Saturday 1st October 2011 did not start the way I would have liked it to. At about 7.30am we had an enormous thunderstorm with thunder and lightning and lots of rain. Luckily it stopped at about 9.15am but the roads were sodden with large puddles everywhere. Two walkers had sent email cancelling their participation dues to reasons other than the weather and a rewarding thing was I had a walker register late on Friday and another on Saturday morning first thing (a brave soul in light of the weather).
I arrived in Ondara outside the Bull Ring as planned just before 9.30am and no one had yet arrived. The Bull Ring was closed and locked up and the Bull Ring bar had decided not to open due to the weather. Luckily the bar owner was on site and he opened the side door access to the bull ring. The walkers started to arrive in dribs and drabs and we adjourned to the next bar down the road about 50 meters away. By the time 10am came 18 brave walkers had arrived and I had a phone call from 2 more who were running a little late.
Hans-Peter Steudel, one of the walkers had a contact in the Ondara Town Hall and had arranged for the old clock tower to be opened for us at 10.15am to take photos of the clock and from the roof. Everyone set off for the clock tower in the old town and at 10.15am Manolo arrived to open the clock tower for us. Everyone climbed up the steep stairs to the clock floor where he opened the case for us to get some shots of the mechanism. He then opened the roof and allowed two at a time to go up onto the roof to photograph the view and the bell, it was a little precarious standing on the roof tiles with little to hold on to. Manolo explained that he has to wind the clock by hand each day as it is only a 26 hour mechanism. As we left it started to rain and everyone put on waterproofs and covered their cameras. Luckily the shower only lasted 10 minutes and that was the last of the rain that we would see as part of the walk.
After we finished at the clock tower we returned to the bull ring where we had unrestricted access to the entire building and the ‘back room’ areas. Unfortunately due to the rain the ring itself was more like a shallow lake. Everyone spent a fair bit of time here and so I am looking forward to seeing all the images from there and hopefully there will be some unusual ones.
After the bull ring the walkers split up into small groups and walked around the Old Town taking photographs of the people and the area. At 12noon we all returned to the bar near the bull ring for a drink and a chat, many walkers had other commitments and had to leave straight away and so I was unable to get a group photo which was a shame.
My thanks to the Mayor of Ondara, Manolo, Hans-Peter and all of the walkers for braving the elements and making the day a success. It was great to meet several photographers from the area that I didn’t know, I certainly enjoyed the day and think that they did too.