Friday, September 01, 2006

If You Can't Stand The Heat

Summer is over, not officially of course, but really the 1st September in Spain marks the end of the holiday season. It’s as hot now in Madrid as it was in the middle of July, and it hasn’t rained in weeks, so there is no feeling that the season is about to change. The best thing to do in these circumstances is to get out of the city during the hottest part of the day; last weekend I did a walking route that is just perfect for this weather and I pass it on as a recommendation for anyone in a position to do it.

We spent Friday night in the small village of La Granja, near Segovia, so we could set out first thing on Saturday morning heading towards the Puerto de Navacerrada. The route follows the river Eresma through pine forests passing the village of Valsain and the popular picnic spot called the Boca del Asno. Most of this route is very gentle walking as the path ascends very slowly until you reach the slopes of the Sierra de Guadarrama. Even the last part is not too testing for the reasonably fit, although overall there is an ascent of about 700 metres over a distance of 17 kilometres. From the puerto it is possible to get back to Madrid either by bus or in train via Cercedilla. The key thing about this route is that almost all of it is walked in the shade of the woods, so even on a hot day you never suffer the full effects of the sun.

Some photos can be found here:

I have this route in GPS and Google Earth formats – available on demand.

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