Sunday, October 25, 2009

Hiking a stroll through the countryside

"Hiking? Here in Sevilla? But I don't see any mountains or deciduous trees? Where have my geography teachers failed me?"

My usual response when I was told I could go on a hiking trip with my university. Of course, we had to drive 2 hours outside the city.

After a long week of midterms and papers, the long awaited "senderismo" trip came this past Saturday. Carrying a backpack loaded with my camera, a bocadillo, and a sufficient supply of agua, I met my friends to join a group of university students and professors on a hiking trip in Grazalema, Espana. After an hour of winding through the narrow mountain roads, I realized I had underestimated the various types of terrain Andalucia offers.

After only a few minutes, I seriously felt like I was in Ireland (of course only comparing it to the movies I had seen.) The hills of green grass. The rocks. The random cattle. It was a pleasure!

What seemed to be a 10 km stroll with slight incline and decline became a hike unlike one I have ever done before. In Grazalema, the air was crisp and the rolling hills were open and clear, yet in the mountains of North Carolina through Wilson's Creek it is a luxury to have the chance to see an incredible view further than a few hundred feet as the towering trees often limit this. I cannot say that I would rather have the former, but it was wonderful to be able to see this amazing view, meet great people, and eat a bocadillo in the grassy patches of Andulucia's countryside.

Boone friends...please save up some hiking energy for me! It will be a necessary adventure when I return. (and of course my hammock is at home waiting for me as well.)

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