The walk on the Wednesday 25th October was a bit unusual for the hill walking group. There were a couple of firsts. It was the first time we had started a walk in a built-up area of a city also the first walk completely on tarmac, along a disused railway line, without anyone at any stage having to put their hands on the ground to negotiate the way. And we finished the walk on time!
The first couple of kilometres consisted of a steady climb, which raised the comment of ” I thought railways were supposed to be on the flat”, followed by a long steady downhill past the Olympic shooting range. Relics of the old railway were evident in the form of a 7-kilometre distance maker and a disc signal gantry. More substantial structures included an old goods shed which is now a bar complete with an old photograph of the building inside the entrance, two disused station buildings and the most impressive of the all a two-hundred-metre-long tunnel.
We stopped just outside the town centre of Molina Segura and inspected the information boards which were conveniently written in English and Spanish, before returning the way we had come.
The total length of the walk was fourteen kilometres. The whole route is 52 kilometres from Murcia to Caravaca de la Crux. It was suggested that we could walk the whole way, so that is a walk for the future.
For our November walk, we met at the Murcia Pass services on the A30 and proceeded to the start of the walk in the National Park area above the urbanisation of Torre Guil.
We set off from the car park at 11 am, along the tarmac road leading to the Centre for Visitors and Naturalisation. (Open on Sundays 10am to 2pm). Here we stopped for our “banana break” on the stone seating area next to the man trap. Yes, a trap intended to catch poachers by breaking their legs! I am pleased to say that is no longer in use.
From here the road deteriorates to a forestry road which is badly eroded in places. A long steady climb to the top to the ridge was interrupted with pauses to admire the views over Murcia and beyond. Some of the pauses were really an excuse to catch our breath.
The weather was a little colder, meaning that this was the first walk where a pullover or light jacket was required. It was a little chilly in the shaded area but was very pleasant for walking when the sun eventually broke through.
Almost at the top of the ridge our route took us along a narrow footpath amongst the trees before the views opened out over Corvera, Cartagena and the Mar Menor.
The final climb took us to our goal, the Eagles Nest, and its 360 degree views. We didn’t see any eagles or a nest, though we did see a gold finch a little later on.
Returning from the summit we descended a short distance to a spot where at 1.15pm we had our lunch perched on the most comfortable rocks we could find.
Our descent was via a different route merging only briefly at the visitor’s centre before deviating on another track back to the car park at 2.50pm
The total estimated distance was 12 kilometres. (Janet’s pedometers battery failed at 5km) Height at the summit of the Eagles Nest is 625 metres.