You can find more photos of Somiedo National Park on the following link at flickr:
Dear Beekeepers of Pigüeces,
We parked Emma, our mobile home, at the bottom of the road and walked up the hill to your house bearing a large pumpkin between us, which we had hoped to share with you.
We found your house where we were welcomed by your ‘plant/cat sitter’. She invited us in and explained that you were in India. We shared some food and went for a long walk up the valley to a beautiful if abandoned village. It was a lovely sunny afternoon, the ancient stone pathway was strewn with chestnuts, hazelnuts and walnuts, and the leaves are just turning, so the woodlands were ablaze with colours ranging from yellow to deep red. The air was still with the odd leaf falling silently. Up by the abandoned village, we heard the familiar sound of cattle bells but otherwise it was blissfully quiet there.
On the way home, we shared many songs with your friend, and admired the changing sky as the day drew to a close.
When we reached the village, we were surprised to see a man grappling with a huge bear!
He wouldn’t be photographed with it, nor would he give us any reason why he had it on his front porch. I wonder if you can tell us, because, we saw a bear in your house too!
The next day, we invited your friend to join us on a mycological walk, which was organized as part of the Fiesta de Huerta (garden festival) in Belmonte. In the space of a couple of hours, a group of 20 people collected over 100 species, ranging from the highly desirable to the deadly poisonous. These were then classified and named by a specialist, a GP with a passion for mushrooms, who told us that he’d collected over 3000 of the 10000 species existent in Asturias. We never knew there were so many mushrooms!
We took some parasol and some boletus back to your wonderful house and shared a lovely meal with your friend. We dipped the Parasol in beaten egg and seasoned flower and fried them, while the Boletus made a fabulous Risotto.
It was lovely to share the beauty of your valley and your house despite your absence, and it was special to meet your friend. If you ever pass by our homes in Devon or Cardiff, please feel free to visit us – or if we are not there, maybe you will have an adventure with the people renting our houses.
Much love, Ruth & Frank
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Gijon to Parque Somiedo, October 16th
We wake up with the roaring of the sea and the rain lashing against the window. The best thing we can do is to join the wetness. We get on our bikes and cycle past the surfers who bob up and down with the waves like Guillemots, waiting for a good one to then surf precariously close to the rocks. We prefer the main beach for our excursion, where the waves roll in onto fine sand. We leave our clothes under the overhang of the life guard’s house and sprint through the rain into the waves. The sea is warm and gorgeous, and apart from the surfers, we are the only people crazy enough to enjoy it.
When we get back home, it’s time to make a fire to dry all our wet things, to make some lunch and to have a siesta.
In the afternoon, we leave Gijon and head once more for the mountains. As soon as we can, we leave the motorway and go on a lovely national road, the N634, where we meet
the Camino de Santiago once more, like an old friend.
We stop off in a little town to ask for some firewood at a furniture shop and they direct us to the sawmill at the other end of town. We get to the sawmill just when the owner is about to close the door. He’s not too pleased at first to reopen the gates, but when we exchange some homemade produce against a few bags of firewood, he soon warms to us and starts chatting, giving us advice about where to go in Parque Somiedo. He tells us about some friends he has in Pigüeces, a German woman and a French man, who make honey.
We drive on a few more kilometers to find a place near the river in a curve in the road.
We have some pork & apple stew made with local cider, and fall into bed.
When I wake up the next morning, Frank has hacked a path to the river. A man has to hack a path so his lady can go bathing
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