Last Wednesday, at the beginning of the month of March, the Fed mountain Group in Spain went to his monthly walking track to enjoy the parks, forests and mountains of the Valencian Community.

Our guide Paco took charge of us talking about the beauty of the route we had prepared. ” The Bernia Circuit” ” The name of “Bernia” always awakes in me echoes of Majorcan resonances , as the Bearn’s or Tramuntana’s mountain range. In fact, many people from Mallorca came to this part of Alicante, called La-Marina, after the expulsion of Moriscos about 1610.

We begin the ascension by “Casas de Bernia “, and right uphills we walked towards the Hole “forat”, the most difficult part of this side of the mountain. In the “houses” we find some cars and people walking around at the calm and splendid atmosphere of an almost day of spring. They were pension and retired “tourists foreigners” who were enjoying an exuberant nature of brown mountain chains that descend abruptly down to the blue Mediterranean sea forming beautiful volcanic circles. The bright air allowed us to see the crag of Ifach, the mythical Montgó of Javea, and the promontory of Moraira at the seashore.

While coming up we were discussing the blurry silhouette appearing towards the horizon, opposite to San Antonio’s cape. Our guide explained to us that this was the high part of the island of Ibiza, in spite of one of us insisting that it was in fact Majorca. Already at a height of the “Forat” Toni replied that a bit more to the north there was outlined the island of Majorca, truly in fact what we amazing verified, more than 120km away!
During the ascent we found another “tourists”, slim and tall as Oliver Hardy and with a blond moustache as that of the walrus, of 70 years, following us without breath. We show him how to come to the forat (the Hole or Tunnel) and he shot the first photo group of us. The “forat” is the navel or omphalos of the mountain range, which allows to go on from the north to the southern slope. Actually done by men-hands, as a path and a refuge of smugglers from other times, it seemed to us as entering into the sacred uterus of the land, which was sheltering in her bosom the collective history of our people. We communicate with “Oliver” somehow in French and English, to encourage him to cross the omphalos but we verify that in spite of his energy, the height of his body discouraged him from going on to another side thorough such a tight tunnel .

From the other side we met Hugo, a little five year old french, with his parents. They were from Rheims and in good Spanish they offered to realize the second photo group. To the other side one could see the bay of Altea, the cape of Serra Gelada‘s nature reserve Park, and the skyscrapers of Benidorm with the small island beyond, a cement landscape not matching with the beautiful nature around, according to our friends of Rheims. Closing the view to the south the Puig Campana and in the limit of the marine horizon Tabarca’s island, showing itself together with Santa Pola.

We continued some 3 km. bordering the peak and came after to the remains of a Fort from 1560, constructed by Philip the second. We kept charmed with this bastion, discussing about its origin. Juan, the historian of the group, told us that it was in fact the fortress of the nobility and the emperor of Spain against the revolts of popular classes or “agermanados”. Designed by italian architect Juan Bautista Antonelli, it was a part of the coastal defense system in front of Berbers, Moriscoes and internal revolts. The son of Juan Bautista worked later at the fortress system of South America’s cities as Cartagena de Indias.

After the sumptuous food and the tasty red wine, Paco the guide, melancholy, complained of not rising to the peak. We continued the comfortable path back from the other side and changed twice the slope to the west, where nature offered us the vision of the Serrella and the village of Tárbena, where once we ate a delicious paella as a group. In the south hillside, finally, we crossed through a herd of bulls, that for us seemed to be brave ones, lined up as Berber army, ready for the attack cutting out the exit and forcing us to return to the fort. Our experienced guide kept calmed and we returned safe down to the valley, where a meadow waited for us with happy daisies that seemed a beautiful tablecloth with stripes of bloomed almond-trees.

We promise to return to the path once again, yes, to attack the peak of the mountain.

Did you know that valencian Community is the third in Spain in number of Nature Parks.

Valencian Community. Whatever your level, discover our mountains and Nature Parks, walking across European and local paths, with mountain guides who will introduce you to a whole new world of natural ambiances and sensations : discover flora and fauna, taste locals culinary specialities

JVNICLOS, Profesor,  Offical Tourist and Nature Park Guide

www.itinerisvlc.com