L a Sierra de Gata Ahogada
I've just spent half an hour catching up on the flooding, building damage and erosion suffered in the west of Spain due to today's torrential downpours.
Funny how the news neglected to mention the 40 some-odd fools who swam their way down the secondary roads from Rebollar to Robledillo in the Sierra de Gata, southwest of Salamanca. 14 kilometres, according to the very generous citizens of Robledillo, who found themselves inundated by half-drowned hikers by late afternoon. A hike through the Sierra de Gata organized by Salamanca's Ecologistas en Acción quickly turned into a mad dash along the carretera in a desperate attempt to find our bus and driver when the harmless rain we'd decided to risk turned into a merciless deluge.
In the photo above, I've done my best to capture two señoras of Robledillo de Gata stomping home from a highly successful chestnut hunt. When I oohed and ahhed at their overflowing buckets, they invited me to a handful. I had to turn then down for lack of an oven, though I did ask for a photo. In keeping with the day's luck, the dog walked away, one of the señoras was distracted and my camera battery died immediately after snapping this first photo. Still, don't these two know how to spend a rainy Sunday afternoon?
Among the day's highlights:
The pre-hike stop for coffee and churros in Ciudad Rodrigo. This stop convinced me once and for all that the Spanish know how to live confortably. Who among us could possibly have had time for coffee before catching an 830 bus? And who could be expected to hike without it?
The startling ferocity of the rain, which most of the day left us nothing to do but laugh.
The ten minutes we spent honking the bus horn waiting for someone to notice his parked car was blocking the hallway-width main street through his pueblo.
And the true highlight: the sound of our own Nomadita, repeating the words "Spongebob Squarepants" as she endeavored to perfectly reproduce my English pronunciation. Note to self: learn not to make cultural references which may mean new English vocabulary for Nomadita, at least until she passes her English exam. By end of the day, she had added a rousing chorus of "My big fat Greek wedding" to every recitation of Spongebob, thanks to her English teacher, who screened the movie in class last week.
And so I traversed the Sierra de Gata...serenaded by the wind through the pines, the roar of cascading water and "Spongebob Squarepants....My big fat Greek wedding....Spongebob Squarepants... My big fat Greek wedding."
All in all, now that I am home, warm and dry, I have to toast a fabulous, if wet, day with spectacular company.
And lovely Robledillo de Gata looks well worth a return visit.
Labels: wanders and travels