Friday, 1 June 2018

Spain, May/June 2018. Day 12.

An excellent day today.  Actually no rain at all last night and partially clear skies. Awoke to low cloud again though but this soon lifted to give a day of mixed cloud and sun.
We began with a drive up to a beautiful monastery 
of Santo Toribio de Liébana and view point above Potes.  While we were there the clouds parted to reveal the mountains of The Picos.  The monastery is ancient and purports to have a piece of the 'One True Cross'.  It is also on a side route of the Camino de Santiago de Compostella: the 72km Camino Lebaniego, which begins at the fishing port of San Vicente de la Barquera and ends at the monastery of Santo Toribio de Liébana, just beyond Potes.  It is one of northern Spain's lesser-known pilgrimage routes. It's also the most picturesque.  It can be walked in three days or as part of a weeks-long trek on the North and French Ways, which it partly connects, en route to Santiago de Compostela.  I could be very tempted!
From here we continued through Potes, past our poorly car and on down the gorge to Panes.  We then diverted up into the hills where we discovered endless stunningly beautiful wild flower meadows that so rarely exist in the UK anymore.  Among more common species we were surrounded by spectacular orchids. We also had good views of woodchat strike. Navigating down narrower and narrower roads we eventually admitted defeat and returned to the more main roads and the National Park Centre where we enjoyed the excellent displays.  I loved the modern sculpture of the mountains.  Next it was the supermercado in Potes for supplies before returning to the site and the evening BBQ of pork loin.  It was, of course, beer o'clock.
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