Just eight of us clambered aboard Fred Olsen’s good ship Black Watch at Southampton and that included our leader Nigel Gratton who incidentally gave us a faultless performance as to how things should be run. Timings, transport, packed lunches and keeping us all informed; plus well chosen and run walks which were made at every destination including Lisbon. Some were more telling than others in terms of difficulty but all were within the fitness compass of those involved.
There were several highlights, but for my money the big one was the walk on Santa Cruz de la Palma, our second port of call – a beautiful island of volcanoes and forests and much more. We drove up and parked under clouds and a few spots of rain but after about 40 minutes of hill walking came out into brilliant sunshine above the clouds to truly stunning views of the island.
We were heading towards a volcano which erupted last in 1949, which in geological terms was not even yesterday! The sight of the lava-field and contorted rocks made for a deeply impressive and rather humbling experience. Looking back over our shoulders was an amazing sight: flat clouds coming in from the ocean and spilling down the hillside like a great, slow moving waterfall. This was a never to be forgotten scene. A holiday full of interest and good fun too.