Well first off, Bravo Bob! you have really written a corker here, turning what should be pleastant walks around the lovely sun-drenched Costa Blanca into : a game of guessing which way we go now, before the sun goes down and we get stuck. Oh, and more importantly before the chocolate runs out.
First off i will admit your book does offer a diverse collection of walks which seem to be comprehensive in covering most of the wonderful mountains in the area. This is where the complements stop. First the phrase which seems to have haunted me even to this day; "head towards the obvious tree". Bob, do you realise what this lapse in your effort to give directions has caused?
Well lets start off with examining it to see if we can help you.
Hummm... bit vague no? Now, even on the most barren mountains, there tend to be many trees placed here and there fighting to survive. The "obvious" word there Bob, was many. Therefore when you refer to a singular tree, you are leaving us to guess that you refer perhaps to; the one over there, or is it the one up there, ...oh, or maybe that one.
I am not stupid Bob I can ascertain an obvious way-marker like most. But if you are going to call this a guide-book, it needs to do what it does on the label. Guide. Leaving things to guesswork isn't very professional now is it Bob? It definitely is no help to man nor beast if they are left to guess which tree you might be reffering to. Secondly i might add, trees generally are not that permenant, why could you not choose a large rock with a spray painted arrow, or dot on it to refer to? Does it give you kicks sending walkers all over these mountains in search of this Holy Grail that is "the obvious tree". I looked it up Bob in; "Peterson First Guide to Trees" and guess what Obvious Tree does not feature, stange no?
With that off my chest, lets move on to the manner in which you go into great detail in describing some of the most blatantly marked paths. Then when it comes to an ascent up an overgrown rock face, the beautiful prose that were before, now descend into something so lacking it it as helpful as a recipe for polenta in innuit.
You see this is where the detail of the path would be very usefull, i'm sure you can grasp the idea that : Hard to follow path = the need for a detailed and thorough set of directions. Or could you simply not be botherd to actually go up the rock face in the first place?
Next there was one particular walk which on its returning leg skirts along the top of a cliff face for about 3 and a half km or so, as i seem to recall your book generally goes along the lines of "make you way back to the car keeping at said altitude following the obvious sheep tracks". Uh-oh, there's that ominous word there again Bob, obvious. Now i don't know what it was like when you did it, for that matter, if you did at all, but when I did it (twice might i add) on both occasions finding this obvious sheep track was difficult as there were, surprise, surprise, many sheep tracks! Now as these weaved in and out of the many hanging valleys they didn't leave much chance to stay at a steady height. Oh and just incase you were wondering Bob no, generally people going out for walks in the Costa Blanca do not carry altimeters. Now this inability to know which sheep track was the correct one, initially may not sound to bad, but we must not forget the fact that there was that "big ol' drop" down there to our left (several hundred feet of sheer cliff), oh and whats that beneath our feet? look Bob, it's very unstable looking scree, and humm it seems to run right down to the cliff edge. This is where your love of all things obvious, sundenly becomes a little more grave doesn't it? Sheep i believe do not sense virtigo (don't hold me to that), and neither it seems do they have the capacity to think that unstable rocks and large cliff face results in; a very flat not living version of themselves. I however did have the mental capacity for it to have me a little worried, to say the least. So the need for an indication of which of these blessed paths you were actually reffering to and which one resulted in lamb burgers at the bottom of the cliff.
One final thing. Your maps. If I were to call them comprehensive I would be a liar.
So in synopsis: if you are looking for a book which will guide you comfortably around some of the more less trodden paths in the area of Costa Blanca then please look elsewhere. If however you are looking at not only pitting yourself against nature but also against Bob's poorly written, misleading and very often abiguous guide then by jove! this is for sure the book for you!