Thursday, 16 May 2013

Hiking Pico Jano in the Picos de Europa

On May 11, I was lucky enough to be invited to hike Pico Jano, in the Picos de Europa, with a grupo de senderismo (hiking group) made up of teachers from the health care college in Santander, as well as some of their families and students.  Some of these pictures are mine, and others were taken by Antonino (Nino), the group leader.  

We took a bus from Santander along the coast, into Asturias, and then headed south on the N-621, back into Cantabria, and into the national park of the Picos de Europa.  The bus dropped us off at the beginning of the trail, in a small village called Dobarganes, southwest of Potes.  We started our hike there; a steep climb brought us up to join a trail called PR S-95.   

Heading north, we passed the Dobarganes reservoir and found ourselves in a forest of oaks and beeches, covered in lichen, as shown in the picture below.  (I'm in front, wearing a turquoise jacket and carrying a brown backpack).

In the next picture, I've taken off the jacket! 

I'm second from right, with the brown/black backpack

Stopping halfway up for a break and photo opportunity....

Me with Nino, on the way up

After a steep climb, we made it to the top!

Here's the whole group at the summit.  You can see me in the back row, at the bottom right of the monument, with the green hat!

Heading down the other side .......

Looking for the perfect picnic spot, we were not disappointed .....

Our picnic spot

Continuing down, to the north, through the valley of Valdebaró and towards the villages of Bodia and Baró.  

on the way down

I thought this abandoned building in the village of Bodia would make an interesting picture.  After I took it, my friends told me that the hole under the roof was an oven.

We passed several abandoned country houses.  My friends explained that 'young people nowadays don't want to live up here.' 

Almost down, views are still spectacular!

At the bottom, we arrived in the village of Baró where we visited a farm and bought some of their famous cheese (queso de Baro).  If you're a cheese aficionado, click here for their website that shows pictures of the farm, the village, and the cheese-making process.  

The bus picked us up at the campsite in San Pelayo for the return trip to Santander.

Here's a link to Nino's Picasa album if you would like to see more pictures, as well as his summary of the route (in Spanish).  His final sentence needs no translation: 'el dia resultó magnifico.

I was so lucky to have this opportunity to hike with such a friendly and experienced group of teachers.  Map reading (which is not my strong point to begin with) has turned out to be particularly challenging here in Cantabria!  I'm used to the sea being in the south and mountains in the north; here it's the opposite.  Even though logically I know this, somehow my brain hasn't got the message!  Whenever I look at a map,  I think it's upside down and mentally turn it round.  Just one more example of how cultural perspective affects everything we do, even map reading....

No comments:

Post a Comment