Saturday, October 13, 2012

Hiking!




Today I went hiking with my friend Julie (a fellow Fulbrighter who is studying frogs in Doña Ana National Park, just outside Sevilla, check out her blog here: http://sevilla2013.wordpress.com/ ) and some of her friends from the lab she works at.  We went to the Sierra de Aracena, which is a natural park in the region called Huelva, which is just west of Sevilla.  Here's a website with lots of info about it: http://sierradearacena.com/

Here you can see all the different regions of Andalucía.

It was amazing to go hiking with a bunch of biologists—they were able to identify every plant species and the few animals we saw too.  It gave me a different appreciation of nature and hiking—usually I’m there for the grand views, but I never realized how much beauty there is in distinguishing between all the flora and fauna.  



For example, this is a cork tree that they make wine bottle corks from.
You can see where they've taken the bark off; they will let it grow back,
and then they will again take the bark.  
The beginning of the trail.  Already at
this point I'd been shown different
kinds of berries and some chestnut trees.






















We woke up bright and early and took a bus an hour’s ride to a town called Los Marines.  From there we hiked to another small pueblo called Linares, where we ate lunch in their mini Plaza de Toros, and then we hiked up-hill to Aracena.  


Some olive trees.

I thought this door was cool, it was just on the edge of Linares.


This is one of the main plazas in Linares.  Every way you looked there was a beautiful
view of whitewashed buildings and the hills in the background.  


All of the porches in Linares had a stone design in front.
The town's streets slope, except in front of the doors where they are level
so that people can sit in front and enjoy the cool air at night in the summer,
and as long as they had to level off the area, they put these beautiful stones in.   


This is one of the main plazas in Aracena.



We finished off our day at Rufino, a well known bakery that has been around since 1875.
The place was packed, and we nearly missed the bus (we actually had to sprint to it!) because we were waiting in line to get some sweets.  But they were delicious and well worth a sprint!  :D


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