Caminar = to walk
El camino = the path, track
El Camino de Santiago = famous medieval pilgrim route which passes through this area
Roger is a seriously disciplined and dedicated runner. No matter where we are, what the weather is like, how he’s feeling or how busy we are, he always finds time for a daily run, usually between 9 and 13 miles but often much further. The challenge for him here is not so much the distance, but the ascent. There is no such thing as ‘flat’: hills – very steep ones – are compulsory and he often climbs so high that he can see the sea, snow-capped peaks or both. He is currently notching up a climb of over 2 000 feet per day; that’s the equivalent of five Snowdons a week or more than an Everest every fortnight! With statistics like those, I haven’t even found the courage to put my trainers on, yet alone run anywhere (yes, I’m a wuss), but instead I am walking when he goes for his run. Walking is a popular pastime here, and given the age of some of the daily walkers in our area, it’s a good thing to do with health and longevity in mind. There’s only one rule: unless there is wall-to-wall blue sky, carry an umbrella (everyone does). Those Asturian downpours can come from nowhere! There are miles of lanes and forestry tracks on our doorstep so it’s a great way to explore and there is no need to be bored by taking the same route every time.
This walk is my ‘default’ walk if time is short. It’s a two mile loop with very steep sections to start and finish, but quite a change of scenery throughout. Come with me and see what you think.
I start with a climb from the house. It’s impossible to capture just how steep it is in a photo (especially with the morning sunshine effect) but the lane here is made from ridged concrete: there is no way you could walk or drive on a smoother surface here, especially in wet weather.
A quick diversion to the right along our forest track . . .
. . . it’s not really necessary, but gives me a bird’s eye view of the house, the village and the valley opposite.
On up into the woods. There is a lot of eucalyptus, planted as a commercial crop which will eventually be harvested for toilet paper. It’s certainly not a monoculture, though: here are oak, cherry, birch, chestnut, elder, hazel, several varieties of pine, and holly, which is a protected species and cannot be cut. The green is so intense, it’s dazzling; the birdsong is a riot.
Out onto a short stretch of road (traffic is NOT a problem!) and a bit of downhill, too!
At the bottom of the hill, I come out of the trees and the landscape shifts to grassy meadows close to the river. I’m a mile from home here and this is the point where I turn and start to head back (it’s also where our nearest neighbours in this direction live).
The track meanders through fields and is even flattish in places. The wild flowers are beautiful.
Not another human being in sight but I’m definitely being watched!
A little further on and back into woodland; there is a tantalising glimpse of the village through the greenery.
Further still and there’s our barn perched on the side of the hill. Almost home – just the small matter of a very steep climb . . .
Occasionally, I meet Roger on the way back, depending on what route he has taken. If not, then this is the deal: first one home grinds the coffee beans. Cheers!
PS We had a day out exploring the local area this week. I think I’ve found the perfect FLAT running spot! 🙂