He knows no fear!

My trip to Northern Spain in 2011 – part 1

Last year my foster auntie and uncle took me to the North of Spain for a trekking holiday. The holiday was for a week. Despite going in April, the weather was well into the thirties. My furry skin got sunburnt.

Flying into Santander airport, we had a hire car pre-booked and headed to the mountains. My auntie did not let me drive as I was only 30 cms tall *diddy boo hoo do dah*.

The mountains we were heading for was the Picos de Europa which is a range of mountains inland from the North coast of Spain in the Asturias, Cantabria and Castile and León provinces of Spain.

A map of the Picos de Europa.

The mountains range area is 646 km2 (249 sq mi) with it highest peak Torre de Cerredo, with an altitude of 2,648 metres.

My first sighting of the Picos de Europa.

Our trekking was to done in the Picos de Europa National Park which was amongst the first National Parks created in Spain back in 1918.

These mountains are home to Brown Bears and Wolves, one of the last places left in Western Europe for such sightings. I was nervous as I knew that cuddly toys are on the diet for wolf packs.

Our accommodation for the week was in the mountain town of Cangas de Onis in Asturias. The town is on the edge of the Picos and was a good base for treks and other activities.

A mile-deep gorge separate two massifs, with the village of Caín at its head. The waters from the River Cares mostly arise from cave resurgences. Some of the water in the river is diverted for a hydroelectric scheme, with a canal running in the wall of the gorge to Camarmeña.

Our first trekking day was to be the canal as an access path runs aside the canal. This is said to be the most spectacular walk in the Picos and also the most popular.

The walk starts in a little village.

I was glad we were walking in April as this is the most popular walk in the Picos de Europa and would had been crowded during the summer.

Rural Spain is so different from resorts of the Costas.

The walk started in a village that was nice and so different from the naff English Sport Bars in the tacky tourist resorts of the South.

It was very hot.

The temperature was in the thirties, which was unusual for this time of the year in Northern Spain. Normally we would expect about 18 degrees with some rain.

The access path led the way along the gorge.

The path was the old access path to the hydro-electrical scheme. It was 12 kms long and we expected to walk for some several hours before reaching our destination of Camarmeña village.

The views were great.

The path offered little protection from the sun.

This goat tried to chew on my fur!?!

Goats were seen all along the path.

Mmmm.... it was tempting for me to push this bugger off the cliff!

They were very tame and probably used to walkers feeding them.

I was glad that I had suncream on my fur.

Despite the heat and the sunshine, the mountains in the far distance still had snow on.

The path was constructed by hand tools to access the hydro-electric works.

At times, the path was very scary and narrow.

It was sheer cliffs some of the way!

It was hard to believe that this path was constructed using basic hand tools.

I made it to the end!

I made it to Camarmeña village and headed straight to the cafe.

I was enjoying this coffee.

The coffee was great. I had left the car at the other end of the gorge and I had to walk back along the gorge to get back to the car *dud*.

To be continued….

For more information about the Picos de Europa please visit:




5 responses

  1. great and a very hot journey!.. so obvious from the photos. 😉 …. Is this a part of the church or just standing alone like that? https://britisharmysgtmonkey.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/img_6300.jpg?w=225&h=300

    I love this one! 😀 https://britisharmysgtmonkey.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/img_6306.jpg?w=225&h=300

    March 7, 2012 at 2:37 am

    • Thank you for the comment, yes that is a church. It is the style in Northern Spain. Often these church bell towers have storks nesting in them. I will post a photo of one in my next Northern Spain posting.

      I am glad that you like the photo of me trekking. Prehaps you would like this photo…. https://britisharmysgtmonkey.files.wordpress.com/2011/08/img_5092.jpg
      It is my favourite photo as I am carrying a big gun and I do look handsome in my army gear.

      March 7, 2012 at 6:30 pm

  2. Thank you for the comment, I like taking photographs when I am on holiday. But my camera is almost the same weight as I am and it is difficult for me to use.

    March 7, 2012 at 6:24 pm

  3. haha! looks like the big gun is the blogger and Sgt. Monkey is just a mere backpack.. 😉

    the gun is way too big for you Sgt. 🙂

    March 8, 2012 at 7:26 pm

    • Yes my gear and gun is a bit big for me. You would think the army would provide us cuddly toys with smaller guns. It is a bit embarrassing for me when I am patrolling with the lads as they take p*** out of me and sometimes they have to carry my gear for me.

      Look at this photograph, I am on sentry duty and my gun is sooooo big I can’t hold it straight!

      March 8, 2012 at 10:20 pm

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