La Maliciosa – The Malicious Mountain

Approaching the Sierra de Guadarrama from Madrid there is always one sight that takes my breath away. That is the first glimpse of La Maliciosa as you drive towards Navacerrada.

Rising almost 1000 metres directly from the reservoir of Navacerrada, its granite bulk looms over the pretty, alpine village below.

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Griffon Vulture

Vulture Canyon

Having recently embraced middle-age early and purchased my first bird watching book, we decided to go to a very special place this weekend – The Hoces del Rio Riaza – a protected nature reserve and home to one of the biggest and most important Griffon Vulture colonies in Europe.

We stayed overnight in a pretty medieval town in Segovia called Maderuelo. An important frontier town during the centuries of war between Moorish and Christian Spain it is built high up above a lake. Our ‘medieval suite’ looks out onto the lake, bats circle the town walls in the evening dusk.

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