This weekend I was able to see a bit of the Spanish country side. With my program, I went on a 5 hour hike through the hills of Huelva, a province of Andalusia. When I looked up the forecast for the day in Huelva, it told me to plan on a 60F partly cloudy day. To be fair, it is rare for any forecast to be accurate, but today the stakes were high. The day turned out to be fairly foggy and although I could tell the hike included some beautiful mountain side views, I could not quite see them. But it’s the thought that counts right?
I had a great time learning about the different vegetation that grows in that area, which apparently includes a lot of edible leaves. At one point we even encountered a small leaf that could be used to brush your teeth. Although very interesting, it caused a little confusion for my friend Alex. The next time our guide presented us with a leaf, Alex opened her mouth and bared her teeth only to be told the leaf was known for its smell, not its dental cleaning qualities. Precipitation from previous days left the land a little wet and slippery but all the more exhilarating. The hike quickly turned from a level 4 difficulty to a 7.
Another treat along the hike were the farm animals scattered amongst different properties in the area. Although the sheep and pigs attracted a certain amount of attention, it was the dogs who were most gawked at. Honestly, you would have thought no American had ever seen a dog in their life! It should be noted, however, that the dogs here tend to more closely resemble lions than dogs…huge!! I don’t know what they are feeding them, but it is not payaya.
When we rested for lunch, our internal temperatures dropped quickly. So what did we do? Aerobics in the middle of the plaza (“Americanas locas!!”). Have to admit, sometimes I am very much my mother’s child. As we continued our hike, everyone agreed the countryside resembled Ireland. Well, everyone except my friend that had actually visited Ireland, but she doesn’t count.
Overall the hike was a chilly success. It was a real treat to be able to get out of the city for a few hours and see Spain from an entirely new perspective. What’s next? I’m thinking kayaking.