Hiking on the Guadarrama Trail

As promised yesterday, I actually left the house and went on a hike with Mama C and Goober!  YAY! I was a bad Mommy and ill prepared to shield us from the hot Spanish sun so we all have a touch of sunburn.  Whoops.  It was fun though.  OK so here's where we began our journey.  You can see the bridge between the roundabout and the little house with a red roof (which is a restaurant).  All the cylindrical buildings were a plant nursery.  We walked over the bridge and past the nursery where we crossed the street and then started up the dirt path.  The other little building is literally a Gypsy Keep.

Here's what it looked like from the road... and it was so ridiculously creepy, yet fascinating.  I don't know why there is always tons of junk in trees around gypsy places.  There was a gutted van in the backyard, a stroller jammed into a wall, shorts in the trees.  We both wanted to trespass, but the kids would have inevitably fallen on something rusty or gross and we'd have had to leave before ever getting started.

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Once we had walked a ways we also saw an old pool, which was equally fascinating (and dangerous). Anyway... so off we went.  The little green marker is the bridge we first crossed.  As you can see these trails go on forever.  Some are old cattle trails.  Some are old dried up creek beds.  They are all walkable and accessible.  And pretty stinkin' cool.  They are not, however, shaded.

We walked a good deal with the sun on our backs and it was SO HOT.  I forgot how hot the Spanish sun is in May (probably because it hasn't been out in about a month).  We really wanted to get to a decent area to have our picnic, but the boys were whining almost as soon as we started walking.  We distracted them as best we could by pointing out the cool scenery.  

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They trudged on until we crested a couple more hills.  We found a nice tree off the path next to a valley with a mountain view, and had our leisurely picnic in the shade.  By time we were done eating the sun had moved and we'd cooled off so it wasn't nearly as bad.  The boys were much happier and trekked a good while longer.  They were even running off the path to play in the tall grass.  We were reminded of "Gladiator" so I made sure to edit some to reflect it ;)

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Once we got to the top of a few more hills though they had had enough.  Mama C would give them all a piece of candy every once in a while to keep them motivated, but only if they were being strong and moving along like big boys.  I ended up carrying Brennan for part of the trip.  His 3yr old legs are strong, but they're not that strong... not yet at least.  They (by they I mean my kids) fought us the entire trip back to the van... and then they saw the Guadarrama river and the Retamar Bridge.  Suddenly they were full of energy.  Imagine that!

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They discovered the playground and burst into laughter as they played "slide bowling"... it's a boy game.  You go down the slide and slam into people.  Mama C and I planted on a bench in the shade and listened to the sounds of the river and wondered how anyone could not love the outdoors.  I wanted to jump into the river, but it would have been a terrible idea... and we weren't allowed to anyway.

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Once the boys were too hot and tired to withstand anymore slide bowling, we made our way home.  These huge pink bushes were in the parking lot.  Gorgeous!  We also caught sight of a few guys napping out in the park.  Siesta time (during lunch @ 2-4pm) is serious business in Spain.  People everywhere stop what they are doing and take a nap.  I've seen people napping on benches, at the feet of statues, in the shade of a street sign, in the grass under a tree in a median... wherever there is shade, Spaniards will nap.

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It was another fabulous outing and you can read all about it on Mama C's blog too :)

Josh has successfully obtained a sweet little casa for us in the USA and will be returning to us this weekend.  I'll let him share all that when he gets back.  Tomorrow I get to haul all our less junky junk up to the base to try and sell it.  I will also be marketing some of my photos.  It's going to be 86° outside and sunny.  I will have the kids with me the entire time.  Wish me luck!
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