Saturday, October 22, 2011

And then suddenly...hiking

They tell me it's fall here in Teruel but I'm highly suspect. It's true there are a few trees shedding their yellowing leaves, yet that is the only resemblance to any fall I've ever seen. It should not be possible for me to be hiking through the countryside in a t-shirt, sweating profusely and getting dehydrated, in what is supposed to be fall. Fall means I should be wearing a light jacket and enjoying the cool breeze, perhaps even getting rained upon. I don't mean to complain about the weather here, but they should call it what it is - summer.

I had planned on going to the park today. I accidentally hiked nine miles instead. David (my roommate) told me about a nice park about a thirty minute walk from our apartment. It sounded easy enough to find. He told me to head in a certain direction and look for a dirt road to follow. I found a gravel one that seemed to match his description roughly, so I followed it. I met a few cyclists along the road, so I figured I was heading in the right direction. People with bikes like to ride in the park, right? It was a mile or two later when I realized that I was most certainly not heading to the park. I was passing through the countryside looking at some beautiful scenery though, so I decided to keep going. I found several farms and even saw a tractor stirring up dirt in a field near the road.

Teruel has some gorgeous countryside. I was constantly stopping to take pictures of the scenery. I had no idea where I was going but I wanted to document it well. And that I did.

After hiking up quite a few steep hills and through rows of trees, I found a giant clearing where there were several farms and hunting zones. I wasn't aware of the hunting zone part until I looked up what the sign said later. I might not have trespassed onto this farmland to get a picture of the ruined building had I known that...

Don't worry though, most Spaniards don't have guns. I escaped unscathed and snagged a few pictures of the building. I couldn't tell what it might have been. I might ask David later to see if he knows.

Once I had advanced well into dehydration, I spotted a city in the distance, less than a mile or so off. I decided to head that way since I knew I was at the point of no return in regards to Teruel. I crossed a bridge that went over a highway and headed up into town. It was incredibly small and quiet, aside from the annoying rooster that someone must have been kicking in their backyard. I followed the sound of laughter to a small bar in the middle of town and went in for some water and food. I had to settle for chips because they were only serving those and green olives. I despise olives. It's a shame really, the Spaniards are absolutely nuts for them. I had a bit of trouble getting the young, mohawk-sporting bartender to understand "agua". I'm not sure if my accent is that bad or he just couldn't understand the difference between agua and cerveza. 

After a rest in the little town I bought another water and headed back towards Teruel. I managed to take a self portrait using my backpack as a tripod and the 10 second delay on my camera. It's a bit lopsided, but not too bad.

I made it back the same way I came. I looked up my path on Google Maps once I made it to the apartment. It turns out I had traveled around nine miles if I include my detour onto the random farm. Perhaps tomorrow I can have another go at getting to the park. That is if I'm not too sunburned from my stroll through the countryside in the "fall". 

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