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Posts tagged “Picos de Europa

My trip to Northern Spain in 2011 – part 2

The next walk on our trip to the Picos de Europa in Northern Spain was to the Lakes of Covadonga. They are two lakes at an altitude of 1134 metres above sea level in the Picos de Europa National Park.

The two lakes are are Lake Enol and Lake Ercina and was the original center of the Picos de Europa National Park back in 1918.

Auntie was driving us to the visitors centre at the lakes. The road that leads to the lakes starts at Covadonga and is 12.6 kilometres long at an average gradient of 7.3%. The most demanding section is La Huesera, 7 kilometres from the top of the climb, with an average gradient of 15%. It was a hair raising drive up to the lakes. At times I had to get out and push the car – I am only 30 cms tall! It was scary.

We eventually got to the car park and admired the mountain peaks.

I was impressed at the snow top mountain peaks.

Near the car park lie the Mines of Buferrera, some five minutes walk from the lakes. We made a small circuit walk in this abandoned mining area, which used to produce iron and magnesium. It operated between the years 1893 and 1932.

These mines are five minutes from the lakes.

We decided to do a circular walk over the grassy grazing grounds of the lakes by foot.

I was enjoying the views.

The snow top peaks are of the western massif of Picos de Europa range.

Lake Ercina with it grazing grounds for herds of cattle.

Swimming was not allowed in the lakes.

It was a lovely sunny day.

I kept my eye out for any hungry cuddly toy eating Wolves.

The views were great.

A little hill was halfway between the two lakes and we were able to look down on to the lakes.

Lake Enol surrounded by high mountain tops.

It was well into the thirties here and I was glad I had put on my suncream over my cotton fur.

The mountains had a perfect reflection in Lake Enol.

Going beyond the lakes we came across a remote chapel.

This little chapel was amongst the snow top mountain tops.

Not sure why this was built here.

Rural Spain is so beautiful.

After the trek, we headed back down to Covadonga for blue cheese sauce chips.

To be continued….

For more information about the Lakes of Covadonga please visit:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lakes_of_Covadonga

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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:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Picos_de_Europa

http://www.spain.info/en/reportajes/un_paseo_por_los_picos_de_europa.html