Dales Custom Maps (there are two to cover the area) and get going on the trails.

 

For more information about the digital mapping for the Yorkshire Dales, see:- http://www.dwgwalking.co.uk/garminydalesnecustommap.htm

– and http://www.dwgwalking.co.uk/garminydalesnwcustommap.htm

The spectacular River Strid (Walk 1)

The spectacular River Strid (Walk 1)

We recommend the book Walk! The Yorkshire Dales (North and Central) for the best walks (and the best pubs on route too)

See:- http://www.dwgwalking.co.uk/yorkshire%20dales%20N&C.htm

The Other South of France – The Cathar Way

On the Peyrepertuse Ridge, Cathar Way

On the Peyrepertuse Ridge, Cathar Way

“Threading its way through dramatic gorges carved out by tumbling mountain torrents and traversing a patchwork of oak mantled hills, Alpine pastures, dense pine forests, lush meadows, rocky plateaux, and regimented vineland, the Sentier Cathare stitches together drovers’ trails, logging tracks, smugglers’ paths, and winding country lanes to link some of the principal sites associated with the dissident Christian movement from which it takes its name.

Roquefixade Castle, Cathar Way

Roquefixade Castle, Cathar Way

Above all, we visit a succession of castles, each perched more improbably than the last on craggy peaks, castles whose evocative ruins have proved so compelling that they have conspired with history to stimulate our collective appetite for quests, mysteries and quixotic exploits.

This is a protean path, offering something for everybody, from the lover of wild

places to the aficionado of old stones, from the hearty athlete looking for a challenge to the New Age mystic seeking enlightenment, but whatever your motive for embarking on such an adventure, walking the Sentier Cathare is a hugely rewarding experience, in the course of which petty cares slip away, replaced by a headful of  mountains, meetings, and vistas, and walking becomes a way of being, so that come the end there is every chance that you will want only one thing, to turn round and do it all over again.”

Rue Principale, Ginoles, Cathar Way

Rue Principale, Ginoles, Cathar Way

~ these are the inspiring words of Charles Davis, author and researcher of wonderful walking, including The Cathar Way, a 250 kilometre trail crossing the Languedoc region of southern France from the foothills of the Pyrenees to the shores of the Mediterranean.

Want to know more? Take a look here: http://www.dwgwalking.co.uk/catharway.htm

The Garden Isle of Madeira – Beautiful in Spring

Aloe aborescens

Aloe aborescens

Springtime! The northern hemisphere’s Spring is well under way now. For those interested in flora, there’s nowhere quite like Madeira in the Springtime.

Echium candicans - popular with bees

Echium candicans – popular with bees

Madeira is always green – now it bursts into colour and perfume. Many of the plants you’ll come across while walking its levadas and country paths are endemic and exclusive to the island.

Two of the many beauties to look out for are orchids and the rare Yellow Foxglove. If you enjoy seeing wonderful plants growing strong and free, Madeira is the place to visit.

For information about the Garden Island, including books and maps, see http://www.dwgwalking.co.uk/mad.htm

 

 

(The plant images here were taken by Shirley & Mike Whitehead, authors and researchers resident on the island of Madeira.)

 

Yellow foxglove (Isoplexus sceptrum)

Yellow foxglove (Isoplexus sceptrum)

Orchis maderensis

Orchis maderensis

 

 

 

Worth A Read – article on the Isle of Wight in the Weekend Telegraph

Expansive views on Week Down (walk 27, Walk! The Isle of Wight)

Expansive views on Week Down (walk 27, Walk! The Isle of Wight)

There’s a good article on the Isle Of Wight in ‘Coastal England’, a supplement with yesterday’s (15 March 2014) Weekend Telegraph.

Looking towards Whitecliff Bay from the clifftop path (Walk 40, Walk! The Isle of Wight)

Looking towards Whitecliff Bay from the clifftop path (Walk 40, Walk! The Isle of Wight)

The article homes in on the rich history of the island and offers plenty of ideas of things to do. For such a small place it has a wealth of festivals, including the Isle of Wight Walking Festival.

Find it here: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sponsored/travel/visit-england/10676115/things-to-do-on-the-isle-of-wight.html

For details of walking there see http://www.dwgwalking.co.uk/isleofwight.htm

For information on mapping look here: http://www.dwgwalking.co.uk/garminisleofwightcustommap.htm

La Axarquia, Costa del Sol: Thanks Bill L for your report

Taken while on the Loma de Las Quadrillas

Taken while on the Loma de Las Quadrillas

Inland of Spain’s Costa del Sol rises the magnificent Sierras de Tejeda and Almijara. Mountains, ravines, streams and rivers await the adventurer.

This area, La Axarquia, is a gem for anyone looking for an unforgettable walking experience.

We’ve just received this report from Bill L who has been using the Axarquia Tour & Trail Custom Map and Walk! The Axarquia guidebook; see http://www.dwgwalking.co.uk/axarquia.htm

On 15 March 2014 10:05, Bill L wrote:

Hi David,

Have now used your Axarquia map for several weeks and get even more impressed.

Not only can you use it for your walks but you can also combine walks and tracks from, for example, GR 249 GR 242. Did Walk 22 yesterday and GR 242 Frigliana to Maro the day before.

Going to try some combinations next week. Amazing! It makes it very easy to walk these hills using GPS.

Regards
Bill

 

 

Costa Blanca Mountains – thank you Erik, for your valuable feedback.

A tour of Raco Roig (Walk 20)

A tour of Raco Roig (Walk 20)

We welcome all user feedback – and in particular for our new downloadable maps for Garmin GPS.

Erik is a Costa Blanca Mountains expert and guides walks in the region. https://www.walking-holiday-in-spain.com

See the maps he’s referring to here:-http://www.dwgwalking.co.uk/CBM.htm

Here’s what he told us about  his experiences using both our printed maps and our maps for Garmin GPS:-

Costa Blanca Mountains map segment“Over the last month my walking customers have been testing the Discovery Walking Guides sheet map (Costa Blanca Mountains Tour & Trail Map) and downloadable basemaps on the eTrek Garmin 20 GPS for the treks and walking holidays we organise in the Costa Blanca Mountains.
The sheet maps are useful, although the 1:40,000 scale in the Spanish countryside is at the limit for precise navigating, the roads on the map translate as 55 metres wide on the ground – easily enough to get misplaced for a while. Some of what appear as roads are overgrown dirt tracks that are now footpaths, you can still get through but it can be a bit confusing so if you want to go off the marked routes you will need to be patient.

The marking of existing official routes and recommended routes is very good, there are some minor omissions and in one case replicating an error found on the local 1:20,000 topo. Not perfect but a very good approximation and an improvement on the local maps. The problem here is still the abysmal way marking of routes on the ground.

The area covered is quite extensive, although some of my routes fall outside the eastern margin of the coverage.

The basemaps for the Garmin GPS are very good, despite an initial problem with the download (for some reason Windows 7 stripped off the filetype which you had to add manually) they are now installed on all my Garmins. The image is very clear, much better than my own 1:25,000 basemaps that blur on zooming in.

The maps load relatively quickly on start-up and as you are walking the change from one tile to another is very smooth, in fact it is barely perceptible.

View over the coastal plain from the Costa Blanca Mountains

View over the coastal plain from the Costa Blanca Mountains

All in all a great improvement for those of us who have been struggling with Spanish maps for years, My only reservation is the 1:40,000 scale, I would love it if you would considering publishing 1:20,000 or 1:25,000 maps as a future upgrade.”

9 Hours of daily sunshine in March? 22C tomorrow? It’s Gran Canaria, right now!

Gran Canaria long view smallThey don’t call it the ‘mini-continent’ for nothing!

Though it’s under a 5 hour flight away (from the UK and western Europe) it feels like a different world.

 

There’s plenty to see and do, though the best thing of all is to walk the trails and marvel at the views, the forests, flora and fauna and the ancient villages.

Mallorca map section Cuber Tossals Verd Discovery Walking Guides launched their Gran Canaria Tour & Trail Super-Durable map only a week ago, and the demand has been exceptional. It certainly looks as if Gran Canaria is emerging from the shadows to become this year’s ‘must walk’ destination in the Canary Islands.

 

There’s wonderful dramatic scenery and unspoilt villages, plus clean, spacious beaches for the days you don’t want to walk (or bike or drive).Gran Canaria long view with village small

To find out more about the map look here: http://www.dwgwalking.co.uk/gcan.htm

There’s plenty of walking information from Rambling Roger who lives there and knows the island like the back of his hand; look here: http://www.ramblingroger.com/

If you fancy 22C and nine hours of sun in March, hop over to Gran Canaria.

Israel as a walking destination?

Thanks go to Neil C who sent us the following information:Israel blog post

On 9 March 2014 18:58, Neil C wrote:

My wife and I visit Israel regularly to see our children and grandchildren who live there, and have grown used to walking there most days.

There are (surprisingly to some) many public forests in Israel often with picnic spots and sometimes toilets and marked routes, and these forests can be worth visiting if you have a hire car.

We usually stay in a sprawling new settlement called Ramat Beit Shemesh which is a few miles south of the Tel Aviv to Jerusalem highway which runs West to East across the middle of Israel.  Around there, although the new building proceeds apace, there are many open tracts of countryside and rolling hills crossed by dirt tracks and paths and with some great scenery: bushes, boulders, trees and cactus.

Today we walked to Kibbutz Netiv HaLamed-Heh and back (with no maps or waymarks, except occasional mountain bike track markings which we didn’t understand).  Unusually it was a little cool (14 degrees or so) with spots of rain.  The walk took just under 90 minutes each way with a fair amount of climb and descent over several ridges.  We arrived at the Kibbutz and saw the memorial to the 35 soldiers it was named after (“The path of the 35”) killed in an ambush in the 1947-8 civil war.

We entered the Kibbutz and asked if there was anywhere we could buy a drink or water and were immediately offered a drink at the Kibbutz office from their staff kitchen.  We asked and were then directed to the shop where we bought water for the return hike, and were given directions on how to exit by the back gate.

A great day out was only spoiled a little by the rain starting as we got back to RBS.

We recommend walking in Israel and there are many interesting areas and even some long distance paths.

Neil

Gran Canaria – what a destination! And The Gran Canaria Tour & Trail Super-Durable Map is Here!

Never been? This is one of the less-visited Canary Islands but that could be set to change. The digital version of Gran Canaria Tour & Trail Map has been available for a few weeks – now comes the Super-Durable printed version. For more information see: http://www.dwgwalking.co.uk/gcan.htmGran Canaria TT Map SD Cover MINI

Go soon before the summer visitors arrive and have those wonderful mountains and ancient walking trails just about to yourself.

Rambling Roger knows the island like the back of his hand – see his website here: http://www.ramblingroger.com/hiking_maps/index.html