Discover new places

The last weekend I was in Castello, a region that I didn’t visit, just the coast and by the highway. Very interesting place and a great discover for me.

Just enjoy the river from inside

Montanejos is a termal village. The temperature of the river is warmer than should be, it makes very comfortable to swim inside the river. I did more than 200 meters up to the river in the canyon.

During this weekend I also enjoy the largest green track of Spain. It was an old train from the port to the minery area, now a paradise to go with bike. Tunnels and trees around, remember the past of the track. The new track sometimes is very close and is posible to see the train.

The new from the old one
Tunnel with light and water inside

The landscape is nice with mountains and lot of trees.

The bridge cross a dry river, quite normal in this region of irregular rain

Mediterranean rivers are very dangerous, from nothing to a floats. The dry rivers are the most dangerous, because there aren’t trees to stop the water.

Olive oil, wine are the typical products of theses area, also good almond. Most dry cultive, even is water in the area, the temperatures are more extreme than in the coast. Orange, lemon prefer areas were freezing temperatures are inusual, not inland where every winter is below zero at nights.

Mediterranean landscape inland. Almond, olive and wine
Also jump in the river is posible

La Alcarria

Es un hermoso país que la gente no le da la gana ir. En 1946 así lo decía textualmente Camilo José Cela.

Personalmente es una zona que me atrae, me gustan los altiplanos, las zonas de transición y la Alcarria especialmente la zona que pasa la autovía es así. Camino entre Aragón y Castilla desde la antigüedad, cruzando la insignificante Sierra Ministra, pero que pese a su modesta prominencia sirve de divisoria de aguas. Porque la Alcarria, no es meseta, tampoco es sistema Central, ni ibérico. Es una zona que abarca diferentes provincias con sus pequeños altiplanos que les separan de los cursos fluviales del Henares o el Tajo.

Barrancos que muestran el relieve de la Alcarria en Alcalá.

Son unidades de relieve no tan claras como la meseta, con un sistema ibérico que muere en forma de panameras como la del señorio de Molina. Tierras frías, meseta elevada por encima de 1000 metros una buena extensión de terreno en una España vacía, pero que a día de hoy con las carreteras existentes no parece tan fiera. Su especialidad es el frío nocturno, la nieve es más abundante en cualquier sistema montañoso. Las heladas son abundantes, los datos pueden asustar un poco, pero las amplitudes térmicas son elevadas con humedades bajas.

Relieve de la Alcarria pegado al río en Henares en algún tramo, son prácticamente acantilados. Para contraste en la otra orilla hay la famosa vega del Henares donde se asientan multitud de poblaciones y se aprovechan sus fértiles tierras.

No soy geógrafo, así que la descripción quizás no es demasiado técnica, pero es una zona difícil de definir dónde están exactamente los límites, por ello me atrae, no esta claro dónde esta el final de la Alcarria.

Campos de cereales en los altiplanos Alcarrienses
Un relieve singular que permite multitud de senderos muy divertidos, en la zona de los cerros de Alcalá, sin fuentes y pocas sombras.
En el Barranco Del Río Dulce, el agua si es abundante y muy fría

Poco más puedo contar de mi pequeña escapada de dos noches, corta pero intensa.

Ayer fue en inglés, hoy en castellano, pero más o menos el relato de la escapada, en pequeños apuntes ha quedado en el blog para el recuerdo.

Es una zona que seguro que volveré, aún me queda recorrer más pueblos del Viaje a la Alcarria de Cela. De momento Torija ya lo visite, pero a la próxima toca Brihuega, Cifuentes, Trillo, Pastrana… La Alcarria me espera porqué a mi si me da la gana de visitarla. Se suma mi interés por las Panameras de Molina y la visita a Sigüenza, así que aún me queda bastante Guadalajara, con el encanto de recorrer la España vacía y la esperanza de volver a verla llena de vida ahora que la vida urbana nos muestra su lado negativo.

Very intense days

We stay 2 nights in Alcala de Henares, 600 kilometers from home, short but very intense days.

Some pictures to show better this monumental city. Is the city of Cervantes and the culture is very important. Center of the town is nice with a big square call Cervantes and Mayor street with lot of shops and restaurants. This strange year is quiet, but normally is a very crowded city for tourists, some of them come from Madrid.

Also the nature is important, the river Henares is a good place to walk. The mountains are in the other side of the river, the famous Alcarria, not very high mountains but interesting to see the views of all the region of Madrid.

Following the maps I did a very nice running route there, but there was a problem with a bridge that was in a private area where isn’t allowed walk. Finally I went to the next bridge, the result more than 28 kilometers running.

City, river and mountain, vey complete route but for me too long to do everyday. I like do some long routes sometimes.

Nice views from the top.

After this long route, just a shower and we went to the river.

Rio Dulce is a natural park where you can follow the river in the canyon. When you are in the highway isn’t posible to imagine this canyon, is a plateau at 1100-1200 above the sea, but when you take the road down and discover how the water eat the rocks during years.

Dry air make the air more clean, this area close to Madrid but full of nature
Very cold water, the coldest river of this year. Is posible to walk up the river and discover nice places.

We spent a nice day in the river. The next day we come back home at the afternoon, very short but nice to discover places.

Guadalajara is a regional that I like a lot, isn’t too crowded, the population isn’t dense, just the capital that is in the Madrid urban influence.

Summer is different, more dry than Centelles, run 28 kilometers now in Centelles loss more water your body and I feel more tired. The days that we spent the temperature were normal after lot of very warm days.


Pedraforca

Yesterday was a familiar day in a very special mountain. Pedraforca is a classic in Catalunya, one of the most popular. Despite isn’t the highest and is Prepyreness, the technical climbing and the image makes it very special, also crowded normally.

Now people of Barcelona can’t go there, is still a quiet place. We walk part of a route that is a 360° of the mountain.

This is the best view of the power of this amazing mountain.
2507 meters above the sea, but isn’t the highest mountain in Barcelona.

All around is forest and mountains, but never forget the past than this region the minerals are the main work of this region. The forest are very good, because they work down, also some open miners that still you can see. All trains are now just for tourist, green tracks to enjoy this amazing area.

The north face with and easy track, not in winter with ice.
Rivers cross the track, also some rocks can fail, specially in winter with snow and ice.

The storms are near, but we were lucky, we leave the area with fog. During the way coming home, rain was very heavy.

The picture in a peak with good view and lot of trees.

Great day in a place that always can discover places. Lot of paths to walk, some are very technical, but also you can do it easier. There are lot of possibilities in this area.

Normally the road have trafic jams, all the secundary valleys, have roads to the main one of the Llobregat river.

The views of the parking of the sightview where start the walking. Also there is a refuge of mountain.

South Meseta

Big natural region where are important cities like the capital Madrid.

South Meseta is lower than the North Meseta. Also is drier and warmer, winter could be cold specially at nights. For me the most interesting natural thing is a big aquifer that we call the 23. Is very big but with too much use, lot of years with problems like subterranean fire for a natural process.

Lagunas de Ruidera are 16 lakes in the middle of a semidesertic area with less than 400 liters every year.
This is the green Mancha
The natural park of Daimiel is amazing area in the middle of cereal area.

Another important thing of the region are big number of castles and the windmills. Don Quijote the most important Spanish novel is in this area, he fight against the wind mills.

There are lot of places to visit following the famous novel, based in Argamasilla de Alba. There are a cave to visit and lot of windmills is a cultural visit to understand this landscape.

Consuegra is one of the best examples. Also Campo de Criptana with very colorful house and famous windmills.
Campo de Criptana
The last lake of Ruidera

Madrid and Toledo are the main cities to visit in this region if you like the history and need to see urban architecture.

Toledo is a very nice city to visit. If you prefer walk quiet and see from outside, the Tajo river has a natural way with nice views of the city.
Here is the 0 point, the main radial roads, just 6 start here in Sol.
Plaza Mayor, nice to visit at Christmas time with the traditional market. Big city, museums, theatre, shopping and big parks.
Cristal Palace in the Retiro Park of Madrid.

The Meseta is flat with some hills but you only see mountains when you arrive to the end or you go down into a river that can form a Canyon like the Jucar River.

Nice village with caves is Alcala de Jucar. The way is very nice, you start to go down in a totally flat area, when you are down looks like mountains is just a Canyon.

The wines are also important is this region where isn’t easy to find a shadow in the warm summer. Trees aren’t in this area, only in the mountains and areas near the rivers.

Quiet region with nice natural places to discover

My favorite place in the region is following the Guadiana river, even now isn’t totally clear where is born. Lagunas de Ruidera are the place that appears in most of the books. Sometimes is a subterranean river in the famous 23 aquifer. There the eyes of Guadiana where originally appears the Guadiana again. The irregular rain, and specially the massive use of water for the agriculture is a danger for this amazing natural water aquifer.

Enjoy this region with good roads in a flat area where the trips are easy.

Tarragona

Today the province of Tarragona. The last day I talk about Ebro River forms a big Delta, maybe one the most interesting visit of Tarragona.

This picture from my best friend.
Vidajeros.es

Delta is very windy area. Summer is warm and with the humidity feel warmer. Rice is the big product of the Delta. Now also they produce lot of sea fruits.

They produce in the sea, like farms
Totally flat area, the sea is going to make this area that enter 30 kilometers from the coast.





The capital is one of the most important cities in the peninsula, the old Roman city of Tarraco. Lot of historic things to visit, and also beach and important port.

Tarragona is very industrial area for the oil, is the only area of Spain with oil. There refineries. Also there are 2 Nuclear plants, Vandellos in the Coast and Asco in the Ebro river.

Summer is full of tourist
Also the are rocks in some beaches
Hospitalet de l’Infant the most windy area
The mountains close to the coast produce electricity

The highest mountains are in the ports, lot of rocks some trees that are the southern point that they live. The rainfall is bigger than all the areas arround.

The Estrets rivers in the north entrance to the natural Park
The rocks are huge
Very good area, quiet with lot of animals
Nice village, good wine big contrast with the coast.





There are more mountains in Tarragona. Montsant paradise to climb, Prades the red village with amazing forest. Just and example of the variety of this region.

Strong winds from the sea form clouds in the Prelitoral mountains
Places quiet to think about
Escalada Dei runes very interesting to discover the life in this important religious center
Church inside the stone
Clear sky in windy day in the Priorat with the best wines. Slow visit, lot of curvy roads. Rally uses this roads.
Siurana one of the most popular visit in Cornudella de Montsant
Lot of people come just to take this pictures of Siurana
Prades the red village for the buildings. The forest are important in Prades.

Stil in Tarragona we find a very nice village with walls Montblanc in the Conca de Barbera.

Medieval village, very interesting for the architecture

Just a small presentation of a region with more interesting places than you expect.

The Ribera is interesting to find historic places from the battle of Ebro in the civil war.

Miravet and the castle, with still a boat to cross the river. In this point is a very big river.

There is important the traditional Calçots, specially in Valls the capital of the Alt Camp.

Very complete region, the biggest river, important factories, beach, Delta, mountains, the country produce lot of Mediterranean products.

The valley of Ebro river

Today I talk about this natural region

The river Ebro is the most important Mediterranean river in the Peninsula. Is the longest totally in Spain.
I talk of the medium and the end of the river.

Ebro start in Cantabria and cross part of Burgos, but I will talk about this area another day. Today I talk about La Rioja, Navarra, Aragón and Catalunya.

The Valley is very windy in winter. Also fog is very important in winter, in some areas could be some weeks without sun.
The region isn’t very rainy, with some desert, not totally natural, because was the extensive use of the furniture and the sheep that help to disappear the trees. Climate isn’t desert, sometimes have heavy thunderstorms. Irregular rainfall like in most of Mediterranean region.

The Biggest cities of this region are Logroño, Zaragoza, Lleida.

Southeast of Spain is the real desert of Europe.
Calm river in Logroño.
Zaragoza in a windy day

The weather is hard in this region, winter with fog or wind, despite some ocasional showers. The feeling of cold, humid or to dry with the wind.

Spring big contrast in day and night temperatures. Thunderstorms are normal at this time of the year, the most rainy time.

Summer is warm, sometimes 40°. Nights aren’t very cold in big cities, a little bit better than Mediterranean cities but still warm nights.

Autumn in the east is posible have the Mediterranean famous situation of heavy rain in October. November start the fog days, first some hours, but In December could be even weeks.

Monegros landscape
Typical winter day in the big park of Mitjana in Lleida
Bardenas Reales in the south of Navarra
Rioja with lot of winery’s.
The water of the river and all the rivers of the Pyrenees make this region rich in agriculture
Big flat areas

I will continue until the end of the river and the amazing Delta another day.

The river has lot of big lakes to control, but sometimes in Spring with heavy rains the floods are important in this region.

In the lakes are the material that need the Delta to survive. Delta is like we now for they cut the trees for furniture to make ships to fight again England. It make that part of the floor went to the river and form one of the most important Delta in Mediterranean. Lot of species of birds, the rice are in serious danger. The last famous Gloria bring lot of problems to the region.

The Iberian mountain

The Iberian mountains, the river Ebro and the Mediterranean coast make the border.

This mountains separate the meseta from the valley of Ebro river and also the coast.

Despite the south part is near to the coast the climate is very different. In this area we find the triangle of the cold. Is the coldest area of Spain, but only at night. Also we find the area near the Mediterranean is the most stormy area of Peninsula.

The view from the last peak in Burgos. Interesting area is easy find fossilized animals in the rocks.
Sad Hill, appears in spaghetti western films where Clint Eastwood was the star.
The rivers form canyons in this area
All this natural region the population is very low, even in some areas the density is the lowest in Europe.

The main cities of this big natural region are Soria, Cuenca and Teruel.

There are some rest of the last glacial time.
Laguna Negra, and Neila are the example.

This mountains have some areas that are like big mesetas with big areas above 1000 meters. The example is the way from Madrid to Barcelona, crossing the area of Alcarria.

The geography is complicate in this mountains. Important rivers born here, as Tajo, Duero Atlantic side, but also mediterranean like the Jucar river.

Good trekking routes, good nature and very quiet area.
Alto Tajo is amazing
Perfect place in summer
The landscape of this mountains
Albarracin is a good place to discover. Nice architecture.

Teruel and Castellón are the last province of this mountains.
Storms are usual in summer, also here the density of population is lower but bigger than in Alto Tajo. The roads improved the last years with a highway of Zaragoza, other to Valencia. This helps to have more visitors in this area.
They have good jam, because is very dry area perfect to cure the jam. There aren’t black pork, but the quality is good.
Castellón area despite is close to the coast is quiet, the most popular place is Morella.

Another day I will talk more, because part of Iberian mountains touch with Catalunya in area call Matarranya where are good places to swim in summer.

Extremadura

My parents are from Extremadura, is very special for me.

Is a region inland very interesting and with big empty places where the landscape of Dehesa. Lot of years the human use this natural landscape, bulls and pigs live there.

The best jams are from this landscape.
Dehesa from the Natural park of Monfrague, perfect place to do bird watching.
Big rivers in Extremadura, Tajo in Caceres and Guadiana in Badajoz

Extremadura is more green than the south meseta, the Atlantic influence arrive to the west and highest mountains of the north above 2000 meters, make than la Vera is very rainy region.

The north of Extremadura is full of rivers. There are lot of swimming pools, perfect for summer time.
Garganta de los Infiernos in the Jerte Valley
Perfect place to swim
There are lot to choose in summer, cold water. Some of the have lot of equipment and shadow to spend a perfect day in the warmest days.

Summer is dry and warm, at night in mountain areas gets colder because is a continental region and the low humidity helps.

The warmest places are in Vegas del Guadiana the lower places of the region.

Talavera la Real the village of my father. The airport is there, was militar but now also passengers flights.
Coria the village of my mother. There is a roman bridge without river. There was a big earthquake in Lisboa than destroy the city, also change the Alagon River.
Caceres at night

There are lot of interesting cities to visit. Merida the capital, Trujillo, Hervás, Guadalupe, Badajoz are some of them.

Alcantara and the roman bridge
Las Hurdes in the North, very popular for a film in the 30’s was the most poor region in Spain.
Hurdes black villages architecture
Jerte cherry on flower. Cherry of Jerte are the best in Europe

Very complete region with lot of kilometers of coast in the big lakes. Low density, good food, kind people. Is still a paradise, you feel the nature, listen the birds.

Car is the best way to visit this region, now the roads are very good an without traffic.
My favorite road is the National that goes from Caceres to Badajoz without passing Merida. The landscape of Dehesa is spectacular. If you have time and you can enter in San Pedro Mountain, go to Aliseda. Places to see animals.

Enjoy this amazing region for me one of the most natural and not too touristic.