Friday, November 26, 2010

A good challenge- cycling to El Fito

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.

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