Saturday, October 8, 2016

Snowed Out

It was a beautiful, clear day in Madrid, so we booked a table at La Chiminea and headed for the mountains to work up an appetite, since it´s really not the kind of place where you "just have a salad". Abuelo, Abuela, Tia, Perro, Baby, Tall Guy, and Tall Girl, a plan for a perfect Saturday in the mountains. But alas, it was not to be. There was snow in the mountains. We´re not talking Spanish snow, which counts as ten flakes in the air. No, we´re talking snow a Canadian recognizes as a dump of the white stuff. And the wind! So bitter! So I whipped out our trusty hiking guide and picked something at a lower altitude, where the sun was shining and the wind wasn´t driving little knives into our faces. 

La Jarosa.

There are lots of walking options in this recreation area, including following the shoreline around a reservoir or even renting a little boat to go for a paddle, but we stuck with the classic Spanish option of starting at the bar and heading for the ruins. The bar had a rip roaring fire going, so we got nice and toasty before heading out. It was one of the only times we wore our winter coats, last winter was so mild!

This trail was not clearly marked, or at least not visibly so in the snow, so we picked our own way uphill to a forest access road, passing some docile cattle and crossing a brook where I was sure a talking beaver would appear. Talk about your Narnia moment - after escaping the breath of the White Witch on the mountain top, the breath of Aslan had appeared, sparkling snow and dripping icicles. 

did a faun just peek out at me?
We walked until our appetites were "opened up", as they say in Spanish, and our faces were tingling with the fresh air, and agreed trips back in fall and spring to see the area in different seasons would be in order. Then it was off to La Chiminea, where we polished off our meals with gusto, including dessert. When you´re prepared to go with the flow, a change of plans can turn into a pleasant surprise.

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