Monday, May 30, 2011

Hiking in the Sierra de Guaderrama: around Cercedilla

We arrive in Cercedilla on the train from Madrid at around 11:30 and immediately set off to climb up to the Pena el Aguila.

The route takes us up out of town and then along a nice forested dirt road gently up the mountain. According to our book, we should find a side path that takes us up more steeply after a gate. This doesn't show itself for what seems like much too long so we take the next path up that we see. This ascends through the woods until it hits another forest road, but we opt to continue along something that might be a path that continues directly upwards. After not too long, it becomes clear that this is not a path, but it's not like you can get badly lost while walking up to a ridge, so we just go cross country. Eventually we cross a real path and continue along that. After a bit, the weather craps out on us and the rain starts. Crap! Luckily this is a short lived phenomenon and it stops after a few minutes. Then some really scary sounding thunder starts above us. This makes us think for a bit and we take a break to have a sandwich and rethink the trip to the ridge in the thunderstorm. Fortunately, during our break, the thunder moves off and the sky above clears up.
Onward we go... Up to the saddle (Collado de Cerromalejo), the ridge, and the GR10. From here it's follow the ridge (with its nice dry stone fence dividing Madrid and Segovia) up up until we reach the peak. Up top we have another short break and enjoy the view before continuing along the ridge down to a saddle (Collado de Marichiva) and the path back towards Cercedilla.

The route down is uneventful, nice paths, nice walking, and we get to our hotel 10 minutes before the sky completely cracks open and dumps some serious rain... Now that is good timing!

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