We are heading inland from Bilbao to our destination – greeted by hills, hills, hills and more hills. Driving nearer to Espinosa de los Monteros through small quaint Spanish villages, old buildings, humble in their own simple beauty, we arrive at the hostel early evening greeted by tree upon tree, this huge building, almost Swiss-looking is nestled amongst a forest.
Lydia, my contact, is on the balcony to meet us, we have been in contact now for a year, today we finally meet.
Our room is a small dorm, consisting of 4 single beds, a bathroom and a balcony. It’s simple and comfortable, everything we need.
We join Lydia again downstairs for dinner, the chef Louisa has been cooking up a lovely meal full of veggies for our arrival. Pumpkin soup, roasted aubergine stuffed with peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms and garlic all served with fresh baguette.
We eat, talk and plan the next days activities. We are here to recce the trails for the next Waite escape in Spain. Outdoor training, soul running and hiking amongst the Spanish hills.
We wake Friday morning after an epic sleep and head downstairs for breakfast. Bread, fresh tomatoes and avocado is served.
We are heading to El Ventanon today to run a 10km return to a natural window on top of a hill. We follow the markers as we run the trails while chatting and getting to know each other better.
Suddenly, 5km is completed and we are rewarded with such an amazing sight. This natural window is huge with views overlooking more hills. We spend some time here taking in this natural wonder before we run down again.
At the bottom we all put on extra layers and head to the nearby cave. We stop here for a cave tour, again it’s lovely, humble and Spanish – a real must when in this area!
Back for our lunch we feast on gazpacho and chick pea stew, spinach patties with caramelised onion chutney – again served with fresh bread.
The afternoon is spent heading out to a local village to have a coffee and walking around the Espinosa area to explore the local trails.
Another evening of fantastic food, a massive salad filled with walnuts and dried cranberries and a dish of quinoa with roasted Spanish green peppers.
Falling asleep here last thing at night is amazing, the air feels so fresh and clean, the bats make their nightly appearance and dance at the windows while the owls call into the night. We don’t pull our curtains, it’s too beautiful to shut this out.
Sunday we are heading to one of the waterfalls. After another breakfast of tomatoes and avocado we head to the nearby village of Quisicedo where we start our 5km climb. Following the purple markers painted in the trees we finally reach the waterfall. It’s lovely, so peaceful. I take a minute to lay on a rock in the sun. This is a magical place that’s easily accessible to anyone. It’s a slow 5km run or a hike up, but the end result is worth it.
Descending back down is fun and a lot quicker! A bar sits at the bottom of the trails for a welcoming cafe solo. The owner is friendly and helpful, my pigeon Spanish is understood and received with a smile.
We have lunch back at the hostel again, more aubergine and fresh tomatoes are being served – simply fantastic!
We check out of the hostel and say our goodbyes to the friendly staff.
We have chosen to stay in the village for the next two nights. There is an annual village festival here and a lot is going on.
Over the next couple of days we recce local trails and I finalise the itinerary for the 3 night escape.
Espinosa de los Monteros is a simple, special destination to escape to, to immerse yourself into this content Spanish culture, to eat the fresh vegetables and to sit in local cafes drinking coffee and watching the world go by.
The hills are alive here, even more so when there are happy souls exploring the trails that they offer.
This is an escape back in time, to breath in the clear air of the mountains, to share the simple humble life of the Spanish hills.
Dates to be confirmed for 3 night escape April and September 2020.