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Spain, Murcia

Cabo Cope Peaks - Monday 31st December 2007

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Steep mountain paths. Nice views.

Garmin Altitude Plot Garmin Mapsource Google Earth Ensenada de la Fuente Mazarron and Cartagena area Punta de Calnegre Parque Regional Cabo Cope Parque Regional Cabo Cope Parque Regional Cabo Cope Parque Regional Cabo Cope Calabardina Radar Van Calabardina Calabardina Parque Regional Cabo Cope Calabardina Calabardina Parque Regional Cabo Cope Calabardina Between Aguilas and Calabardina Parque Regional Cabo Cope Parque Regional Cabo Cope Calabardina Calabardina Calabardina

Diary - Top

We climbed up the Cabo Cope peaks. We took the least dangerous route. Although not long, this walk is hard on the knees and leg muscles. Make sure you are reasonably fit before trying it. There are several other paths which we decided were too dangerous for our experience and fitness levels. The route we took was fairly safe.


I have now got a cold as well but it is not a bad one - rather it is like the colds that people have and talk about with saying they've got flu but they haven't. I have taken first defence to try and keep it at bay because I don’t' want to take it back to the UK with me . If I do I'll have the pleasure of it until February when we come here again.

Today we thought we would have a quiet day and just do the Cabo Cope walk which is nice and close and timed at 2 hours 30 minutes in the local guide book. As Rob had been disappointed that we had not written up the Calnegre walk I undertook to write this one up properly.

Things began well enough. We set off towards the beach and then headed along it towards the Cape. Our aim was to find a route to the Torre which did not go along the road. Once we got to what seemed to be the end of the beach we turned back along a road always keeping as close to the mountain as possible. Eventually in Calle Torre de Cope appropriately enough opposite numbers 26 and 28 there was a likely looking track on our right. This track indeed proved to head towards the tower without going on the road and would make a very good start to the Calnegre walk for anyone with an asphalt allergy.

As we approached the Torre a large white van drew up behind us and the men set up a radar aerial on its roof. Was this our surveillance? We reached the end of this path and turn left to head round the Cope. Will we see any stout boars or old crocks? Near the Torre and above it there is a crossroads and we go right uphill to start heading round the back of the cape. We reach a T junction and turn right to follow a track round a ravine. When we reached some seats where the book suggests taking a rest although the walk had only just started we bear right first downhill for a short stretch and then immediately uphill again. At this point we pick up the white arrows which are mentioned in the book. We trust everything will be plain sailing from now on. We follow the track as it heads round the cape and get a considerable distance round the far side before we realise the track has petered out and there is no way through. This is a red herring although it does lead to the route down used by fishermen. We turn back until we get to a large stone in the middle of the path with white paint marks on it. Does this mean don't go this way? Here we turn uphill so if you do the walk, rather than carrying on past the big white stone, turn right just before it. This track leads steeply uphill occasionally way-marked by white arrows but by no means reliably. Neil was ahead of me and his route was not the same as mine. We each just looked for footholds and worked our way up. This route took us up five summits and along five ridges. We had obviously missed the suggested way down. At the third summit we ere overtaken by two other climbers who seemed to know which way they were going so we let them get ahead so we could follow them. Once we had bagged the fifth summit, Neil had caught up with them while they took a break and was having a conversation with them about routes down. They were a German couple but were speaking to him in English. Once I had caught up I asked if there was a woo through and there was. I asked if it was ganz steinig. Neil said he rarely feels the need to say "bloody hell" but he did when he saw this descent option. The couple explained an alternative way down to us which must be the one in the book. The woman said she would prefer to come down our way but he wanted to go down the rocky chute. I said we would see her at the bottom or else in Himmel. She wasn't happy and said I shouldn't say things like that. I said no I shouldn’t and any way these summits were HImmel. This placated her and she agreed. Neil did wave to them at the bottom so I didn't put a jinx on her descent.

We made our way back along the lomos (ridges) inspecting possible routes down on the way. Actually the book does say that the way down is at the summit with a triangulation point on it so it’s our fault we missed it. I’m glad really because occasionally it is fun to bag peaks. Past the third peak there was a cairn marking the point of egress. This route was passable - rocky and steep but OK. We don't believe the person who wrote up the route for this walk in Rob's book has ever done it (unlike the Calnegree route which has junctions and distances clearly documented. No one in their right mind would ever take a bike up the routes we had, taken and there were no cycle tracks up there at all. The two and a half hour time was also optimistic. Admittedly we had started from Calabardina and, had wandered about both at the start and later when we went round the back rather than up but even so. When we got down we could have headed towards the Calabardina road and gone home the way we had come or along the road itself but we were intrigued by the way the German couple had come down and wanted to look at the start of it. When we got to the turning it looked harmless enough. It is the top bit which is "bloody hell".

We carried on until we got to Calabardina beach. Why had we not spotted this route this morning. All becomes plain when we set off back along the beach. There is a rocky bit you have to climb down before you get to the sea weedy bit which we crossed this morning. If we had persevered we could have gone up the easy way (shown as the way down in the book). So if you try the walk you could do it in reverse and come down the same way as you went up. You shouldn't attempt it if you suffer from vertigo or if you like you routes to be clearly marked and the paths to be obvious. This was often a scramble - never very difficult - but strenuous none the less. The overall distance was only 9.2km but our average speed was under 2km an hour. A lovely walk nonetheless and definitely Himmel even though we didn’t see a stout boar or any old crocks apart from ourselves.

When we got back Mini was on the patio. Rob and Donna had passed by and told us what to do on our departure if they didn't see us again. In anticipation I had thought this holiday would be our hearts desire and it has been. A lovely house, lovely food, lovely weather lovely walks and lovely days out. What more could one want. Oh yes and good books. NB Spanish Lessons by Lesley Lambert 2001, Random House London.

Neil got a shin scratch on a rock today. This reminded him of his school days 45 years ago. The boys were not allowed to go into the woods. Shin scratches from brambles were evidence that this rule had been broken. You could be caned for this offence. Of course this made the boys more agile and adept at avoiding brambles. Perhaps that was the purpose of the rule. It's not obvious why else they were banned.

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More Downloadable GPS Files

KML Files open in Google Earth.

2007-12-31-000-Cabo-Cope-Peaks.kml

GDB Files open in Garmin MapSource

2007-12-31-000-Cabo-Cope-Peaks.gdb

GPX Files are in XML format and may be portable between different GPS receiver manufacturers

2007-12-31-000-Cabo-Cope-Peaks.gpx

GPS Babel

GPS Babel is a really useful tool for translating between GPS file formats.