U3A Marina Baixa head due south

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FORTY NINE members of the U3A Marina Baixa, set off on their latest adventure last week, heading off to the south of the Costa Blanca.

They left Albir early, in cool, cloudy conditions, travelling to the Segura River area of Murcia, where they were joined by two more members.

The first stop on the group’s schedule was a visit to the Hemp Museum in Callosa de Sugura, where they were given an insight into the extremely labour intensive processes required in the production of hemp.

Hemp was used to manufacture fishing nets, string, ropes and shoes amongst other items and whole families were involved in the industry.

However hemp and it’s by products are highly toxic, causing many of the workers to fall sick when the dust from production was inhaled.

Travelling onwards, next on the agenda for the members was a journey into the Ricote Valley where they were able to visit three of the famous water wheels of the area.

These water wheels were used to distribute water from the River Segura for the irrigation of the many thousands of fruit & citrus trees in the orchards of the valley.

Luckily for the group, the skies began to clear and the sun appeared from behind the clouds, allowing them to discard their sweaters and coats by the time they reached the third and final destination on their schedule for the day.

The Sanctuary of the Virgen de la Esperanza (Our Lady of Hope) in Calasparra, is considered to be one of the most beautiful sanctuaries in the whole of the Murcia region.

The small place of worship is cut into the rock face of a sheer cliff overlooking the Segura river, surrounded by tranquil gardens which create an atmosphere of peace and quiet. This offers a perfect opportunity for visitors to spend a few moments of peaceful refection and serenity.

The group arrived in time for lunch in the excellent Restaurant before visiting the Sanctuary and its many interesting exhibits.

The members all thoroughly enjoyed their day out, which was organised once again by Rob and Liz.

U3A Marina Baixa holds its general meetings on the fourth Monday of each month in the auditorium at the Casa de Cultura, Alfaz del Pi.

The next Meeting is on Monday the 22nd May, the doors open at 10am and the desks close at 10.50am for a prompt 11.00 am start, please come early to sign in and get your seat.

For further information on the U3A Marina Baixa and how to join the group, visit their website at www.u3amarinabaixa.com or their Facebook page.

Alternatively, information can be obtained by contacting the secretary, Joan Flint on 96 586 1226 or Mobile 663 637 167.

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