Some would probably say it’s madness to go exploring the gorges of Alicante province after such heavy rains we had during the week, but the spirit of the group was strong this weekend, so here is the report on how our adventure went.
Saturday: Barranco del Infierno
After somewhat longer drive, made even longer because of a necessity to find our way around pueblos’ fiestas, driving on narrow windy roads we did get to Fleix to start our 6000 steps hike. The hike is unusual since it starts with a prolonged downhill, and in this case it was even more adventurous since the descent was made trickier by mountain streams running down right along the trail. But with some rock stepping skills (and falling-on-your-ass skills for some) we did make it down to the cave – a symbolic entrance into the valley. The upside of the streams mentioned above was that they formed a gorgeous waterfall, which we could contemplate, descending further down into the valley.
Now that we were in the valley – it was the time for the fist ascent. After checking out the waters for the possibility of swimming we did exactly that. The stairs (which we lost count of about 20 steps in), and the views of the waterfall in the background made the uphill seem easier than it is (some would disagree I guess) and soon we were up, preparing for the second downhill.
The second valley had another stream crossing challenge waiting for us, which was mostly successful again, depending on what goal you had in mind – cross the river or get your boots wet, in any case we continued onward with thoughts of lunch keeping us motivated.
The third and the final ascent was stimulated by nice views of the valley we had previously crossed on the first descent and the thoughts of a bar being closer and closer, as well as some almond trees already blooming.
Sunday: Barranco de la Encantada
The hike started with quite unusual sights for Valencian Community – snow covering the peaks of the nearby Sierra Mariola mountains. The proximity of the Beniarrés reservoir and Benicadell range was also adding some scenic value to an easy start of the hike.
According to a local legend, it is impossible to take a clear photo of Ramon
The paved road soon turned to tricky and muddy trails, which were a common thing throughout the trip. Those did not cause much trouble though and soon the views of the ravine made up for the dirt on our boots.
Soon we made it to the main attraction of the route – Gorg del Salt, a nice cascade with a staircase leading down to it. According to a sign, it was a dangerous area to swim in, so we took that advice and after taking many photos, continued our hike.
The trip was coming to an end, but there was still one more thing on the agenda – a lunch in Planes, in Nou Catalá restaurant, which turned out to be a great place, with delicious food and very warm attitude, which is not that easy to find. One more glance at Sierra Mariola and a Roman aqueduct in Planes and soon we were on our way back home.