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The Picos de Europa, for those who love a wilderness . . .

33 comments


. . . and for Nariz, who loves it so much she lives there! We met – we hugged – and it was so lovely to be invited to her home, meet her OH, and be given local advice.

This small area is nothing like the rest of Spain – it is completely unspoilt, and there are very few tourists. Those who do come tend to be keen walkers, as there are miles and miles of marked trails, but whenever we went exploring the little villages and alpine meadows, we usually had the place to ourselves.


We stayed in a tiny apartment with a shared pool: this is the view from our balcony:

I enjoyed my daily swim, and soon got used to the cold water!

Our local town was Potes, with a typical rushing stream,

a flower market,

and a stall selling vegetable seedlings, which was so popular the locals actually formed a queue!

We booked into a guided Wildflower Walk with the local expert, Teresa, who knew the names of everything (I don’t think she was taking a photo of OH)


but I wasn’t efficient enough to manage a notebook as well as a camera, so (sorry) I don’t remember what these are.


Orchids.


Gentians.


Wild Euphorbias with Orchid,

and a lovely water meadow where we saw a blue-headed lizard, but he was trying to hide! We felt so lucky to see him as his colouring was incredible: blue head, blue/green neck, merging into an orange back, and a brown tail . . . prettiest lizard ever.

That was obviously flat, but more often we had quite a climb to see the alpine flowers. This bear was at the top of a long slope (you may recognise the shape of a certain avatar?!)


An alpine rock garden on limestone,


and a typical view.


Driving back down to the valley, we stopped to admire this roadside meadow – a wonderful mix of colours, with gorgeous blue Anchusa among them.


We liked these decorative chimneys in the next village,

then took a break at our favourite restaurant (how come I look like Bernie Ecclestone on a windy day?!).

And finally the lovely Posada where we could meet other English speakers for a drink, and compare notes and borrow maps for the following day.

Thank you for joining us on our sunny holiday: muchas gracias. :))

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Comments

 

Lovely blog. I really feel I have been there too !
Glad you both had a wonderful time.

31 May, 2012

 

So glad you had a lovely holiday,Sheila,and how nice to meet up with Nariz...some lovely wildflowers there,and a that pool and apartments look great...I had to laugh at your 'Bernie Eccleston ' description.:o) I am more a Worzel Gummidge myself ! Lol..your garden at home looks brilliant..welcome home :o)

31 May, 2012

 

Looks a wonderful place..absolutely beautiful. I wonder if your Lizard was a blue headed Agama lizard? I don't know if they have them in Spain.

31 May, 2012

 

oh that was lovely sheila, thank you, i loved your pictures, what a beautiful place!! i feel as if i have been on a holiday without any of the hassle!! thanks you!!

those exquisite wild flowers ~ what a treat!! loved the flower market too!!

31 May, 2012

 

Thank you Diane, Bloomer, Pimm's and Sticki for your kind comments - we were very lucky.

Pimm's - have you seen such a lizard in Africa? I gather they are common there. It's certainly similar, but we think ours was a European Blue-headed lizard: a treat to see whichever he was :)

31 May, 2012

 

Lovely blog Bernie...oops I mean Sheilabub :)
That scenery is amazing - fabulous time spent I'm sure. Must have been nice for you and Nariz to meet up. Nothing like local knowledge to make things more enjoyable I think.
Glad you had a good time :)

31 May, 2012

 

Glad to hear you had a nice time on your holiday Sheila, thanks for sharing it with us. Beautiful scenery.

31 May, 2012

 

Lovely blog Sheila, pleased you had a good time

31 May, 2012

 

Seen them in Africa? No, the reptile house at chester zoo more than likely. :)

31 May, 2012

 

lovely blog Sheilabub really felt as if I'd been there
so pleased you had a good time Thanks for sharing :))

31 May, 2012

 

It looks gorgeous so unspoilt, I can see why Nariz loves it, the scenery is beautiful.
Pleased you had a good time, thanks for sharing your lovely pics...

31 May, 2012

 

I do believe I know these places ......! ;o) So glad you had a good time Sheila - and that the weather behaved for you! As you know, just before your arrival I was suggesting you pack yet another fleece ... and maybe your wellies! Happily, neither needed. Not hard to see why we love this region so much is it? With the high altitude flower meadows being about 1 month behind us at 700 mts, and the valley floor about 2 weeks in advance, we can 'spread' our spring flower season out almost to summer. Wish we'd found this place about 20 years ago as there's so much to see and enjoy!

1 Jun, 2012

 

Lovely pics Sheila

1 Jun, 2012

 

Really enjoyed this blog Sheila, and pleased you had a lovely time. Its so exciting to meet other Goyers too. How great to see all those wild flowers, and the lizard.

1 Jun, 2012

 

Such a lovely place!

1 Jun, 2012

 

what a fantastic blog and photo's, it looks such an incredible place to visit, so glad you ad a brill time,

1 Jun, 2012

 

Thanks so much Scottish, Poppy, Sheilar, Niverdeen, Lincslass, Nariz(!), Paul, Cinders, Lil and Yorkshire for your lovely comments.

I can thoroughly recommend a visit - only 90 minutes from Stansted, then an easy drive along the coast and up into the mountains. If you love to escape the crowds like us, this is the place! Even better if you know a little Spanish . . . at the first restaurant we tried, on our first evening, my OH had "cow" for his supper, and I had "pig"!

1 Jun, 2012

 

Lol..

1 Jun, 2012

 

From the beautiful scenery you`ve shown us no wonder you had a wonderful holidy and to meet up with Nariz would have been the icing on the cake.

1 Jun, 2012

 

We have never visited the Picos de Europa but obviously should to visit Nariz and even look at the flowers. The plant that you should have had a notebook for, Sheila, is a Butterwort - an insectivorous plant. Probably Pinguicula grandiflora or P. vulgaris.

1 Jun, 2012

 

Many thanks Phyl. And thanks for the ID Bulbaholic - even if I'd been told at the time, I can never remember the name of a flower that I can't pronounce!

1 Jun, 2012

 

Goodness, Nariz, after this splendid blog, you'll have to open a guest house for GoYs! It looks absolutely lovely, Sheila, and Bernie Ecclestone should be so lucky!

2 Jun, 2012

 

An amazing blog and how beautiful....really enjoyed

2 Jun, 2012

 

Thank you Gattina . . . I'm sure Nariz would be only too happy!

Thank you Lulu :))

2 Jun, 2012

 

A B&B is something we once thought of when we first moved here and dinero was a little tight but, since Partner started helping our neighbours with their British self-catering guests (bookings in English and any problems arising once they're here) in their few casas, we've decided that it's a route we DON'T ever want to go down (present company excepted of course) ! ;o)

3 Jun, 2012

 

You may live to regret saying that! ;o) I shall start packing in a bit......

3 Jun, 2012

 

Pack wellies! ;o)

4 Jun, 2012

 

Already wearing them!

4 Jun, 2012

 

Then don't forget the sun cream! I can't keep up with this weather! I was chilly yesterday so today, when we went into town for shopping and for me to get my mane cut, I wore a shirt and trousers with a cardi. During the mane strim I had to stop everything to take the cardi off! Now I'm sweltering and looking forward later to a cool shower before my vino on the balcony! Oh, the rigours of country life ......! ;o)

4 Jun, 2012

 

Pretty much the same here - wore jeans,a shirt and a lightweight mac to go to the market in the pouring rain, by the time we got half way through the day, we could hardly function, we were so hot, and drove home with all the car windows wide open to cool off, then wore t-shirts and shorts to garden in. Very sticky tonight - will have difficulty sleeping!

4 Jun, 2012

 

This is quite funny . . . much the same here!! Started a day's croquet tournament in shirt, sweater and fleece, AND WOOLLY HAT AND GLOVES. Mid-morning hat and gloves went; lunchtime sweater went and the sun came out. Later in the afternoon it was back to 3 layers, AND A WATERPROOF when the rain poured down for just 15 minutes! Crazy, but I slept well . . . :))

5 Jun, 2012

 

Enjoyed this blog, Sheila...Nariz must feel truly blessed to live amid this wonderful scenery. It was interesting to see so many wildflowers...it is living in the country that has awakened my appreciation for the "wild" flowers. :-)

22 Jun, 2012

 

Thank you Lori :)

22 Jun, 2012

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