Club 4 x 4 Mania trip to Muro de Alcoy

The morning started well with a blue sky and a very agreeable temperature for the, earlier than normal, start time of 10:15a.m. from the 4X4 Mania garage in Muro de Alcoy. When I arrived at 10:05 only a few people were there. As we had arranged two meeting points, one at Muro and the other at the junction of the A36 and N340 at Port de la Carasqueta, the lack of people was understandable.  At 10:20 we left for the rendezvous point arriving at 10:45. This was later than we had originally arranged and we were rather disappointed to find no-one waiting.  We decided that the lack of people might be due to confirmations or the distance away from our normal excursions.  After the safety briefing all eight of us left at 11:00 to drive the short distance to the top of the ‘zigzag’, here we turned off the road on to the track signposted to the Font de Vivens.

 

This track runs along the Sierra Carrascal passing ruined farmhouses and then further on a ruin that looks like either a hermitage/church or a convent with a shrine construction outside. After passing the turning to the Font and heading towards the Alta de la Martina, where there is a permanent fire-watch station, we saw a wonderful sight. Our convoy had disturbed a deer just below us and to the left amongst some trees. I stopped and fumbled for my camera but by the time I managed to get it out and turn it on, I had lost sight of the deer. It was a doe and stood about 4ft tall. We started off again and just as we turned the next bend a buck deer crossed the road in front of us. Having previously taken my camera from its case, I was a little quicker in getting a shot but only of its backside disappearing into the trees. As we continued on to the fire-watch point where there is a commanding view over the surrounding countryside below, we thought how lucky we were to be able to experience sightings like these. We arrived at the station to admire the view from that advantage point, have a drink and discuss our experiences.

 

The comfort break over we continued on our way the track taking us along a ridge from which we had a yet another marvellous view. The right of the valley below contained Ibi, Castalla and the motorway wending its way towards Alcoy and to the left was the N340 winding towards and passing through Xixona. We finally arrived at the viewpoint at Barranca de Catalla where the track abruptly climbs up at a rough angle of 50-60 degrees with only loose stones underfoot giving very little grip and ends suddenly with a sheer drop all around. The only way back was the way up!  The view from here was fantastic as we were right above Tibi, and the mountain was alive with butterflies. By now it was close to lunch-time so we reluctantly left this wonderful point and back-tracked to the turn off for the Font de Vivens. On our way there we had another marvellous sight near the Penna Migjorn. Apart from all the beautiful flowers and herbs that are now in full bloom we saw an eagle.  It flew right over in front of Steve in the lead car and further on we saw it high up in the sky over us.

 

We stopped at the Font de la Vivens in the picnic area to have our lunch in the shade of the trees there.  It is a lovely spot for a picnic but if you go please remember, NO BARBECUES OUTSIDE. There is a brick built building which contains a barbecue space but you will need to collect your own wood. 

 

After the picnic we headed for home but Steve had a surprise for us. After a change around the ladies and little Liam, the only child on this trip, carried on home whilst the men-folk turned off to a place near Las Canteras on the Sierra Mariola. Here there is a disused quarry with many challenging hill-climbs. As a 4X4 novice and hill-climb virgin I let Steve Williams take the wheel of my little Suzuki and he showed me what it is capable of. There were lots of hills and banks to climb and descend which did not cause Steve or the Suzuki any real concern but one of the climbs was about 15-20ft high and rose at an angle of between 65 and 70 degrees! It was like a wall in front of us. My heart was in my boots and pounding fast and my boots were above my head but we made it.  AMAZING!!! I did not believe it possible and I’m not sure whether I would have the guts to try it myself but who knows? Maybe another time. This would be a great venue for the more intrepid of us. After this exciting finale we headed off home.

 

The date for the next meeting is Sunday 18th June; meet at the garage 4x4 Mania in Muro de Alcoy at 10:00am sharp. The intention (weather permitting) is to have another picnic, so don’t forget to pack the food and drink. For those who would like to come but do not have a 4x4  we could possibly arrange a lift for you so just call us on : 965530312 or 666006615.

 

Also don’t forget to check out the latest information on the web at: www.4x4mania.es

 

Gerry Coghlan.

 

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