Monday, October 10, 2011

Mountain Hiking in La Pedriza in Spain

I do not belong in nature. Yes, humans are part of nature, but I´m definitely an exception.  I tried camping, and nature sent spiders.  I tried mountain biking, and flipped into a tree.  I tried mountain hiking, and well...you can read the rest here:

On Sunday, I went on a 6-hour mountain hike in La Pedriza with some students from BU's program.  We did a hiking tour through Hiking in the Community Madrid.  Mountains always fascinate me since there aren't any at home.

The Peak at Los Llanos
If you're really into hiking, and are a fiend for racing to the highest peak, then this is a perfect trip for you.  My goal for the hike was a little bit different.  I wanted to see the mountains and the countryside, have a chance to explore a new area, and take some photos.  I wanted to look around and see another side of Spain, not just spend six hours looking down at my feet, trying not to trip over the terrain.  The guide didn't really like this, and continually told us that we´d never make it to the top if we stopped to look around and take pictures. 

The path was really rough.  I mean, I wasn't expecting a paved road or anything, but the path actually seemed dangerous.  We were climbing very slippery boulders (we slid down them on our butts on the way back down the mountain), and swating branches out of our way.  There were so many plants in some places, that I actually thought the hike would've been more pleasant with a machete - which is not something I would normally think about.
Pretty, right?
Unfortunately, one branch from the person in front of me snapped back at me, and hit me directly in the eye, slicing my contact lens in half.  My hands were so dirty from gripping rocks that I didn´t want to touch my eyes.  With only one and a half contacts in, I really couldn't see at all, which was a problem since I had two hours left to climb down the rest of the mountain.  My friends guided me since I couldn't clearly see where the edge was.  That definitely nixed my goal of seeing more of the country since I couldn´t see in front of me.  I snapped a few photos, figured I'd use them to see what the land looked like later, and continued to struggle down the mountain.  Trust me, mountain climbing with a lack of depth perception, because you can only use one eye, is really scary.  The guide didn't even notice what had happened because he was racing ahead to get back to the bottom of the mountain.

"Between a Rock and a Hard Place"
One of my friends kindly helped me pick the remaining half of my contact out of my eye since I couldn't get it myself.  This morning I went to the hospital and learned that there was a lesion on the white part of my eye.  If my contact lens hadn´t been there, the lesion probably would´ve extended into the cornea.  I guess I was lucky.

P.S. Never ask me to go nature-ing with you.

P.P.S If this post freaks you out, you may be interested in reading my more recent post about healthcare in Spain.




1 comment:

  1. I'm so glad that your eye is getting better! The hike looked amazing and difficult. Very senic and quite beautiful. Don't write nature off....it can be quite special!

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