Monday April 18th Bejis to Montan

Didn't get quite get as far as I had planned today but then perhaps the plan was just a bit too ambitious. Had originally hoped to get to Montanejos, which is at least 40 kilometres from Bejis, but at 5.30, the sign said we still had another two hours walking to do. Christine was accusing me of trying to finish her off, so I decided to cut things short and head for Montan which is just off the GR7. This seems to have worked out well and after two beers Christine has cheered up.

Tried to get a really early start from Bejis but a nice breakfast slowed things up a bit (delicious home made pots of semi jam-like fruit puree with butter, toast and lots of steaming cafe con leche). Great value hotel, nice dinner last night, and as well as breakfast they made us a packed lunch.

Really nice crisp weather this morning, actually a bit cold, the route took you across the valley on a track through terraced fields of almonds which have now set - you can see the green almond fruit growing. The views back to Bejis were good, apart from the blots on the landscape here and there caused by the Spanish tendency to fly tip.

Fly tipping near Bejis
Turning east we followed a disused railway track which had been converted into an 130 kilometres long cycle route, the Vio Verde (the route of GR7 almost follows this for about 7 kilometres and leaves it just on the other side of the motorway). The most exciting thing was an E4 sign saying that it was 2,132 kilometres to Tarifa. More than happy to claim I have walked this far but don't think it's true, I'm sure its nearly 800 kilometres too much.

I don't believe it

After going underneath a motorway you start to travel in a more northerly direction. We got lost briefly then rejoined the way marked route, over rough fields and terraces and past sad looking abandoned farmhouses. We continued and annoyingly the path turned southeast for a while before going north again. A couple of miles later we discovered we'd been on a long detour off piste. It was hot and we were getting tired but we now had a long trek up a narrow valley, over a brow, down the other side then up a very steep mountain side through the gorse scrub on a tiny steep path. We finally got to the top and rested on a bed of pine needles and ants.

Rosemary and Cistus

A long descent, part on a dirt track and part bushwhacking through scrub brought us to the Montan sign and we decided enough was enough and walked the 30mins into Montan, a pretty place clinging to wooded hillsides with one bar and one perfectly good Hostal Pilar.



  1. Cheers to Christine and her help to you john, sure you are well kept today.
    So I can not have the Chelva to Andilla walk untill now.
    So your plan is to walk from Montan to Villahermosa del Rio or to Monasterio de Sant Joan where is a refuge, otherwise you can walk to Vistabella but is a very long walking for a day.
    Have a nice day.

  2. Hi John & Chris
    Now don't forget those walking poles again!
    Sounds like the Birthday cake was brought by Mother Teresa.
    Courtesy of Christine, I took the nephews to see West Ham lose (again) at home to Villa. Dire, but thanks Chris. My bet for the successor to Avram is Chris Hughton (ex Newcastle). He was taking copius notes and is a 14/1 bet on Paddy Power.
    I'n booking accommodation for us in the Bavarian Alps as we speak. A lot is booked up and one hut is a no-no. But i'll persevere as i hope you will.
    I bet you are looking forward to completing the Spanish leg-a real achievement.

  3. hi John,
    one remark: one can avoid the ascend on the narrow, overgrown path, from the valley after Mas de Noguera. Well not the ascend, but the path: in the valley, the GR7 meets the Camino del Cid, marked red-red. Both go to Montan, but the Camino del Cid chooses the more sane way. So if you start walking up the hill and the both tracks split, follow the Camino del Cid until you reach the over side of the hill.
    This part of GR7, in rain, is very unpleasent. And the plants finally managed to substancially damage my clothes...
    If someone's planning to walk to Montanejos at the same day, then it might be a good idea, not to follow the GR7 down the valley to Montan but rather to follow the camino forrestal. That way you trade unnecessary descend and bush fighting against two km of a good way (but partially tarmac).
    The Camino del Cid goes to Montanejos, too, but on a totally different route then GR7 - it uses the same valley as the CV-195 car way, but I don't know how the track actually looks like - I've followed the CV, accompanied by bad mood and rain.
    One other thing: Mas de Noguerra offers accomodation, but you probably need a reservation, because it is not only a refugio, but more a vacation farm for children, too, so in summer, the beds are rather few. The staff is very nice, got a guided sightseeng tour of the installations :)