October 6, 2009

My Life as an Intrepid Explorer

This is me:

Source: Geek à lier

Well, it was me. Ok... it was the idea I had of myself a month ago in Spain. Maybe this will explain why...


The confetti from the parade was still stuck between the cobblestones. The sun bore down on the street, and she shielded her eyes from the glare.
"Let's find some shade," she said.

They walked up by the cathedral, through the narrow lanes behind it and came out at the mirador. The view over the valley was incredible, but it was the path that lead down the cliff face that had their attention.

They wound their way down, and came to a well-worn patch of earth that afforded the real money-shot - the Puente Nuevo, one of Spain's most photographed landmarks.

Known as El Tajo, the gorge was created by constant erosion of the Guadalevín river, fed by mountain streams and melting snow high in the mountains of the Sierra de las Nieves. Water still runs through, and pools in places beside the dense foliage on the cliff-face.

Our adventurers were thirsty, but it wasn't for water. The remains of a building lay scattered where they stood, a sign of something from the past, something more that once existed. Their curiosity piqued, they took another path which led further down, into the bushes.

The cliff face rose up on their right, and the trees began to filter out the light and a little of the heat. Pushing branches aside, they were drawn deeper into the undergrowth, until the scene took on a new character altogether.

They broke into a clearing, and the young man wandered between pieces of rubble and low-hanging vines to explore this new place. A coke bottle lay on the ground, but for all they knew it had been there for years.

The sound of running water came from beneath, and could be seen flowing through holes in the cliff and under their feet.

"You said you wanted an adventure," he laughed. "Well, this is it!"
The girl was busy working out how to expose for the conditions, but she smiled when she heard him. Her feet were already dirty, and another path beckoned them to continue further.

There were signs of something here too - ageing concrete and bricks and plaster were engulfed by the foliage, but still visible.
"What is this place?" The question remained unspoken but it wasn't long until they had their answer...

"San Miguel Central Electric?" The tiled sign and the flowing water hinted at an industrial past, but there were few other clues to the mystery. Suddenly, the girl stopped - just short of falling down a very dark and rather uninviting hole. The chute led to something... but what?

With no rope to ensure an exit, climbing down wasn't really a option. But a little investigating further in the bushes would uncover a concrete stairway, to an equally dark and mysterious chamber. They looked at each other and grinned.

Fighting thoughts of crazed homeless Spanish men, she stepped down and into an archyway. The stairs were met by the earth, sloping down into a large room. From where they stood, they could see ancient paint peeling from the walls, and leaves littering the floor.

They stood in the doorway.
"There is no way I am going in there," he said. "I've played enough computer games to know what could happen."
"Ok. Wait for me out here then." And with that she disappeared into the darkness...

Somewhere in her mind, she was disappointed not to be the first one to discover this place. Plenty of other delinquents had strayed from the path, and left their marks in this room. She noticed the chute, the same hole she'd look down in only minutes earlier. She heard a rustle behind her, and her heart jumped into her throat.
"This is exactly like Resident Evil," he said, as he took in the surrounds.

It was less scary with the two of them in there, far less chance of being attacked by zombies. She felt a small seed of bravery implant itself in her stomach. This is certainly not what I expected when I got up this morning, she thought. The aspiring photographer inside made her step out on the ledge and peer around the crumbling walls. It was dark, darker than the pictures would later portray, but not impossible.

The water lay still here, the quiet adding to the eeriness. But there they were, giggling with fear and excitement at having had the adventure she had expressed her desire for. The followed a little further, and found other buildings they could only imagine uses for. Using a pencil, they added their own autograph to the wall, and with the slowly fading light, made their way back up to the look-out.

Climbing back under the archway that first lead them on the journey, they stopped to play with the shadows and reflect on their discovery. What started as an escape from the heat had become one the best memories of their voyage, and a lesson that things are often more than they appear.

So take the road less travelled... you never know what lies beneath.

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1 comment:

  1. Oooh very 'Romancing the Stone' Katie