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Valleys in Central Spain


By balcony


Where we lived in Central Spain, in Cuenca, there are two river valleys that converge in the city.

The wonderful valleys are called “Hoces” ; one, the Hoz del Húecar, is at its most stunning during spring & early summer. It´s a fair walk out of town but one that used to be quite popular when we went out along it for picnics during the early summer.

This is a summer photo of the Hoz del Huécar (not mine though)

I was always so absorbed in trying to discover wild flowers that were new to me or just the incredible diversity of life that abounded in what seemed to be just baked rocks & tinder dry grass.

I went for walks out there on my own sometimes just to see the beautiful flowers in the spring!

The other valley called the “Hoz del Júcar” didn’t seem to be so rich in plant life.

Here is a photo of the Júcar river much higher, in altitude & river course, taken by my wife a few years ago. The Júcar river is green its entire length, till it empties into the Mediterranean Sea at Valencia.

It is a wider valley than the Hoz del Húecar but it seemed drier, without the little streams that run down the sides of the Hoz del Húecar.

This photo is looking up along the Júcar river that runs through the Hoz del Júcar. The trees look wonderful in the autumn for a couple of weeks. Up in the “sky” is the highest point of the city where you can see the clock tower that, centuries ago, was a Muslim prayer tower (minaret?).

I first saw wild orchids in these valleys, the flowers were like black bumble bees! I was most surprised to find orchids flowering away quite happily in the most hard baked barren grass patches in the middle of a Spanish summer when temps easily reached 40ºC!

This photo (mine) was taken at the beginning of October, 2006, the day after our son got married. It´s very similar to the one at the top of this blog even though they were taken years apart!

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Lovely blog and photos, Balcony. You seem rather wistful when telling about the Cuenca area; were you sad to leave Spain?

The town near us has three river valleys, the loveliest and most fertile being "our" valley - Liebana. Then there is the Vega valley coming from the Puerto San Glorio, then the Deva valley which starts at Fuente De where there is a cable car to whisk you 3000 ft further up in 3 minutes, and which runs past the town and onward through a fantastic gorge that the Deva river must have taken centuries to gouge, and out to the coast of Northern Spain. We were out for an evening stroll yesterday and my partner said "anyone who doesn't live here must be mad!" Obviously this wonderful region would be ruined if many more people moved into it, but I feel so priviledged to live here and I sense that feeling in your blog too. Hope you are happy in England?

2 Jun, 2009


Thank you for the tour it looks lovely

3 Jun, 2009


Glad you liked the blog, & yes, I was a little wistful of Cuenca. Now it seems like a dream rather than nearly half my life. My wife goes back to see her family there & our two "boys" (now 30 something-year-old adults!) a couple of times a year. But I've only been able to go back twice in the 8 years since we returned to the UK. The last time was for the wedding of our "baby" almost 3 years ago. He was 30 then!

I have many, many fond memories of Cuenca & it was a town I really used to like! It has changed radically in these 8 years, much more than Huntingdon, where I now live & where my family moved to when I was 15. I lived in Cuenca on 3 or 4 different periods totalling nearly 30 years! The last period lasted 19 years!

1 Aug, 2009

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