"Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to let you in."

-- Robert Frost

Thursday, July 21, 2016

el caminito del rey

I mentioned before that each child was responsible for a country and most of our adventures there.

Celia's country was Spain.  The last five years leading into those AP Spanish classes, paid off as we shrugged and pointed at her to speak for us everywhere we went.

Top of her wish list was Caminito del Rey, the world's most dangerous hike.

We had visions of using our mountaineering skills, clipping in on lead lines, and making our way across hanging terrain. The website boasted a five hour hike and recommend of a guide along with a plethora of rules. YouTube videos played out all the adrenaline allure we were seeking.

We arrived to find that the once "most dangerous hike in all the world" had been remodeled to fit tourism needs and I think only she and I were a little bit heart broken over the loss of such a thrill junkie's treasure.

We made the best of what could possibly now be called one of the most beautiful hikes in all the world. 

Better yet, more of us could and would hike together. 

And better still, Janie had volunteered to stay with little people as we snagged another day with Abraham.

We ducked through this tunnel to get to the hiking start. I couldn't help myself. I just had to grace everyone with a story about that time my brothers left me at the end of a cave in the dark with blind crickets.

The safety helmets came with these really pretty hairnets.

Once we were decked out, we were ready to begin.

The view around every corner was stunning.

The new walk has been built over the top of the old one. Those semi sturdy guardrails give the illusion of feeling safe and secure.

The original path is a sight to behold.

That girl of mine way up in the right hand corner is giving me a token frown-y face because that path in it's glory must have been awesome.

She said I probably would have fallen of the cliff anyway as I stopped to marvel over the wonder of every tree growing out of the granite facing.

I mean, look at that thing!!

The birds circling over head must have just been in the habit of waiting to pick the bones of those who lost their balance ;)

Since my beginnings of little people, I've always held to my love of fat fists presenting dandelion bouquets. Weeds to some, there's no happier, resilient, or prouder presented flower which is what makes them my favorite.

So ... here's the most resilient dandelion of all time.

I should have shown that this fossil in the rock wall was about three hands widths across. Pretty darn neat.

Tension bridge on which we could feel the swing of all the tension.

And on our way out, you can see the end of that trail clinging to the rock.

As we were leaving, this house in the rock crevasse was pretty cool.

We headed back to our car for a picnic lunch and looked below to see this gorgeous lake with clear turquoise water.

We thought we'd head to the edge for a swim but when we got there, we found some pretty sweet cliffs.

And where there are cliffs, we must jump.

These fish down below were have the best time until we arrived.

Strangely, they only scattered a little bit and mostly hung around to see the show.

Which was a bit disconcerting to some to jump into. Especially with those big ones ... which were big.

Some needed a little time to warm up.

And some needed a push from mom.

We were pretty thrilled to have Abraham along with us. He made everything more exciting.

I got goaded into going.

So, I put my money where my mouth is. I'm the picture taker so you get no pictures of my actual jump but that's okay because I'm pretty sure it wasn't picturesque.

We had to re acclimate to the height every single time. I don't know why there's no camera in the world that can do justice to the height of things. 

When we were plenty exhausted, we dried off to head for home. I caught a glimpse of the valley and it took away my breath.

Driving two cars, we got separated on our journey back and were directed by our nav system via different routes.

Together with the girls, I drove through the countryside with the windows down and the hot wind blowing our wet hair to dry.

With the radio running and the sun beginning to slant over the countryside, a little bit of Spanish magic just started to settle over all of us.

And we were feeling pretty serenely satisfied.

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