In Aguilar: Day 3 - The Seven Year Itch - CycleBlaze

May 15, 2024

In Aguilar: Day 3

What a great place Aguilar has turned out for us.  It’s definitely on the candidate short-list for a return some day.  We’re both on foot today, feeling lucky that we’ve been given another dry morning.  The rain and lightning will come later, but only after we’ve gotten our walks in and enjoyed lunch comparing photos and debating which of us had enjoyed the better experience.  A tough call, as they were both exceptional.

We’ll start with Rachael’s walk up to the castle and the heights above it.  No wolf sightings today but the castle and views down on the town were wonderful; and as added excitement, she discovered the selfie setting on her phone!  And when she was done she dropped back to town, crossed the river, and climbed up on the hill to the south to get a look back at the castle from that angle.

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Seeing Rachael’s photos while waiting for the first servings to arrive, I was sorry I never made it up to the castle myself.  It’s really not far out of town or very high up, so I toyed with the idea of walking up there later in the afternoon - and I might have done if only stiffness, showers and sloth hadn’t gotten in the way.

Before we left the room this morning Rachael looked out our window and commented on the interesting rock formation just to the south - something I hadn’t noticed at all.  It looked worth a closer look so I decided to walk that direction.  I really didn’t have any idea how far I’d go but assumed I’d just walk along the river for a couple of miles and turn back.

It didn’t turn out that way though - walking conditions were excellent for the kind of walk that works best for me (as in, flat); there was plenty of interest to keep drawing me in; and eventually I decided I might as well keep going to the next village south, Villaescusa de las Torres, where there’s a bridge across the river where I could walk back up the opposite side.  It ended up being an outstanding walk - and in an extremely rare occurrence I earned bragging rights for taking the longest walk of the day.

Oh.  And I almost forgot.  On the way back to town, I saw a second dipper.  None for years, and then two in two days.  I imagine now that I know what to look for I’ll see them more often, as has happened with a number of other birds.

Heading south along the Pisuerga. I’m on the bridge crossing the river just at the outskirts of town and will walk south on the right bank until the next bridge before returning on the left.
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For about the first half mile the walk is along this paved but empty lane. I’m not sure it’s even open to cars anymore.
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This is the strange assemblage of limestone rocks we can see from our hotel window.
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#234: Long-tailed tit. This was really a lucky shot, as he stayed put long enough for a good look. Another lifetime first.
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Off the pavement now, and being careful with my fitting because the surface is a little soft. I’m glad I’m not here on the bike getting it gunked up again.
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There are a variety of conditions, but it wasn’t wet enough anywhere to turn me back.
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I know we have a lot of photos in this post, but I think we can afford some space for a duck drama. Here, mom is on top of a low rock breakwater, waiting to see if anyone is coming along.
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Just these eight.
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This will be so much easier when their legs lengthen out.
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Off to calmer waters.
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Looking south to the rocks around Villaescusa. This is the main reason I decided to keep going farther than usual - I wanted to get a better look.
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Guarding the entrance to the village.
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The church of San Juan Batista, at Villaescusa de las Torres. Gothic rather than Romanesque, so it’s presumably more recent.
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Looking up at the rocks above the village. Later I read up on this and see that there’s what looks like an exceptional walk up into them that starts here - another reason to come back to Aguilar some year.
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The hike narrative on Wikilocs describes this as a limestone labyrinth, filled with wierdly sculpted rocks that you can walk around and even through their tunnels. Just the kind of experience Rocky would love.
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A mailbox worth taking note of.
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I hadn’t noticed at the time, but there are two river crossings here - one on the paved road into the village, and one on a new wooden pedestrian bridge added about a decade ago. There are two because there are two rivers to be crosse: the Pisuerga, and the smaller Camesa that merges into it here just below the entrance to the town.
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Crossing the Camesa.
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Looking back toward the bridge and the rocky labyrinth.
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Walking back along the east bank of the Pisuerga.
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Another look back.
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It looks like I’m getting back at the right time.
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I’ve maximized the morning. Another half hour would have been too long.
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Gravelly on this side of the river.
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marilyn swettBeautiful pictures!
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