Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Manzanares el Real

After a perfectly lazy, pizza-on-the-couch, early-by-Spanish-standards Friday night, Luke and I woke up last Saturday morning feeling refreshed and ready to take advantage of the beautiful Spring day.  After some quick internet research, we grabbed Starbucks to go (decaf. for me) and jumped on a bus headed West to Manzanares el Real.

The bus ride alone was worth the trip. Not that it was the most beautiful scenery, but it is so refreshing to get out of the concrete jungle every once in a while. We relished in the views of green grass, tall trees and even snow-capped mountains.  Before long, though, we reached our destination, made a quick stop at the tourist info. booth and headed off to start a hike.


There was a beautiful, roaring (literally audible roaring) river that we got to walk along before starting our hike.  And then we climbed up, up, up for an hour or so.  It was pretty rocky terrain that required some big, tall steps and maneuvering over rocks.  We decided that we I probably couldn’t make it to the very tip-top, so after reaching what would be our summit, we headed back down.




The way down was definitely faster but much more slippery. I started worrying about breaking an ankle or something and not being able to have any pain meds, etc. Then sure enough, about half way down, my ankle twisted and fell between two rocks. When I first fell and hollered out to Luke, I was afraid that I wasn’t going to be able to put weight on it because it hurt pretty badly.  Once I got up, though, and the shock of falling subsided, it was okay. I made it down on my own and in one piece, and though it was tight for the rest of the day, it’s just fine now.  (However, we’ll probably be sticking to hikes with smoother terrain until Baby M joins us.)



With tired legs and sun-kissed shoulders, we enjoyed a nice long lunch at Casa Julian before heading down to the river for a while.  Luke explored (and even fully dunked himself in the frigid water) while I found the sunniest spot possible and read for a bit. After the river, we had a drink at a little riverside cafĂ© before bar hopping on our way back to the bus stop. (Water for me, please.)



We’ve talked about getting out of the city to do some hiking so many times, and I’m so glad we finally did it. It was the breath of fresh Spring air that we both had been wanting so badly.

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