Posts tagged ‘Spain’
This weekend I was back caving in Cantrabria, doing the Travesía Azpilicueta-Reñada. It was really good to do a traverse (entering via one hole, and exiting via another) rather than always going back up the same way, especially since the initial entrance (Azpilicueta) involves a descent of almost 300m. The final part of the initial descent was quite wet – abseiling through a waterfall. “The Duck” section was apparently unusually dry, but then the final third of the cave was very muddy (as you can see from the photos). In total it took us 10 hours, which was a little longer than we’d first expected – and doesn’t include the couple of hours we spent looking for the entrance in the first place!
On Sunday we spent quite a while cleaning all the equipment up, before heading to the beach at Laredo for a few hours.
Have just spent the weekend up in the Gredos mountains (about 2.5 hours drive from Madrid), hoping to escape the heat of Madrid (it’s been over 36c most of the last week). It was still really hot even up in the mountains, but fortunately there were plenty of places to swim in the river to cool down. On Saturday during the day we spent a few hours walking up Senda de la Garganta de Bohoyo. Then in the early evening we went up to the Laguna de los Caballeros (about 4-5 hours walk), where we slept out just in our sleeping bags – even though it’s over 2000m up, it was warm and dry enough to sleep out, following morning we returned the same way, stopping off for a swim before heading back to Madrid.
I just got back yesterday from a weeks trip to Mallorca with the caving club. We had a really great trip, 12 of us from the caving club rented a house in Santanyi and we spent most days either caving, canyoning or on the beach. Mallorca has some really fantastic caves and canyons. We were lucky to get permits to visit Vallgornera – it’s a protected cave and only a handful of permits are issued each year (more people climb Everest each year than get permits to visit Vallgornera) and has some really fantastic formations. More info about Vallgornera and photos of the formations. After we landed in Palma last Saturday, we headed straight to the cave, arriving at about 7pm and got out of the cave at around 6am the following morning, so we had the next day relaxing.
As we were such a large group it wasn’t really feasible for all of us to do the same activities each day, so usually we split into different groups to do different activities.
On Monday we’d planned to do two caves, but ended up spending most of the afternoon wandering the fields in the fog and drizzle looking for the entrance to one, which we didn’t end up finding, so we only did L’Avenc de S’Embut
Tuesday we spent canyoning at Mortitx, it was quite a walk (2 hours) just to get to the start point, but then even longer for the return journey, it took us around 5 hours to walk/climb back from the end point, up cliffs and along via ferratas with some really impressive views of the canyons and sea.
Wednesday was a day at the beach in Cala Falco, then Thursday was a long day canyoning at Sa Fosca (Torrent des Gorg Blau). It’s a really impressive canyon, very narrow in parts and walls 300m high, with one section of about 2-3 hours through a cave, with over 30 rappels in all. The walk at the end leads to Sa Calobra beach. Sa Fosca is reckoned to be one of the best canyoning trips in Europe.
Friday was spent being a tourist, visiting Cuevas del Drach and having lunch on the beach.
In contrast to last weekend in the snow, this weekend I was on a caving trip to Cueva del Orón in Murcia – sleeping in the open air. After walking/climbing/abseiling down the cliff for a a couple of hours, the cave is quite a squeeze most of the way, but at the end is a underground salt-water lagoon, with warm, clear water for swimming. Swimming across this leads to another lagoon leading out to the sea (through an underwater passage), I tried to get a couple of photos of this (as you can see the light coming up underneath the water through the passage to the sea), but I had some ‘technical problems’ with my camera – it got wet – so is now drying in a box with rice, and am hoping it will work again.
Here’s a slightly better photo of the lagoon inside the cave.