Sunday, November 28, 2010

Dusk at La Pasera

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I just wanted to share with you two photos that show the fabulous sunset I experienced today while I had a moment of solitude with Gawber sat next to me and the beautiful song of numerous birds around me.


Friday, November 26, 2010

A good challenge- cycling to El Fito

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The Fito viewing platform is one of the nicest viewing points in Asturias. It is a concrete structure built in 1927 in the protected area of the Sueve Mountains that rest between the Picos Mountain National Park and the  Eastern coast of Asturias. The views of the coast and the distant Western Massif of the Picos are spectacular on a clear day. El Fito is one of my favourite places where I like going up the steps when there is no one around and enjoy the 360 degree view. I frequently look out for the peaks within the distant Western Massif, especially those I have climbed. I can easily lose myself within the emerald green of the grass in the numerous valleys below and as they drop down towards the golden sands of the long and numerous beaches just a few kilometres away I can see myself enjoying a walk on the beach.

The foto shows the Sueve Mountains as I was approaching it from the coast. El Fito is half way up a winding road  that takes you from the inland town of Arriondas down the village of Colunga in the coast. It is some time since I started cycling up El Fito as you approach it from Arriondas and recently I decided it would be a great challenge to cycle up the the viewing point platform from the coastal plains. Although from there the distance to climb from the coast is shorter, it is a greater physical challenge and mentally is more of an endurance test as you are constantly looking at the road as it climbs up the mountain ahead of you. From the other side, the woods cover the top.
Half way up the road the views down to the coastal plain are magnificent, unfortunately it was a grey day when I took this picture. The stop was very welcomed and I took the opportunity to replace the fluids I was loosing through perspiration.
The last two times that I went up El Fito I cycled from La Pasera on the old coastal road for 27 km and in the village of Colunga I took the smaller road that starts climbing up about 3000 feet while you cycle along for about 6 km. You forget the hardship once you are greeted by views like the one I show you with the last photo taken from the base of the viewing platform and looking across the valleys and the distant peaks. The return home takes me on the road that runs parallel to the river Sella and as you start entering the long and wide river estuary near Ribadesella I can feel the warmer air that comes from the coast before completing the last leg of this 60 km circular rute from La Pasera, altogether and enjoyable challenge.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Autumn sunshine and colour

While Ian is in the UK for the next three weeks, I am  enjoying the company of Gawber and Wentworth while I catch up with some jobs around the garden. The wild flower meadows have been cut and the bare ground in part of the vegetable plot needs to be planted with oats, green manure, to help nitrogen retention in the soil as well as helping to improve the soil structure in readiness for next year´s planting.
This afternoon I decided to go cycling up into the mountains in preparation for my attempt to cycle up to the lakes in the Picos Mountains, a tough cycling route usually incorporated in the Spanish Cycling Tour. Today´s cycling route took me along the coastal road for 15 km before I turned into the small and winding road that leads up to the Hortiguro Heights- a 12 km climb. As I was nearing the top and I got over the cloud line, I was able to enjoy the Autumnal warn sunshine and the changing colour in the trees. I could not resist the temptation to stop to take this photo. On my way back, I took a short break to enjoy the pounding of the incoming tide on the shore of St Antolin´s beach, a beautiful spot with just a handful of people.