Modern life is a rich and varied confluence of information, technology, social interaction, work, travel, family and fun – if you’re lucky. There are smartphones in the most remote corners of our world and we have advanced in scientific endeavor further than ever before. Our cities are huge bustling metropolises and they’re growing larger every day. More than half of the earth’s population lives in these urban centers and this percentage is steadily increasing. However, despite this cumulative urbanization, there is a tacit understanding among the human race that connection to nature is an essential factor in our happiness.
For all our obsession with man-made wonders, nothing compares to the creations of Mother Nature. Vast underground cave systems, wild desert landscapes, breathtaking waterfalls, staggering geology and spectacular vestiges of our prehistoric past all remind us of our small place in earth’s story.
And even with our ever-expanding knowledge of the way the world came to be, some landscapes still leave us utterly perplexed. This is the mystery and the majesty of the natural world. In this book, we’ve attempted to capture just a fraction of what it has to offer, and we hope it inspires you to get out and find your own slice of pleasure in the great outdoors.
1 Beach of the Cathedrals, Spain
A religious experience then?
Some might feel a kind of mystical wonder come over them. Others will marvel at the power of nature – these ocean-side rock formations have been carved by wind, rain and sea for a few years now. And by ‘a few’, we mean millennia…
I’m feeling a little insignificant again…
Understandable: a human life doesn’t scale well to geological time, but go with the flow and bask in the glow of these astounding formations. The naves formed into the 30m cliffs are breathtaking and you can spend hours wandering in and around them.
Time and tide?
Good question! So: time – go see them while you can. Erosion waits for no woman. Or man. Or rock. Some of these arches will fall into the sea soon enough (geologically speaking). Also – yep, low tide – at high tide, you won’t be doing much exploring. Time your run well.
God, that water looks delicious!
Maybe it’s divine intervention, but yes, you’re right, the water here looks more like the clear turquoise stuff of a tropical beach wonderland, yet here it is in little old Spain. It’s a marvel.