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 Walk Across Europe

2005-02-15 - Trip 3 - Leg 20

Spain, Andalucia and Huelva

Mazagon to Matalascanas

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31.2 km today.
22.6 km/h average today.
1 hours 23 mins walking time.
85.7 km this trip.
358.7 km from start.
9 metres minimum height.
54 metres maximum height.
69 metres ascent.
72 metres descent.
 Track Log: Logged.
 Travel: Bus.

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Quiet coast road and forest path.

Another Camino Verde runs parallel with the main road between Mazagon and Matalascañas. In February, the road carries very little traffic and the Camino Verde lies a short distance from it. The entire walk was very tranquil. We caught the first bus and started walking in the dark at 07:30 in a temterature of -4C. After sunrise, the temperature rose quickly giving pleasant walking conditions. These temperatures are the lowesst in living memory and many plants have died. When we planned the walk, we had not seen the Google Earth high resolution images (Google Void!). Looking at recently improved images, we can see many alternative forest tracks we might have used to avoid the tarmac road stretches.

We got the 7 am bus again and this time got out in Mazagon. It was still pitch dark as it was only 7.30 and freezing cold. Minus four had been recorded on other days and it felt like it. We got out at the wrong bus stop so we had to walk for 10 minutes in the wrong direction to join up our route.

On this day, all Anne's Muvo recordings failed to record. The Muvo looked as though it was recording but it was just overwriting the last track over and over again. It's lucky this walk was so straightforward. It turned out that the Muvo can only store a limited number of voice recordings and this is not well documented in the Muvo help!

We headed up the hill towards the main road and then right onto the Camino Verde - a lovely walk with pine covered dunes either on the track itself or on a path parallel to it whichever was the easier under foot. The red-orange sun was just rising and there were long shadows on the grassy floor of the old pine forest. We sought out a patch of golden sunlight to have our first snack and drink of the day.

Some of the pines had a juniper growing under them and indeed there were no junipers not growing under a pine. There were signs of wild boar having scrabbled in the sand for truffles or other delicacies. We saw deer tracks but no animals. Every few hundred metres, we came to strange mounded structures made of tree trunks or piles of earth with steps built into them. After much puzzling we decided these were to allow deer which had jumped onto the road area to climb easily and safely back into the fenced reserve. There were occasional gates to give pedestrian access. These were signed and there were litter bins. Even the military installation had road or track going through it so the walk could continue. The walk was 31.2 Km. This felt long so just to make the end more interesting, we went home round the wrong side of the golf course as a change from the beach. This was the last straw and we had to stop every few hundred yards to get our feet back!

Flowers seen: miniature malcomia; a small plant similar but with five petals and yarrow like leaves in a whorl (geranium?), white juicy pea, eucalyptus mimosa with huge flowers like forsythia but tufted, geranium, yellow daisy.

The following day was cold and windy although there was still bright sun. We went shopping but rested for the remainder of the day. This was useful because we anticipated a long hard walk across the Matalascañas reserve the following day.

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