My last weekend in Logroño was packed with exciting activities, and first on the list was to visit the ‘nacedero’ of the river Urederra, the place where the Urederra river forms, with Norma, Fermín and Jorge. Saturday morning Fermín took us by car into Navarra, the province just to the east of La Rioja. It was a beautiful journey filled with all different shades of green, perfectly painting the hillsides! Since we have had such extreme amounts of rain here this year, the rainiest season they have had since 1947 I might add, we were finally getting to see the benefits…this beautiful, flourishing landscape that could only be created by such great amounts of water fall! Along with rain we have had lots of snow up in the mountains, which made this trip all the more interesting. Because of all the snow runoff from the mountains of Navarra, the Río Urederra was raging, flowing with unbelievable quantities of water. We were lucky enough to see this river flowing at its peak (meaning that about 50,000 liters of water were falling every single second), and it seemed to me that it was falling with somewhat of a vengeance! All I knew was I didn’t want to find myself falling in!!
As we began to climb up the mountain, about 15 minutes in, we were already seeing our first waterfalls. They were beautiful; with the water streaming over the rocks so quickly and with such force, and the loud rumbling sound as the water fell from above. Along our hike we saw all different sizes and shapes of beech trees, some so big, we had to link all of our arms just to reach around one tree!! Their roots were unbelievably large; growing in and out of the ground, over rocks, and off the sides of cliffs. Fermín informed us that beech trees can pretty much grow anywhere and tend to take precedence over all other vegetation. And from what we could see, there wasn’t another type of tree in sight! Ranging from small new trees (to me they just looked like tiny weeds) to trees that were hundreds of years old, every one of them was from the beech family.
Getting deeper into the forest, we began to see a lot more moss covered rocks, trees, and old tree stumps, as well as water running in every direction, producing picturesque little waterfalls everywhere you looked. Again because we have had so much water fall this year, the water was not sticking to its original river paths and was deciding to stream down the mountain wherever it could find a place to fall. It had even decided to create its own pathway on our walking path. We were climbing up over rocks as the water was rushing down the same rocks at the same time!
We finally reached the top, ‘el nacedero’, seeing where the water begins to fall from the very tip top of the mountain, and it truly felt like an oasis. This quiet place, quiet minus the booming sound of the water spilling over the side of the mountain, surrounded in mist sprinkling us with droplets of water from the force of the falling water above, was simply a hidden paradise. A place full of serenity and peace.
The forecast had been calling for rain all day and although Norma came prepared with her umbrella, we were lucky enough to get all the way up the mountain and back without a drop of rain. Yet, as we hopped into the car and began our journey back to La Rioja, it began to pour!! We always get so lucky with the weather!! Another wonderful excursion with Fermín, and this time, we were fortunate enough to be accompanied by some of our favorite people!! ;)