Sunday, 24 April 2011


Happy Easter - blog followers!

Christ is risen!  He is risen indeed!

.... and the blog is now up-to-date!

Roll on the last 12 Munros!

Target date for "compleating" is first weekend of July.  Watch this space ....

Friday, 8 April 2011

Spanish interlude

Friday 8th April 2011  Monte Abantos

And so to the start of the 2011 season....

Often, we get away to the hills at Easter, but this year we had planned a visit to Madrid to see Cat and Teun.  While we were there, they took us out for a day's walking in the Sierra de Guadarrama, about an hour's drive northwest of Madrid.

Although the highest point was 1753m (5751ft), so well into "Munro" zone, we were able to get up to 1500m by car - up a steep winding road through the forest to Puerto de Malagon.

hot car at Puerto de Malagon

Our route took us by rough paths across moorland to a large reservoir, then up a forest road to Casa de la Cueva - where we lunched under the welcome shade of some large trees - then had fun climbing some giant granite boulders.

on the boulders at Casa de la Cueva
A short walk from there, up a road at first, then a woodland path, brought us out to the escarpment, which we would follow back to our starting place.  A good place to sit for a while, admiring the scenery.

Cat on the granite tors at the escarpment
From here, we followed a good path through the woods, with several ups and downs, to San Juan (1734m)

Anne and Cat on the path along the escarpment

looking down on Valle de los Caidos from summit of San Juan (1734m)
summit of Abantos
We followed the path beyond San Juan, over two more ups and downs, to reach the day's highest point - Monte Abantos (1753m) - its top marked by a cross (and some sort of microwave aeriel).   

Here, for the first time, the view really opened up over El Escorial and the plains of central Spain - but too hazy to see as far as Madrid itself.

After admiring the view for a while, we returned to the car by way of a good path / track.

Although all our route had been on easy paths, it looked like there was plenty of scope for more adventurous climbing on some of the ridges we had seen.

Maybe next time ....

view down to El Escorial from the path back to the car
posted by D. Bethune  08/05/11