The area known as the Lagunas de Ruidera, where Mrs Hickory has a farm, is a place of great beauty, where nature has contrived to create a landscape of rocks and hills, of trees and dry earth, of water that flows, that crashes, that lies still and brilliant, that ripples in the breeze and appears and disappears under the rocks, and from one year to another can almost cease to exist, then fill to the brim as most of them have this spring.
It is very popular with tourists, and in spring and summer the campsites and hotels are full and the better swimming lakes are all but unusable by anyone who likes to do more than splash around. At times we swim, in the less well known places where the access to the water is difficult, away from the road, or there is nowhere to throw down a towel and a picnic, but not often, and only to cool off when we have gone on foot or by bike. Last weekend we went to a look at the rocks in the lake known as the Colgada, which has a form of wetland between it and the lake above it, where it is possible to walk jumping from rock to rock and crossing the odd walkway that functions as a bridge. There are low rock walls down which the water flows to reach the basin. The water was full of novice windsurfers, divers and canoeists from a nearby youth camp.
From there we went to a similar, but much higher, waterfall between La Lengua and La Salvadora, a little upstream. More people there, clambering over the rocks and taking so many photos they probably observed very little of what they had come to see.
Then we followed a path we have taken before by bike, to the top of a hill which overlooks the point where the two rivers which feed the system join, merging two lakes, La Tomilla and La San Pedra, which can be seen below, one on each side of you, pooling their waters below and in front of you, stretching into the distance, creating, together with the bright sun, the most beautiful view in the Lakes, as without any doubt. The spot is marked by a cross, known as the Monks' Cross, whose story I have not yet ascertained. If you can go there, climb up (it's more a walk, about half an hour, and very enjoyable in itself, as the tracjk goes through woods and then takes you along the very edge of the hill, with a drop beside you) and see it for yourself, you won't regret it. Meanwhile, here are the photos.
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