FR had been out walking earlier in the week with a friend who is learning English. He's a biologist and lover of nature and during the spring and summer months, he takes people on guided tours of the Andalucian countryside. You can see his brochure and what he offers on his website, called Natureda. We have just finished a rather better translation into English for him - what is currently here is just a Google translate, I think - although I rather like reading it in this format!
Anyway, FR and JC go walking together, talking about the landscapes, wildlife and countryside around Alcala la Real - in English. When he returned on Thursday, FR was full of where he'd just been and keen to take us all. So off we set.
|Darwin - newly clipped and ready for adventure - and yes, we did the first bit in the car...|
|Looking back at Alcala la Real - fantastic view|
|Family stringing out from the start...don't know where Mateo is and Romy was behind me.|
|Ah - Mateo was a long way ahead - you can just see him in the centre of the photo... lost Ruy though.|
|In amongst all the trees, there was a sheep-shearing fest going on - |
you can't see anything but you could certainly hear it!
|There are some amazing dry stone walls.|
Pause to quote:
I am a drystone waller
All day I drystone wall
Of all appalling callings
Drystone walling's worst of all.
I have quoted Wordsworth and other notables in the past but I'm afraid I cannot see or say 'drystone wall' without Pam Ayres' lines reverberating in my head. The children are sick of hearing it but I'm afraid they will not be able to resist saying it to themselves (and their own children?) in future years...parenting has such responsibilities!
|Amazing views across to the next village.|
|We'd come to see a cave - was this it?|
|No - there was more walking to be done. Now Romy's ahead of me.|
|Zoom in on an ancient watch tower, known as an atalaya.|
|Taking a break whilst FR tries to find his bearings...|
|Cooler under the olive trees|
|Flying across the sky is a pair of crows - apparently quite rare ones.|
You will have to take my word for it that their beaks are red.
|At last, we find the cave|
|Family-sized with interesting sleeping ledges....|
|Hidden from view by a big fig tree.|
As caves go, it was OK. Fortunately, FR had taken some pruning shears with him so that he could cut away the brambles as we followed him. Not quite as radical as a machete but effective enough.
We returned to Alcala and went up to La Mota to capture the view from the other side of the town.
And Darwin took time out to sit in the shade and chill.
We came home and ate chilled watermelon and have just finished off a pile of delicious little lamb chops, salad and patatas fritas.
And now, methinks a siesta is just what I need.