Walking for Isobelle

Assault on Mount La Maroma 6,786.4 ft – A Slog in the Fog
Due to the reasonable weather forecast for yesterday, Thursday 15 November, myself and my friends Jack Mason and Stephen Eyres and my 2 dogs decided to take the plunge and set off at 9.00 am from the Cemetery car park in Canillas de Aceitunas.   There are two routes leaving Canillas and we took the left hand route on the way up.  The two routes join after about 2 hours, which was where sadly Jack developed leg trouble and decided to go back down.  Stephen and I continued, still expecting the fog higher up to lift – as the weather forecast stated – but it was not to be and the fog got thicker the higher we went.  We carried on and finally reached the top after 4½ hours.  Amazingly, 6 people and a dog turned up from another direction at exactly the same time, followed by 2 more people and 2 dogs after another couple of minutes.  You try to get away for a bit of peace and quiet and it was like Piccadilly Circus up there!!  The wind was very strong coming from the East so at the top we were in the teeth of it and it was bitterly cold, so there was only time for a quick photo before we set off back down.
We set off back down and unfortunately the routes are very unclear on top and, because of the thick fog, we went off slightly to the left of where we should have gone and finished up going down a very steep part of the mountain.  Realising this was wrong, we had to climb back up to the summit and start again which probably added another hour onto the climb!  This time, fortunately, we got it right and found a cairn so we knew we were OK and carried on.  We got to the 2 hour point mentioned above, and decided to go back down the other route which took us through the area damaged by this year’s fires.  It was obvious that all the scrub had burned off, leaving bare soil and, with the recent rains, an awful lot of damage had been done to the ground, making the route down very difficult.  A lot of the paths had been washed away and this of course extended the time it took to get down.   We finally arrived at the car park at 10.00 pm, to be met by Jack and Linda & Debbie our wives who were all very relieved to see us.
Despite the difficulties I kept reminding myself that we were doing this for a little girl who can’t even stand up on her own, which kept me going.
I should like to take this opportunity to thank everybody who has sponsored me.  Many thanks to all those who have already paid their sponsorship and to those who haven’t you can catch up with Linda and me at the Singing/History Group Meetings on 3/4 December or at the next Quiz on 7 December or, if this is not convenient, please drop us an e-mail at lindahenbest@hotmail.com and we will arrange to meet up.  I will put on the U3A website the final figure raised in due course.
Big thanks also to Stephen who has done this walk many times and without his help and support I would not have been able to complete the climb and also to Jack, Debbie and Linda for all their help throughout the campaign.
Andrew Henbest
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