Saturday April 23rd Benasal to Morella

After a week of really good walking, Christine has gone back to the UK and I'm on my own again. It's been great going from mountain town to mountain town and unfortunately she is missing the best one, Morella. The only consolation for her is that the weather continues to be bad.

Set off on a 35 kilometre walk having seen Christine go at 9. The weather was already looking poor which some heavy rain clouds to the south.

Having climbed out of the village the sky was clear enough for a short time to get a view Penyagolosa, the second highest peak in the Valencia region, as well as some great views back to Culla.


The first target was Ares de Maestre yet another hill top town. You could stay here it you had a more leisurely schedule, or just stop for lunch. It looked like a great place with lots of visitors on Easter Saturday.

Ares del Maestre

The main issue for me was how far I would get before it started to rain and sure enough it was pouring from about 1.30. It wasn't the end of the world. With the rain, the dry stone walls and the more open scenery you could easy have been in the north of England. In addition to the stone work there was livestock out and about, and for the first time since the early few days of the walk I was amongst grazing cattle, cows with suckling calves.

Another storm

Another feature of today's walk were the wonderful ancient caminos, old cattle trails which in this part of the Spain have not all been turned into local roads. I guess the nearest equivalent in the UK is a green lane but here they are much more widespread. Some of them today, with the dry stone walls on each side, and bedrock running along the bottom were particularly impressive.


One picture I would have taken if I had had the nerve was that of the bull standing astride a particularly deep camino about 20 yards ahead of me. I've been told that bulls with cows are not dangerous but wasn't going to test the theory, even less ask him to stand to one side, and within seconds I had climbed over the wall and disappeared.
Got to Morella at about 6 by which time it had stopped raining. It really is the jewel in the crown of the wonderful mountain towns along this part of the route. It still has it's city walls as well as usual brilliant location. Had a good look round, not least because it was packed and finding somewhere to stay was not easy.

The past six days have really been excellent. If it wasn't for the schedule it would have made sense to walk at a much more leisurely pace and take 8 or 9 days to cover the distance. As it is, because I can't get accommodation at the next planned stop, Boixar, tomorrow is going to be a big 40 kilometre day.

1 comment:

  1. Well done John, you have reached Morella, the beautifull mountain medieval town. Now you are closed to enter Catalunya but first you will walk on another splendid route, the mountains of Benifassa and the Ports de Beceite, I asure you will enjoy those places.
    Keep going dear friend.