Sunday, January 15, 2012

Bushwacking Down a Mountain - Jimena de la Frontera

Have you ever tried it? It's really fun, I'd recommend it. Only make sure you wear sneakers, not 1-size too big leather boots. But I guess that just adds to the experience, right?

This winter in Algeciras has been extremely unusual. January is supposed to be the coldest month, averaging low 50's and raining all the time, but instead it's been sunny and mid 60's for the last month. NOT that I'm complaining, but I feel like I need to take advantage of weather like that!

So yesterday a couple friends and I packed some lunches and headed out to Jimena de la Frontera, a small pueblo blanco close by Algeciras.

"Jimena de la Frontera: A Paradise mixed with history and nature"

The town was GORGEOUS, and we finally felt like we were in Spain again. Because living in Algeciras in no way feels like living in Spain. (Or at least the romanticized, idealized, view of living in Spain.) The only thing it's got going for it is that everybody there speaks Spanish.

Love me some decorated windows :)

Anyway, a day in Jimena was just what we needed. The train station is at the base of a hill, and the prettiest part of the city sprawls across the side of a small mountain. At the top of the mountain is the ruins of a castle. By the time we made it to the castle we were tired, sweaty and feeling disgusting. So the breeze that whipped across the top was the most fantastic feeling ever!

Entrance to the castle ruins

View of Jimena from the top

Behind the castle we noticed a collection of rocks that looked like a fun place to have a picnic. Here's where bushwacking part 1 comes in. There was a trail, kind of. Larken dashed across the rocks like nobody's business, leaving Christine and I to stumble behind her, attempting to stay balanced while lugging giant purses. But we made it, and wound up having a glorious lunch basking in the sunlight.
Food, gorgeous scenery, and warm sun. Perfect.

While eating, we noticed the river down below, sparkling and inviting. We decided that a trip down the backside of the mountain in pursuit of this river was a good idea. About 10 minutes in we decided that this probably hadn't been the best decision, but by then it was too late to turn back.
This is when the part about wearing boots and lugging a giant purse starts to cause a problem, and bushwacking part 2 is in full swing. Because by this point, there really wasn't any path we were following. Just kinda hit or miss, trying to avoid the prickly bushes, loudly complaining when we didn't avoid them, passing off bags to Larken who had no problem carrying 3 purses while Christine and I couldn't even handle one, and realizing that if we missed a step..well...just don't think about that.

See a trail? ....Neither did we.

Sliding down the mountain on our butts.

But we made it, no injuries.
And then we befriended a dog and found a 300 year old canal by the river. And found a guy playing guitar by himself on a sand bar.

300 year old canal that was built to move weapons and artillery materials down the river.

What a life :)

By the time we made it back to the train station, our legs felt like jello and we were ready for a nap. It was a good day!


  1. Such a wonderful day! Can't wait to do it again soon...this time with some proper shoes on :)

    1. I have been to that river behind the castle, they used to make cannon balls there to defend the castle. it is a fantastic nature trail that is off the tourist maps.