Kath and I flew into Alicante late saturday evening 24th Jan handbaggage only on a cheap flight with Ryanair from Leeds, Yorkshire.
The previous night had seen a severe storm pass through and there was a lot of foliage and tree branches on the ground. It was still windy and we took refuge in a semi ruined newbuild a mile from the airport. next morning, we walked back to the airport and took a bus into Alicante. A lull in the wind gave us a chance to sit on the beach while we waited for the coastal light railway tram to Altea, up the coast past Benidorm.
After a walk up through a millionaires urbanisation we hit the hill and scrambled up to the foot of an east facing overhanging cliff where we bivouacced the night, sheltered from the strong westerly wind and occasional showers.
It was a stunning dawn with an incredible view over the coastal strip.
Scrambling up an angled flake in the cliff, we reached the upper slopes of the Sierra Bernia, but it was too windy to risk the ridge. Instead, we traversed along the sierra below the cliffs on a rough track used by farmers.
More great views coastwards, including the famous Penon D'iffac.
After a steep scramble we were rewarded with a fine view of the ridge itself.
Rounding the far end of the Bernia ridge we were back into the windy stuff, and relieved to discover the Bernia restaurant had been narrowly missed by a large falling tree.
Tuesday dawned fair and we made good time to the Col de Rates. Fine views back along the Sierra Ferrer to Bernia itself.
Camping high outside Terbana, we saw another fabulous dawn weds am.
The trail down to Bellula was pretty.
As was the village itself.
We made our way by bus and hitching to The Orange House, a climbing school owned by my friends Richard and Samantha Mayfield.
We spent thursday doing surgery on wind damaged trees while Richard took a group climbing, and went with him and his climbing partner Gary friday morning to a cliff they were rebolting for a grade 8C route. here's Puig campagna from the orange House just before we set off.
From the cliff foot, we headed up into the mountains for one of the most memorable days scrambling we've had.
the Sierra Bernia from afar
We called this the sleeping dragon.
From the col we climbed Monte Ponoche. More great views all around.
As we lunched on the summit, a huge sea fret rolled in over the coast, engulfing Benidorm's skyscrapers.
We headed down to the col with Puig Campagna. It was too late in the day to start an ascent so we traversed around the back of the mountain.
The sea fret had filled the low valleys.
The evening light above the clouds was rich.
And as the sun sank slowly in the west...
We descended into the cloud around Finestrat...
Turning for a final look at the magnificent rock rib up the front of Puig Campagna...
And out to the final spanish sunset of our trip.