Sunday, 26 April 2015

High in the Picos de Europa, Spain

8:50pm, Saturday, 9°c

We are parked on a meadow high up in the Picos, and the van is literally surrounded by a herd of free horses..

I am sitting watching them, the foals playing, and hearing the bells jangling, while Rio looks on in amazement from his perch on the folded front seat.

Today too, Rio played on the snow for the first time, which he loved, when we stopped on the mountain pass..


I couldn't get to the place I intended to spend the night as the road was impassable with snow beyond a certain point. I parked at the roadside intending to spend the night there, but as I was getting settled it began to snow again, and soon there was a whiteout. I decided not to risk waking up snowed in, so continued on back down the pass and that's how we ended up here.

The end of the road..

The drive from León into the Picos is a beautiful one, and approaching from that direction there is not so steep a climb to be made, except for the final several kms. The other side of the pass however is another story and in fact I didn't have to touch the throttle pedal for close to an hour, just the brakes a lot! Winding down and down, around hairpin bends, and sheer drops at times, the winter weather having done its work on the retaining walls and sometimes the road surface as well. An amazing drive, and I'm glad I did it in the direction I did. I'd probably have been in 2nd gear for an hour and a half doing it the other way.


So for now, darkness is falling and I'm just continuing to gaze out at the craggy peaks around me as dusk settles. There couldn't be a greater contrast from where we awoke this morning in the middle of a large bustling city centre - there's no better life..

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