Sunday, March 17, 2013

Walking in Asturias 12: Torres.

Asturias is a region with several mountain ranges that offer not only different types of walking but also a diverse flora and and fauna to discover and enjoy while you walk.

This circular walk takes you along the mountains that enclose a wide valley next to a ski station, San Isidro. This is a walk about one and a half hour's drive from La Pasera past the city of Oviedo and along one of the several Asturias mining valleys before you reach San Isidro ski station.

The mining community shows signs of an industry with high unemployment due to changes affecting mining industries but the valley itself is a beautiful one where nature slowly is regaining its hold.

San Isidro comprises of few privately owned chalets, few hotels and several  apartment blocks with ample car parks to cater for the Winter crowds in search of snow. Personally, I think the architecture resembles that typical of the communist era in Russia but on a positive note it helps you to focus on the natural beauty within this part of Asturias.

Once you leave the car in the rather deserted settlement, Torres is a circular walk where you can climb several of the many peaks that enclose the valley and before you head towards the limestone ridge that eventually leads you up to Torres peak where the rock formations and lichens growing on them are stunning.

On this instance we decided to climb some of the additional peaks offering good views of the valley below and the surrounding mountains. At the top of some of the peaks, we encountered some letter boxes indicating name and altitude. At times you may find a little note left behind by a walker providing details of their particular walk leading up to the peak, the weather conditions on that day and on occasions, contact details of a particular walking group.

There are peaks where instead of finding one of these letter boxes you may find a Nativity set left behind by a person or a mountain walking group. At times, there are walks advertised by one of the local walking groups for people to participate in a particular walk the group plans to do to replace the Nativity set after is deteriorates with the harsh weather condition. There are walkers who specifically climb certain peaks in order to photograph the letter box or Nativity set you may find at the very top.

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