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?


3 comments:

  1. Possibly one of the Hawk moths caterpillar.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Anne.
      What a beauty and I could not fail to stop to admire it while ensuring it crossed to path safely. I believe this is the moth it will turn to:, acherontia atropos: https://www.google.es/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=Acherontia+atropos
      We once saw it coming up from the ground in our garden. It is one of the only moths whose call the human ear can physically hear.
      Luis

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  2. Beautiful coastline and you are obviously a very skilled cyclist!

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