Setting The Record Straight

My last posting was written on the basis of very little fact and much speculation, never a wise combination. So today I return to the topic in order to set the record straight. The missing Englishman, who sadly is still missing, is no stranger to these mountains after all. He is a keen climber who has been coming to Nerja for the past seven years or so, and has often gone walking in the sierras. He knows the routes and the paths well. On Saturday last he set off on a challenging journey up the valley of the Rio Chillar, intending to go as far as an abandoned farmstead, El Cortijo del Imán, about 15 to 20km inland, and in fact very close to the area where the Dutch tourist became trapped for 18 days last year. He told his wife what he was doing and where he was going. He was properly equipped with appropriate footwear and clothing, a backpack, food and emergency rations, maps, mobile phone and a GPS device. He also hired a mountain bike so that he could cycle into the mountains as far as possible. He then intended to conceal the bike in the undergrowth and continue on foot to his destination and then pick the bike up on his way back. He expected to sleep out on Saturday night, since he knew he could not complete the trip in a single day. I owe him an apology for having assumed he was an innocent in the mountains. He had planned the trip carefully and had done everything by the book. But it still went wrong. Searchers have been in the sierras for four days now on foot, in helicopters, accompanied by search dogs trained to track down people but there is no sign either of him or of his bicycle. We are at that time of year when state of the art technology can be thwarted; we are all used to seeing the telltale heat blips in the dark on the popular police programmes, but here in July the ground is at least as hot as the people on it. No telltale blips because there is no differential. Today I read that the search has been extended in a new direction across into the sierras of neighbouring Granada Province. His route should have taken him nowhere near the Granada border, but apparently there was fog in the mountains on Sunday morning and searchers are not ruling out the possibility that he became disorientated and set off in the wrong direction. ¡Ojalá! as the Spanish say, “Please God.....”

No comments:

Post a Comment