SIERRA DE AITANA TREK

What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

There were several inspirational moments on this trip. One was viewing the fascinating rock formations on the peaks nearby while also seeing the coast of Mallorca on the horizon. I shallalways remember the scent of thyme bushes as we walked along the paths, brushing them with our boots. On the final day we ended up at our leader's home and helped harvest olives together. That was a truly special and unique moment, when we felt we had not just walked as tourists in the region, but had been privileged to have been invited to share in a tiny way in the life of the local community

What did you think of your group leader?

Jose was an excellent leader. He took great care to enable everyone to feel safe, informed and happy, so they could enjoy each day. When two walkers had blisters, after the first day, he put dressings on them himself in such a way that they were then fully able to do all the walks, with no further problems. He led in a warmly engaging and humourous manner, so everyone in the group felt relaxed. He is passionate about Spain and his home region and commmunicated this to group members. When we were in the coach from the airport, he produced grapes and raisins from his own garden - a thoughtful touch which we discovered was typical of his thoughtfulness and hospitality. We really gelled as a group and this was due mainly to Jose's outstanding leadership qualities.

Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

This trek is at the higher end of the B grade, so be prepared for one or two quite long, though beautiful, walking days. Walking poles would be helpful, as some descents are quite rockyand steep. You will need very little spending money, as wine is provided at the evening meals and you won't really come across any shops. Be prepared to be amazed - it is a world away from nearby Benidorm!

Is there anything else you would like to add?

I would love to go on this walk again, with the same group and the same leader, as it was such an enjoyable week. We even concluded the week with a semi-impromptu dance after supper, which was such a wonderful way to celebrate friendships made, the journey made and our thanks to Spain. It also provided much hilarity...