Off the beaten track… literally.
Now that I have settled into a “routine” in Madrid, writing about my day to day life seems a bit mundane! Let´s just say that I am continuing to enjoy myself very much, fall in love with the city and the people, meet other au pairs here and improve my Spanish day by day.
On Sunday we drove around 45 minutes outside Madrid, to the sierra (the countryside and mountains). It was a beautiful day, although difficult to walk with the sun blazing down on us! Our first stop was the local ecological farmhouse, which was surrounded by trees and farmland, and seemed to be home to several foreign girls, although they spoke perfect Spanish. I wanted to be one of them! We bought fruit, a jar of yoghurt and some brown sugar, and set off on our way.
After a long, hot walk in the sun, Fernando took us on a hilarious “shortcut” which involved fighting our way through something that was clearly never meant to be a path. Having survived attacks by thorns, trees and the occasional rockslide, we managed to stumble into a clearing that was the perfect spot for lunch. We ate cous cous, delicious tomato pesto and barbaqued meat whilst swatting away huge numbers of ants. To wash it down, we mixed the brown sugar into the yoghurt and drank it out of cups – sooooo good! The picnic was brought to an arrupt halt by the appearance of a very fast spider that suddenly ran up Paula´s leg. Whilst she seemed relatively unfazed, I immediately bolted and then refused to come within 10 feet of the picnic area. It was time to move on.
We made our way down to the river (well, it was more of a stream really, but it WAS 35 degrees so what can you expect) which was slightly tricky, as we had abandoned the path and were therefore fighting our way through the trees whilst trying not to fall and die. When we finally arrived, we kicked off our shoes and spent the next couple of hours just relaxing at the waters edge. The presence of several frogs caused a great deal of excitement.
On the walk back everyone was hot and tired, but it had been a beautiful day out. Whilst I love Madrid and Tres Cantos, it´s nice to go outside the city and explore a bit of the countryside. It may not be as lush and green as Scotland, but the weather definitely makes up for it!!