Hiking in the Montseny Natural Reserve

After a long winter, the weather has finally started to get warm again. This weekend, it got DSC03233warm enough that we ventured out to resume our hiking activities. We found a great trail in the Montseny Natural Reserve, which in 1978 was declared a biosphere reserve for its wealth of flora and fauna.

After over an hour of driving we finally reached the park in the middle of the afternoon; a good time since the sun was close to its peak and the temperature was high enough to be able to enjoy the outdoors.

The park is also home to a natural spring and is one of Spain’s most important sources of mineral water. That explains why we saw a number of cars pulling into the parking lot with empty water barrels. People were actually lugging the barrels to the natural springs to fill them for their own use. We even saw one family carrying close to 25 empty plastic barrels.

DSC03248The hiking route took us all the way to the peak-El Turó de l’Home, which is approx. 1,700 meters (5,600 feet) above sea level. I accidentally misjudged the difficulty rating on the route. It turned out to be MUCH harder than we anticipated. Altogether we probably hiked close to 7 kilometers, which doesn’t seem like that much. Except for the fact that most of the route had a very steep gradient and the path was very uneven and covered in dry leaves. As a result, I painfully twisted my ankle multiple times during the ascent and descent. If you were within a couple of kilometers, I’m sure you would have heard my profanity laced howls of pain.

The final approach to the peak was very similar to the one we experienced while hiking La Mola last year. An interesting fact: I found while doing some online reading was that the peak was actually the site of the 1959 Transair Douglas Dakota accident. The flight, carrying 29 students and 3 crew members, was flying from Barcelona to Gatwick (London) and was climbing to its cruising altitude when it entered an area of dense fog/heavy clouds and struck the mountain.

Despite the difficulty, we found it to be a good place for a hike. We saw an abundance of oak trees and even some small animals. We were even fortunate enough to see (and have to DSC03240across) some small streams. Thanks to my pulled ankle, I also had the pleasure of having my shoes and socks completely soaked while trying to cross one of these streams.

In any case, suffice it to say this was probably not one of our best hikes, but it was fun nonetheless. For now, I am spending my Sunday comfortably settled on the couch, where I am relaxing my pulled ankles, sore knees and tired feet.

Happy weekend everybody!