Climbing and swimming

Island Wanderer
Peter and Avril Brookes
Thu 28 Jul 2011 19:17
After days of sitting on the boat doing very little, we decided to climb the Penon de Ifach today. This is a large rocky outcrop that was described as one of the most unusual and beautiful geographical features of the entire Mediterranean coast. Towering above the marina it looked huge and just the thing to tackle before lunch!
At this point I have to comment on Pete’s slight exaggeration yesterday. When he mentioned the “extensive walks “ that we undertook, he  was referring to a gentle stroll along the sea front, not exceeding two miles.
Today’s walk was slightly more demanding. The rock is about 330m high, but to get to the top you had to scramble up steep slopes and walk precariously narrow paths in stunning scenery and blistering heat. It was a popular walk with many people attempting to reach the summit. Surprisingly it was young people who tended to turn back, although many young children did make it to the top. We met an elderly English couple  who had climbed it ten years ago but were struggling today. They were nearly at the top and we met them on our descent, so I hope they made it!
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Penon de Ifach                                                                                      The Marina from about a quarter of the way up
Once at the top, the views were quite breath-taking. You could see for miles in all directions. There was a family of cats with kittens living right at the very top of the rock, fed partly by locals youngsters who knew they were there and had come prepared.
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This really is a peninsula!
Part of the walk was through a tunnel blasted through the rock. Once through the tunnel, where a rope helped guide you through, the path was single file and barely defined. In many places the edge was close to a very steep  drop to the sea. It was very refreshing to be permitted to do such a walk, even though it was definitely risky. I suspect that the reason some of the youngsters turned back was because they were not used to a challenge, partly because the powers that be declare it too dangerous. Shame really.
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After lunch we chilled on the beach and went for a lovely swim before tea. I suspect we will both sleep well tonight, before an early start as we head for Ibiza tomorrow.
Calpe is a very cosmopolitan place. There are very few British folk here, (they are probably down the road in Benidorm) and the majority of tourists are either French or German.
The very large framework looking something like a rugby post on the beach turned out to be the support for a beach cinema screen! Last night the film was the Prince of Persia, dubbed into Spanish with English subtitles. No entry fee, just find somewhere to sit on the beach. Pete did comment that if it had been on Brean sands, the audience would probably have drowned before the last scene.
The pontoon we are moored on was the set for a photo shoot this afternoon with a very glamorous swim suited model, at least six foot tall and very skinny. It was at this point I whisked Pete to the beach...
The reason behind the names people choose for their boats is a source of endless amusement. Take the motor boat called “Impact” on the pontoon opposite.
We caught out first fish today – well not exactly caught. A large seagull deposited a huge, ugly bug-eyed fish on the canopy roof before being chased away. Unfortunately it wasn’t the only mess it left!