Being complete walking novices, my husband Carl and I jumped at the chance to try out one of Macs Adventure's new walking holidays, which combines walking in Spain’s Sierra de Aracena as well as a city break in the historic city of Seville. Both avid golfers, we were not sure if a walking holiday was our kind of thing!
What can I say - we loved it and we can’t wait to go walking again. I can’t describe how invigorated we both felt, at one with nature, and most importantly, totally de-stressed.
If you are thinking of doing your first walk, here are our tips:
- Definitely make sure your walking boots are comfortable but also supportive. My boots did not support my ankles - something I realised when walking on uneven surfaces with large stonesunderfoot.. I also got a blister on my big toe so also bring blister plasters.
- Spend money on decent walking socks. I was completely taken aback in Tiso after finding they stocked Bridgedale socks to find out that they cost £15 a pair - £60 for 4 pairs of socks! They were however a godsend and I have been assured they will last for years so we should get our moneys’ worth.
- We invested in a couple of fleeces – Craghopper and Wolfskin. We lived in these! Base layers and fleeces are a must (plus they make you look like a walker!).
- Take plenty of water with you on your walk. We made the mistake of only taking a very small bottle of water between us on our first walk and we started to feel a bit dehydrated and headachy during the walk. We did learn to fill up at natural spring fountains along some of the walking routes but you can’t always be sure they will be available (or drinkable).
- Find out about the wildlife in the surrounding area. I refused to continue on one of the walks because we had to open a gate where some “raging bulls” were on the path. It turns out they were in fact really docile cows with horns!
- Enjoy the feeling of elation when you have successfully followed the route notes, the map and managed to complete the walk. There is nothing to beat it!