Vertigo: Defeated by the Romans

I need to say up front – I am terrified of heights, just can’t handle them. And it turns out to be an infectious thing because Jennifer has recently become equally acrophobic. So although the walk today is the only reason we are in this part of the country – it looked like a better idea when we planned it six months ago.

The Peña Cortada, or cut rock, is a beautiful walk just outside Chelva. It’s particularly interesting because it follows the route of a Roman aqueduct cut into the rocks of the local hills.

The walk through the cuttings and tunnels is amazing. It both looks great and it’s fascinating to contemplate this being constructed so long ago.

All good so far, but probably the most iconic part of the walk is a bridge over a deep ravine. The bridge is about 2m wide, perfect to transport water, but there’s nothing on either edge. We always knew that the bridge would be challenging, but from months away we persuaded ourselves it was do-able. Standing beside it, it was absolutely not do-able.

Bridge from the East

As a result our morning walk was a there-and-back through the tunnels and cuttings up to the bridge.

After lunch we set out and walked from Chelva up to the bridge from the opposite direction. The walk this way was less charming, but it was a good hike through terraced olive orchards. From this direction the bridge looked even less achievable.

Bridge from the West

So the end result for today was that we have walked all but 30m of the Peña Cortada. Of course that 30m is the famous bridge – so it’s a significant distance really. The completionist in me is a bit disappointed; the sane, grown-up who knows you can’t fight an irrational but real fear is very happy with the day.

2 thoughts on “Vertigo: Defeated by the Romans

  1. Well done on being grown up and rational and well thinking about going at it in both directions. Fellow fear of heights friend

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