6th of November
The title is quite ambiguous – are we gorging on madroños or are we walking through a gorge full of these berries? Why not do both! This is exactly what we’re doing on this hike.
El Gorgo (909m) is the highest peak of the Serra Calderona Natural Park. Gorgo actually forms a small massif within this complex mountain range, covered with trees (mainly pines and cork trees); the peak of Juego del Tejo connects Gorgo with the elongated tailpiece of Jabonera, which shelters on its eastern slope some of the most important cork oak spots (Quercus suber) of Calderona.
On our route along the paths and roads of the term, sources, azudes, ponds, reservoirs come out to meet us… The sources mostly have a construction made with slabs of rodeno to keep this precious liquid in the best conditions. This can be seen in sources such as Fuente del Sargatillo, guarded by giant cork oaks or Fuente de Olla. The same also happens with the reservoirs that we find near the main roads at the foot of the mountain which were used to collect water that filtered through it.
Madroño, called straweberry tree in English, is a type of fruit tree, with its berries similar in taste to that of wild strawberries. Apparently bears love these berries and will actively pick them from trees, searching for a light dessert before an afternoon nap (bears are quite conscious of their waistline half of the year). This is the image that Spanish sculptor Antonio Navarro Santafé decided to set in stone in 1967.
Madroño season is well underway now, available to everyone in the nearest woods
Difficulty: medium/high (12km with 600m of elevation gain).
Technical level: medium (steep descent from the peak with loose rocks).
Bring at least 1l of water, lunch, warm clothes and hiking shoes.