12km. Grade : Moderate. Leader : Jim 24th February 2005
We stopped off at La Nucia for coffee and I was able to take photographs looking across to Polop with the church at the top of the hill. We could also see Ponoch in the distance and from this angle you could see its resemblance to a sleeping lion.
We turned left off the CV70band drove up a narrow track to park close to a point where the track was chained. From the vehicle we climbed steeply through thickets of bamboo and other prickly vegetation heading towards the sheer cliffs of Sanchet. Along the way we passed almond trees in full bloom. Ahead of us was a small finca on the hillside with a dovecote nearby. The cloud was just breaking up over the pinnacles of Sanchet and this created a beautiful photographic scene.
There appeared to be no way forward as we approached the cliffs but we turned left to follow a narrow path hugging the base of the cliff. We then had to negotiate a steep rocky descent before climbing up along an old Mozarabic trail. Once again there appeared to be no path but the trail zigzagged up the hillside. In the sunlight the sheer cliffs of Sanchet were most impressive with varying shades of orange and yellow in the rocks.
We climbed to the head of the valley where we could look down on the monastery. Occasionally the monks leave gifts by the side of the trail, but not today. At the top of the rise close to an old casita we were rewarded with marvellous views looking down to the Castellets and Puig Campana. Unfortunately the shy had now clouded over and conditions were not ideal for photography.
We headed left round the hillside maintaining our height until we intersected the path from Polop to Finestrat close to the shepherds cave. From here we made our way down to our transport passing close to the Casses de Dei, God’s House. This is a large storehouse which used to have the sign of a cross on the wall. However it appears that God has ordered a makeover, the building has been painted light blue and there is a basketball hoop attached to the wall.
An interesting feature seen on the walk was a branch bent over and tied with a rope to form a bend. As the bush grew the branch thickened but retained its shape. This was how the shepherds used to fashion their crooks before the days of plastic!
Today we had done the usual circular walk at Sanchet. On a previous occasion I had done a linear walk, crossing over to the Val de L’Arc and finishing in Sella.