SIERRA DE AITANA TREK
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?
The feeling of being so close to the crush of Benidorm, yet a million miles away was very special. On some walks we barely saw anyone else from beginning to end, and it really felt as if we were walking ancient trails. On the day we went to the summit of Aitana, having tackled a bit of a scarey scramble and got through a slightly tricky pass, we lunched on a beautiful, sheltered patch of grass, almost a lawn, and Jose (our guide) produced a bottle of red wine he had carried with him to accompany our lunch. It felt so strangely civilised in such a remote place.
What did you think of your group leader?
Jose led the group with great local knowledge, unstinting humour, skill and sandwiches. Jose's sandwiches should be the stuff of legend: it became a challenge for anyone in the group to finish them, double-deckered and full of amazing Good Things. Don't be misled when the trip notes say lunches will consist of 'a sandwich', these are sandwiches of epic proportions!! He also displayed marvellous hospitality, inviting us to his house in Sella - although there was a cost (we had to help with his olive harvest - hardly a chore!). Jose was an absolutely integral part of the week's enjoyment.
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?
Take decent kit as the walks are 'proper'. That said, don't be put off by anyone that says the walks are tough - they're not a stroll in the proverbial park, but our group had quite a mixture of ages and fitness levels, and no-one really struggled. I would recommend walking poles - I didn't take them, and could have done with them on some of the 'down's. The food in the hotels/guests houses is amazing, very local and very hearty. You won't lose any weight on this holiday!
Is there anything else you would like to add?
This is a proper walking holiday, the walks take up pretty much every day, unlike some Exodus walking holidays I've been on that have been more a mixture of walking and site-seeing (and none the worse for that). The countryside is beautiful, Sella is a lovely village to end up and the Hort de Gloria is charming - don't plan to go anywhere on your free day, just sit in the sun at the Gloria and have excellent tapas in Sella.