Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Snow, Sun and Fun! Ciao winter!

The afternoon sun through a snowy pine-forrest

Dear Citizens of the World!

The winter is comming to an end! Yippeeeeeee!

Recently we (six fearless mountaineers from the AtuBola Group) were able to go for a hike in the mountains of Madrid. We started in Miraflores de la Sierra and went 500 meters up to Morcuera mountain pass (gps route in wikiloc).

It was a cold day, but we had lots of sun. The Sierra is beautiful with snow and we had lots of fun trying to hike up and down some of the sections with snow that came up to our thighs.

I leave you with a few pics and comments from our trip:

Still cold, but...

Spring starts to rear it's head amongst the vestiges of last year.

A mountain goat moving slowly through the snow near the mountain pass...

Shadows of dead weeds...

The ice-cicles mix with the roots...

Pillows of snow covering the bolders...

You are welcome to the villages public slaughtering...and feast!
Both the pig and chef seem happy in this add ;-)

The United Statesian

The route:

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Inspiration from TED

Dear Citizens of the World!

Inspiration comes in many forms and shapes. Usually you don't expect it... and when you need inspiration, it never seems to come.

Now that has changed. The Internet has many tools that help to light fires in people all around the world.

The inspirational tool that seems to work every time is TED.

TED is a nonprofit that spread ideas related to Technology, Education and Design.

There are tons of short - two to 20 minute long - videos on a variety of topics. They are all interesting. The big problems seems to be that I spend too much time watching them!

If you are ready to be inspired... I dare you to watch!

The United Statesian

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Almond Blooms and Ships in the air

Almond tree blooms in Desierto de las Palmas, Castellon, Spain

Dear Citizens of the World,

Recently, I have neglected one of my favourite hobbies . For some reason, having Galloping Spanish Blightus (pneumonia) reduced my hikes in the mountains to.... zero. Not good for my health - especialy my mental health.

Getting a GPS gave me an extra reason to restart my weekend sorties in the mountains of Spain. Now it is possible for me to download tracks from Wikiloc.com and do just about any hike imaginable - as long as my legs will take me. It is quick and easy. Then you can upload your routes, comments and pictures for all to see and use. Here you can find my most recent sortie in Castellon Spain in the Desierto de las Palmas Natural Park.

We did 12km and 600m of climbing in this fun hike. The pinkish red rocks, steep terrain, monestaries, hermitages, ruins, views of the coast and mountains were even better with the almond tree blooms. The white and pink flowers don't last long on the trees and they are always a treat.

The province of Valencia in Spain is well know for their citrus fruits. These fields also had fantastic oranges... many going to waste. The sweet smell filled the air. You could taste them just by walking near the orange grove.

One of many types of cactus plants along the trail...

Other parts of the trail go through a narrow canyon with a few less-inviting plants.

The Bartolo Peak rises 700 meters above the coast, quite steeply. The view from above causes an optical illusion. The sea seems to rise as a wall to the thick gray clouds above that hide the horizon. A patch of light illuminates the ship, making it look like it is navigating towards the clouds, not the sea.

I have embedded a link to the route we did below:

I hope to see you on the trail soon!

The United Statesian