Friday, October 7, 2016

La Barranca

If you´re not really into hiking, but you want to give it a try, or you just need a bit of a break from the city, a walk through La Barranca Valley is a great option. You can follow a route or just meander by the crystal clear Navacerrada River. You can even refill your water bottle directly from the river for a refreshing drink. 
nature in art - velazquez. the mountain in the background at the right is the one in my pic below (source)
The great views start in the parking lot, where you can see La Bola del Mundo, a rocky mountain peak topped with TV antennas and signal repeaters. Spaniards love their TV, so this fact is a nice tidbit to drop into a conversation with one. It´s also interesting to note that snow and ice from this part of the mountain was stored in a nearby village and used for refrigeration. A Little House on the Spanish Mountain moment.

The views continue as you take in straight pines, two reservoirs, and finally the river itself. You´ll soon come to a recreation area (I love how prepared even the wild is in Spain - come visit! it seems to say. You can argue that it´s not really wild, but I say, let´s get people outside! And it´s really great to have convenient places to stop with Baby, not to mention trails that are well marked and maintained. It sure makes getting outside as a family easier!). 

Anyway, after the recreation area, be sure to look up. You might just see someone swinging through the trees on the high ropes course! That´s a trip for another day, without Baby, though. Keep walking and you´ll be able to cross the river, continue and you´ll come to a natural fountain. If you´re not too tired and feeling adventurous, follow the road to the right and you´ll come to the ruins of an old tuberculosis hospital, The Royal Sanatorium of Guadarrama. It will add a climb and about an hour round trip to your excursion.

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