MY FAVOURITE PLACE IN MY CITY I am in love with a place in my origin city. It is a special spot for me. It is called El Cejo. My father discovered it to me. He is keen on walking and I have inherited his hobby. Since I have been a child he has taken me to spend the afternoon hiking. This place is located quite near my house but with some steps you have the feeling you are not in Lorca. My region is extremely dry but this place is like an oasis in the desert. To gain access to El Cejo you need to go up a sandy hill. Arriving to the hill the first thing you can find is an imposing castle.
Its two towers have been policing the city for many centuries. It dates from the Muslim period when the city played a significant role. It was in the frontier of two important kingdoms in medieval times. In one side of the castle there is a hidden path. This narrow path takes you to my paradise. The ground is red limestone with tiny pebbles. At the start you can glimpse the chain of mountains of the valley, several reservoirs and farmers working in the countryside. The range of colours of the crops spread over the landscape. Sometimes you can even smell distant bonfires.
There are abrupt slopes with cliffs joint by stone cement bridges. The bridges are secured with steel banisters, seeing as the height is considerable. You can find caves carved by the nature and decorated by prehistoric inhabitants with red and ochre drawings. Lizards and birds singing form the inhabitants of this wood. Nobody escapes the eye of the eagles that fly over their home. The pines stand in line like schoolchildren and drop their needles leaves when they are not green any more. The bushes accompany the trees, leaving pleasant fragrances like the rosemary.
At the same time, the silence fills the place; sometimes it is interrupted by the barking of the dogs accompanying their owners in a relaxing walking. The paths are sculpted by the footprints of bicycles and hikers. Moreover, there are streams of fresh water where you can drink. Steep stairs and uneven ground can be found in some parts of the path. In some parts the way is narrow because of enormous rocks. The vegetation breaks into them. The ground is plastered with roots of trees that quietly have seen the time passing. The sun is always smiling.
In winter days the wind whistles around the trunks. In summer days it can be hot as hell. All the plants are resistant to long periods of droughts. The rain is hardly ever present. Halfway there are several viewpoints where hikers sit on rotten wood benches eating snacks to recover from the walking and admiring the turquoise blue sky with clouds like sponges. They can see the valley with its empty river. However, sometimes this river cause fear when it wakes up in rainy periods threatening the city with floods. At the end of the path you can find the reason of the name of the place.
Cejo in Spanish is a vertical deep cut in the mountain. At the bottom of it there is a fountain with water as cold as ice. A legend says that a Muslim princess and a Christian soldier fell in love and as their love was impossible, they committed suicide throwing themselves over the cliff. After that, a source appeared and the people named it after the lovers (enamorados). The people who know this place are like a family. Maybe they have never seen you before but they greet everybody who enjoys the wonders of the place.
Walking through this forest it is a pleasure for your senses. You can smell pure air from the nature. Nevertheless, everything is not perfect. You can find rubbish and dogs’ faeces thanks to thoughtless people. People jogging leave the sweat aroma. Normally there are not many people but in September the city holds a sport festival and there is an organized walking to this forest from city centre. Every year the wood meets new people that feel surprised by this heaven. Children walk holding their parents’ hands and adults chat while they enjoy the scenery.
I like to take my dogs with me and leave them loose. Therefore, for them El Cejo has a special meaning. It is where they can run freely. Their big ears move like ears of rabbits. They love to speed and stop to smell the scented wildflowers. The path boasts being well-known among nature lovers who can use signs to avoid getting lost during its eight kilometres. It is by far one of my favourite places in my city. Maybe this place is not great thing but for me it is unique. I can relax and forget all my problems.
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