We’ve started a new blog and web page on walking in Asturias with lots of information on the area and walking. There are different posts on walking with a personal account of the walk followed by technical information including; maps and contour profiles. GPS tracks for these walks are now available at the hotel along with our self guided walking notes. Here is the personal account of the latest walk posted on the blog.
Ascent of Pico Zorru from Les Bedules
Being surrounded by so many lovely mountains it’s too difficult to decide which is my favorite walk, there can’t just be one but various and the ascent of Pico Zorro from Les Bedules is certainly one of them.
When I walked it this time we were still experiencing an Indian summer so I wanted to get to the summit before the heat set in and started walking from Les Bedules at 8,0 clock in the morning. The first 3 kilometers take you along tracks, slightly wooded in parts but with good views and then you arrive at the large summer pasture of Les Llampes. There was a farmers car parked in the meadow but no sign of the farmer just plenty of cows grazing peacefully and the continual melody of their bells.
The Llampes meadow (taken last October)
The sun was rising over the Picos but the meadow was still in the shadow of the “Rasu” mountain and this made it a nice temperature for walking. I could still see mist over the coast and became aware it was slowly rolling inland. When there is good visibility it’s difficult to believe just how hard it can be to find your way across these pathless meadows when there is mist.
Once past the meadow the walk takes you for a short distance through an old beech forest covered in lichens and then you arrive at the Pumarin Col with the Picos in front of you and the massive Peloño beach forest below you. There is such a variety of habitats; jagged limestone peaks rising in the background, a massive extent of natural beach forest and the occasional clearing where cows graze on abandoned pastures dotted with ruined shepherds huts. I often dream of a resurgence of mountain farming with people paying fair prices for sustainably produced meat and farmers once again nurturing these mountain pastures and the traditions that go with them. I dream a little more!
Now it’s a short distance along a flattish track and I just want to admire the views but its getting much hotter and I reckon I should get a move on and wonder if I should have started walking an hour earlier! It’s across a small limestone outcrop and then round the bottom of a steep grassy valley before climbing up a gentle spur and on to the final grassy ridge before reaching the summit. It’s so stunning here that whenever I reach this point I just want to stay, and absorb the beauty of these “puertos” or high mountain pastures for as long as possible. The Pico Zorru is not the highest point in this small chain of mountains but gives it its name; “El Cordal del Zorru” may be because of its beauty!
I am on the summit and the mist is rising fast and the peaks to the north (seaward side of me) have all been covered by another stunning sea of cloud waiting to engulf me. Reluctantly I start me descent and with in 20 minutes my views and hot sweat have both gone and a cold damp mist accompanies me on my return journey back to the car.