Tuesday, October 13, 2015

The last post...

We have made the decision to bring to a close our personal blog: Tales from Toriello. We started it ten years ago when we first bought La Pasera as a way of documenting our lives in the UK and Spain. We have posted over 500 blog posts in that time and built up an average monthly following of 5000 views from all over the world. We have always been truly amazed that people from all corners of the globe have taken the time to read our stories, look at our photographs, comment on our posts and occasionally have visited us when they have been in Asturias. It's been a great pleasure getting to know some lovely people and hearing about their stories and adventures. Tales from Toriello will remain as an archive as there are some useful posts and recipes that we hope will continue to be used. Take a look through the archive which can be accessed using the timeline in the right hand column.

We will continue with our other blogs for the time being and hope you will continue to keep in touch with us through them or by email.

Somewhere in Asturias - A photo blog featuring photographs from Luis and Ian of Asturias

www.artesanialapasera.com - Luis' blog that details his work restoring cane and rush seating.

www.mosaicoslapasera.com - Luis' blog for his mosaic art.

Small Tales and Tittle Tattle - a site where Ian shares his short stories and music.

Smaller Tales from Toriello - a site where we store photographs and short films of wildlife found in the garden at La Pasera.

Ian Hicken - Music - a blog about music and Ian's bands, equipment and influences.

https://soundcloud.com/ianhickenmusic - a link to Ian's music on soundcloud.

We both have plans for developing our interests over the coming months and years and sincerely hope that our paths will cross again sometime in the future. Don't forget to look us up if you are ever passing this way....

With love and best wishes

Ian Hicken
Luis Laso Casas

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Outdoor activities in Asturias: Cycling 1


Asturias with its dramatic coastline, green meadows and lush woodlands so close to the towering Picos de Europa mountains is a good region where to enjoy impressive and beautiful scenery in Northern Spain.

Today, I want to tell you about one the of cycling routes I regularly enjoy starting from our home at La Pasera. This is a route along the eastern Asturian coast finishing at Torimbia Beach which is one of the many stunning and dramatic beaches along this part of the coast that never fails to impress us whenever we visit it. In future blogs, we will tell you about some other walks we also enjoy along this part of the coast that have not been featured in previous posts.

For me, cycling in Asturias presents some challenges that can easily be overcame with the help of a good map and /or mobile application especially when orienteering does not come naturally. Getting slightly lost is something I do not tend to mind as it usually leads me to discover some beautiful places otherwise I would not have discovered. Other challenge cycling in Asturias relates to instances where the path's surface may be heavily eroded , overgrown or suddenly comes to an end to continue along a narrow trail normally used by animal. This is always a good opportunity to practice certain off road cycling techniques or get an adrenaline kick.

Cycling any distance in Asturias will always mean that you are faced with hills to climb with varying degrees of difficulty, even the coastal path has some challenging climbs that I initially detested and that now I have come to like, enjoy and even miss.
The route to Torimbia has several climbs that certainly make me sweat and increase my pulse rate. This is a good route to enjoy when I want to do a few kilometers and have some challenging climbs without the need to take my bike in the car to the start of the route. In time I also tell you about some other routes I  plan to explore further away from home and in within the Picos National Park.

To do this 38 Km route from La Pasera means that at times I am riding along some small roads and country lanes where traffic is very quiet with little or no aggression and/or road rage towards cyclists. As a cyclist using a road, Spanish traffic laws grant me the same rights as any other road traffic. I am also a very considerate cyclist while out cycling.

Torimbia beach
 On reaching the clifftops before dropping down to Torimbia beach, the views of the coast never cease to impress me. The sound of the sea and how its surface reflects light captivate me and are a good distraction while recharging energy with a light snack and a drink.

On my return journey, the coastal path is a great opportunity to enjoy magnificent views and some spectacular beaches, sandy coves or clifftops. The occasional chapel in the middle of the meadows and the quaint sleepy villages the path passes by present me some aspects of traditional Asturian architecture that I admire and intend to show you in a future blog post.

St. Antolin's beach

Gulpiyuri beach is usually referred to as the beach without a see. At some point in time, the erosive action over the limestone caused by the sea and rain carved a large underground cavity that eventually collapsed creating this beautiful beach with a very short channel where the tidal waters come flooding in giving the illusion of a beach without a sea. Gulpiyuri was recently declared a natural monument and attracts ever increasing numbers of visitors.

Gulpiyuri beach
On occasions I also get to see some incredible flora and fauna. During my last ride along this path, I came across a magnificent caterpillar I could not resist photographing. You can even appreciate the little stoma, mouth or opening in the individual segments forming its body that the caterpillar uses to oxygenate the individual segments. A much simpler respiratory system than that present in other animal and one that has always fascinated me with its simplicity. Can anyone identify it?