IX Trail Cabo De Gata - Nijar - A Morning 29km Walk Through The Natural Park!

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Sunday 5 March 2017

IX Trail Cabo De Gata - Nijar - A Morning 29km Walk Through The Natural Park!

Early this morning I made the last minute decision to get on the event bus leaving San Jose for Rodalquillar at 7.30 am just as the sun was rising.  After a short but very beautiful ride through the Natural Park we arrived and by 8.30 am the countdown began for the IX Trail Cabo De Gata-Nijar organised by Aquetacamos.  It was a really beautiful trail passing through some of the most spectacular parts of the Cabo de Gata Natural Park to arrive in San Jose 29km, where Dan and Leela were waiting to greet me!  It took just over 4 and a half hours for me to complete the trail, jogging some bits near the start but walking most of it.  The atmosphere was really wonderful throughout the day; seeing people of all ages and abilities enjoying the challenge and also the scenery.  

Last year I wrote a short post expressing how much fun it was to be part of the Zumba fun at the finish celebrations of the VIII Trail Cabo De Gata-Nijar.  That day planted a seed in our minds that if we were to find ourselves in Cabo de Gata the following year we might plan to take part in the event itself.  So when at the entries opened on 1st January both Dan and I entered straightaway in the 'runners' category.  We'd planned to use our entry to motivate us over winter to get back some of the fitness we'd so enjoyed on the Swiss trails during our Autumn stay in Val d'Anniviers.

But as many people know, our life and plans changed very significantly when we decided to adopt Leela just after New Year.  The unexpected 8 week adventure we've had with her and her unexpected but totally amazing 6 puppies, has been a rollercoaster; leaving very little time for regular exercise.  We've squeezed in a quick run here and there, a Zumba or yoga class but nothing structured.  The sleepless nights and ever ending 'dog-related to-dos' have left little time or energy.  But we're not complaining it's just a different type of adventure but an extremely rewarding one.

So the thought of taking part in the event slowly dissolved in our minds.  But last night, after a day mostly spent inside with the puppies, I felt I needed some air and even though at first I didn't feel like it, managed a short jog around the headland.  I felt refreshed and came back with even more energy, not less.  It sparked something within me and I found myself going down to the San Jose Plaza to collect my number, just in case I felt like it in the morning - but asking if my entry could be changed to the 'walkers' category.  I wasn't stupid, there was no way in it's current state my body would thank me for even attempting to run the course.

Whilst Dan and I haven't been able to go out together very much and actually I think our last proper walk was from La Isleta to San Jose on the clifftop GR92 route (on the day we first crossed paths with Leela) I figured I'm currently still walking quite a lot with Leela at the moment.  Plus running up and down the stairs most of the day I also figured the 350m ascent over the 29km would be ok, given some of the GR5 and TMB stages we had been able to complete in Summer with a heavy pack and very little preparation.

And I'm glad I did.  It was a wonderful break from puppy duties - thanks to Dan who stayed home.  The scenery was truly amazing; again reminding me why I love this area so very much.  The weather was fantastic, the atmosphere was great, the event was really well organised.  Overall it was a wonderful morning and this evening I'm feel renewed and refreshed by the whole experience.  Like last night, getting out today doing something I very much love has given me more energy not less.

It was great to arrive back into San Jose after 4hrs 34mins with Dan and Leela waiting for me.  And it's reminded that whilst Leela and the puppies need us it's important to look after ourselves too.  As they are growing so quickly and becoming ever more mobile and active there are different challenges to face each day but they are finding a more natural routine.  And today has reminded me that my self-care needs to include some time to get out and finding some quiet time walking in nature.

For anyone thinking about visiting this wonderful area, details of many local trails, cycle, triahtlon, marathon events can be found on this site www.aqueatacamos.com   

More pictures of the day:









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