A gorgeous day? A rested family? Beautiful landscapes within walking distance?
Check, check, and check! It's time for a hike.
We originally planned to walk along a scenic road with many fruit trees, which we have run on before and are somewhat familiar with, but Kian said it is much more fun to explore by walking in the dried river bed.
Ok then... it's been pretty dry the past few days, hopefully there's still no river, so why not.
Off we went.
At first we encountered a dry river, with only a few muddy patches.
As we kept walking, the dried river bed turned into a stream, and we encountered a few challenges in our path. At one point, we had to either turn around or climb up some rocks to pass a very muddy area. Daddy-O and Kian encouraged us to keep going, even though it was not easy going for a little kids. After the mud and rocks, Kian wanted to wash his muddy legs in the stream. Hannah, who does not need any excuse to run into water, took off her shoes and joined Kian.
In a few minutes, the entire family was barefoot, walking on the soft river rocks and enjoying the cool clear water between our toes. I did make a quick side trip to pick some fresh mint that was growing on the side of the river. Mmm..that entire area smelled like mint!
The kids also enjoyed playing with a nice big area of mud..lots and lots of mud. I have to admit that I joined that activity too... it felt so nice on my toes...and hey don't people pay money to get mud on their skin?
At this point, we really were not all that far from our house, and we all still had lots of energy to keep going and exploring, so on we went down the river. Though we saw no humans, we did see plenty of frogs, butterflies, and crickets.
Eventually, we encountered another section where we either had to turn back or cross the now wider river, too wide to jump over. Lucky for us, the water was nice and shallow and the flow was very gentle.
Shoes off. River crossed :)
Our little photographers made sure to take a few pictures of nature to remember their hike. We eventually maneuvered our way up the side of a bridge and got back on a road, the original road we planned on walking down in fact. We saw a lot of local farmers working on their land, who kindly waved to us and said hola. Have I mentioned how friendly Spanish people are? They are amazing. We really enjoyed walking back and being surrounded by fruit and vegetable farms. And umm..I had no idea peas grow on trees!
The entire hike took us just a little over 2 hours, play time in the river included. It was wonderful and totally our style. We were wandered off the beaten path, we got muddy, we played, and got nice and tired.
Once we got back, Hannah helped wash our shoes and her brother's legs :)
JRR Tolkien is right. Not all who wander are lost. :)