Leaving behind Barcelona, we arrive at Sant Celoni and weave our way along the winding road, first towards Campins and then on to Santa Fe.
Our pace gradually slows down. Our daily lives, the office and the routine are temporarily forgotten. What lies before us are trees and the map Dani is unfolding on the car dashboard.
Just before 9.30am we arrive at l’Avet Blau, the restaurant that normally serves as a starting point for trips around the Santa Fe reservoir. We hear the birds sing as we get out of the car and catch a glimpse of a robin. We have arrived. The restaurant, however, seems to be closed. As we walk we shout out a couple of times in case anyone hears us. We approach the old hostel. A dog barks and we see someone through the window. Finally a man comes out to greet us introducing himself as the one “does all the cleaning here”. He invites us in and gives us a bottle of water. Now, we are ready to go.
The sun comes out and we begin to walk around the edge of the Santa Fe reservoir, leaving behind the sign pointing to Can Lleonart. We cross the stream several times, looking out for crabs and chasing lizards. Little moss remains, but the dampness and the iron in the water make the rocks very slippery underfoot. Jumping from rock to rock, I slip and end up with half my body underwater. The sunshine makes it less of a problem than it would have been a month ago when everything was still icy. Now the water isn’t too cold.
We continue our descent towards the reservoir. We pass the small Estanyol reservoir and its waterfall. We stop to rest in a nook under a rock from where the light reveals the end of the path, the reservoir. Dani refreshes himself, we rest for a while and have something to eat.
A little later we continue along the route through the holm oaks. We pass the occasional bird box and I think I spot a blue tit. We arrive at the refurbished hut on the banks of the reservoir which we’ve heard can be rented if you want to spend a weekend here. Here, the sunlight glinting on the water gives the view a Japanese feel. We will walk around the reservoir along the eastern side. The carpet of leaves gives way to clay and the ochre hues to the first green shoots heralding the first signs of spring. We reach the end of the reservoir after walking over small beaches looking out for signs of the tritón, an indigenous species of newt whose numbers are alas dwindling. A couple of clouds cross the sky and we cross the sluice gate. We behold the magnificent vista with the Empedrat de Morou on the right and the Les Agudes peak to the left. Alongside stands the Turó de l´Home mountain, generally claimed to be the highest summit in Montseny, at 1,712 metres. This claim is not quite certain, as according to the forest ranger we met on the way, although Les Agudes are officially 1,709 metres high some say they are 1,712 metres, the same as the Turó. If my eyes don’t deceive me, I have my own definite opinion about this strange rivalry…
After crossing the sluice we climb up to Morou through the forests and settle down in a small refuge made of tree trunks and branches. We prepare lunch: Fusilli for Dani and for me, curry. While the food is heating up we lie down in the sun and prepare something to nibble on. The wind is blowing quite cold and the hot food is a relief. We talk about the route and discuss the legend of the remains of a light aircraft that are said to lie in the nearby forest; in autumn the mist changes the appearance of the valley. After dessert, we clear up and carry on our walk. We traverse a steep stony slope that punishes our ankles. We return along part of the path we had previously trod. We pass the signs to Can Casades on the right and arrive at our starting point.
The sun begins to set. It has been a tranquil day, an easy route along which to enjoy the forest and the views. We’re off; tomorrow will be another normal day, but we will still carry the memory of mountains with us for a few days.