A short way south of Alicante city, the mountains of Orihuela rise abruptly from the plain, the region feels more desert like than north of Alicante, drier, more Cacti, and that ‘wild west’ feel about it.
We were aiming for the town of Redovan and specifically the piece of rock known as ‘La Pancha’ or ‘The Belly’! With sat nav on we found this with ease, phew.
The Belly is a massive cliff stretching for hundreds of metres in every direction, so it really is hard to miss.
An information board shows all we need to know about our intended route (all in Spanish of course), we have a quick read, gear up and set off for the short approach walk to the initial and more ‘family friendly’ section.
As was expected, installation looks very new. What we didn’t expect, at least on the initial section, was so much diversity, with I think 4 bridges, each one constructed differently to give a new challenge. Throw in some traverses and slight overhangs in an impressive setting and a recipe for fun has been made.
At the end of the initial section there is the option to descend along a track back to base, or continue to the top of the big cliff. For us there was no option, we were continuing, and what a lot of fun it was going to be.
This section was so much steeper and sustained, our arms soon began to scream. Thankfully there are resting places en-route. Small platforms have been built into the cliff and these make excellent lookouts and places to catch your breath!
Protruding from the cliff about 100m up is a huge hinge, this can be used as a swing to cross a section of the route. There is an alternative route passed this too, for those not so keen on the ‘airtime’. Mila was kind enough to pose for some photos whilst on the hinge. Beyond this is an enclosed ladder section that is climbed with your back against the rock, so yes imagine the view.
A final traverse brings us to the big bridge, all 45m of it, suspended across the void and wow does it sway.
Considering how much we ascended, the descent walk is pleasantly easy and in well under 1 hour we are back at the car, tired but elated after a brilliant afternoon.
Whilst the initial section, which can be enjoyed in it’s own right, makes for a great introduction to Via Ferrata. We don’t recommended the upper section for beginners to the sport, but if you’ve tried others in the area and are looking for more, look no further.
If you’d like a guide, help with logistics, help with equipment, please get in touch, we’d be happy to help.
Thanks to Mila for joining me on this adventure and thanks all for reading. For full details of this and many other fantastic mountain days please check out our New Cicerone Guidebook 'Costa Blanca Mountain Adventures'