A mixture of a lunar landscape, an Indian desert and a strange dream caused by the intake of some cannabis derivative. That’s the amazing scenery that awaits you in the Bárdenas Reales Natural Park, in the south of Navarra. Only a short distance away, funny the way things are, there are the kind and fertile lands of the so-called “Huerta de Navarra” the vegetable garden of Navarra.
In this unique location, full of fanciful folds, hills and ravines, many movies and tv series have been shot. But more, much more than James Bond and Anacleto, who passed by here, we love the figure of the bandit Sanchicorrota, a flesh and blood character with a long and used sharp knife. The legend, of course, has been on his side and presents him as a Robin Hood who was kind to the poor and hid in this deserts around the fifteenth century. They even say that he placed the horseshoes of his horse inside out so that its prints would mislead the authorities, who were crazy to get their hands on him.
The hypnotic aspect of this place, as we were saying, is not due to any flying saucer that fell through here and destroyed everything. It seems that some millions of years ago the water decided to leave this area, and since then it has rarely been encouraged to come back. Those few times that it has come, it does it, on top of all, in the form of torrential rain… but the annual average of rain is around 100 mm.
So on this land of gypsum and sandstone have been acting, little by little, what it is called atmospheric agents; they have shaped this dreadful environment, in which only the most resistant plants and the most alert animals, such as foxes and weasels, survive. If you look up you can also see eagles and vultures, so try not to get lost if you decide to take a tour by bike or on foot in the area. Because all this animals are always hungry…
A small parcel in the Bárdenas desert, believe or not, had its value in the ninth century. Or perhaps the kings who gave them as a reward for fighting against the infidel were pranksters, everything is possible! The fact is that in here they are still doing things today: without going any further, the army’s aeroplanes test their skills in the area, something that many people are not happy with, and they have annual demonstrations to protest against it.
The Bárdenas, no matter how you look at it, is a truly special place, and we do not even want to imagine that a badly thrown shot could fall, for example, in the terrible Sanchicorrota’s cave.