In Arévalo - The Seven Year Itch - CycleBlaze

May 4, 2024

In Arévalo

It took awhile to figure out what to do with our layover day here.  Rachael plans to walk, and I’ve got a couple of ideas mapped out for a loop through the pastures and pine plantations.  Rachael has some trouble finding a walk that looks appealing though so I study the map for ideas and come up with a walk north along the left bank of the Adaja.  I was noticing the sand banks along the course of the river to our left when we biked in yesterday and it looks like it could make a nice if undramatic walk.

The longer I look, the more appealing the walk looks - especially because it’s quite windy today.  I decide to scrap the bike plan and join her, at least for a few yards until she zips off ahead of me.  It’s staying light until after nine now so we decide we’ll wait for the warmest hours of the day and go out after lunch.  At one thirty we walk over to Pizzeria Caramba and return an hour later with leftovers for dinner; and another hour later we’re out the door again, heading for the trail down to the river.  I get a slight head start and am about a quarter mile down the trail and crossing the river when I look back and see her gaining on me.

Looks like she’s wading in the weeds, but there’s a trail hiding in there.
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Crossing the small Arevalillo River, with the walls of Arévalo above. The Arevalillo is a minor tributary of the Adaja, which it joins just beneath the castle. Arévalo sits on the slender ridge where the two rivers come together.
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Rachael’s quickly out of sight again of course, leaving me to take my time checking out the plants and scenery while I’m watching for birds.  Other than a sparrow that I’m surprised to discover is a new species for me there’s not much action on the bird front this afternoon, but it’s no matter - it’s an excellent walk, better than I’d anticipated.

We’re in such different country now. There’s hardly a significant hill in sight.
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Another variety of bugloss, I think.
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We biked south in the autumn four years ago, maybe thirty or forty miles to the west of here. It has such a different look now from what I remember, with so much green in the fields. One thing that this still photo doesn’t show is the shimmering motion of the grain blowing in the strong wind.
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Keith AdamsLooks like the Flint Hills region of Kansas, or maybe somewhere in central Iowa. Lovely, in a subtle and modestly understated sort of way. Not spectacularly grandiose like high mountains, or dramatic like a rocky coast, but appealing in its own way.
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2 weeks ago
October 2019, on a day ride from Toro. I’d forgotten how exquisite this country seemed then. I’m not sure, but I think I like this look even better.
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#228: Eurasian tree sparrow. I’m sure I’ve been seeing this species all along without realizing it was different from the house sparrows you see everywhere in towns.
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Into the pine resin plantation.
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I think they’re stone pines, two needles to the bundle.
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Mesmerizing, especially watching the patches of light and shadow speed across on this windy afternoon. It reminds me of the chalk downs of southern England, which after all aren’t so far away now.
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Keith AdamsAnd that LIGHTING! Bright sun on the land, dramatically dark clouds overhead. Wonderful.
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2 weeks ago

This is roughly the point where I turned back, so the next several snaps are Rachael’s as she enjoyed another couple of miles of pine forest and scotch broom.

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I think this is my favorite of her shots. Such an elegant tree.
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OK.  Back to me again, heading back toward town.  Still taking my time, stopping for a second look here and there.  Once I approach and enter the town though I’m surprised to find how captivated I am by the historical walled city, which we didn’t see on our way in because we entered town through the other end.  Rachael was just as taken with the town as I was, taking a different route through it than I did by circling the outer walls of the castle.  It is really quite exceptional, with its collection of monuments and especially the remarkable Plaza de la Villa.  Arévalo has proven to be an outstanding spot for a two night stay.

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Keith AdamsThat sandy road would be a pleasant walk but a tricky, difficult, nerve-wracking place to ride.
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2 weeks ago
This must be one of the best angles for a view of the historical center of the city, at the point of the ridge above the rivers.
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The yellow in the photo above comes from this stuff. Some variety of cinquefoil?
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Bill ShaneyfeltCan't find a good photo match, but leaves are completely different from Cinquefoil (means 5 leaf) and the petals do not look all equal.

https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/53186-Potentilla/browse_photos?place_id=6774
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2 weeks ago
Here’s one I feel confident about: tassel hyacinth (Leopoldia comosa).
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Approaching the walled city, with several of its monumental structures worth a closer look.
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Santa Maria Church.
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The castle.
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The Church of San Juan?
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Entering town by crossing the Arevalillo over the 14th century Puente de Medina.
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Entering the walled city through the Medina Arch.
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San Miguel Church.
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A doorway into San Miguel Church.
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In the walled city, approaching Santa Maria Church.
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Plaza de la Villa. At the opposite end is the church of San Martin.
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The Plaza de la Villa is lined with arcaded buildings, with some of the posts still constructed of wood.
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Looking across the plaza from the other end.
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On the Plaza de la Villa.
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On the Plaza de la Villa.
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Interesting ruins waiting for restoration, on the way back to the apartment.
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Rachael’s track. I turned back about two miles before she did.
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