The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Sunday 12 November 2017

Sunday 12 November - Cóbreces

I can't help but think that in the days before Smartphones our experience of day-walks abroad would have been different. Being constantly on the move, it would be logistically difficult and economically unviable to buy maps for every place we go and, even armed with maps, the availability of paths/tracks for walking is not always obvious (Spanish maps are particularly poor in this regard). Tourist Offices can often help, but that's only if you are somewhere that has one, and at a time of year/week/day when it is open.

With t'internet and on-line mapping, things are so much easier. We pitch up somewhere, I do a search on the relevant routes website and within a few minutes I have a map, and a route downloaded onto it.

Usually I look at as many routes as it takes for me to think "That one will do". Today we have the highly unusual benefit of both wifi and mains electricity, so I made the most of it and downloaded seven routes, surveyed all of the options then plotted an eighth line on the map, cherry-picking ideas from the others. It worked out rather well, even if we did occasionally find ourselves having to step over or crawl under fences. It is one problem of taking routes other people have uploaded onto a public platform - there's no way of knowing, unless they chose to say in the comments, that they strayed off the correct path and found themselves cornered in a field, then you end up doing the same.

Unlike some of the official routes we have followed recently, today we found ourselves off road for over half of the outing.

Here are a few snaps:

This one was actually taken yesterday when we popped out just to look at the local beach and ended up walking a circuit. When I looked at this snap later, I opined that if you slapped the chimney of a tin mine on the far headland, it could easily be Cornwall.

The Picos de Europa mountains are not far away. Looking a bit snowy!

"Go forward a bit!" I shouted, trying to get him over the overhang. He declined.

Elevenses was taken on a bench overlooking this old mill, set in a cove. It's a lovely bit of coast with striking strata and some impressive undercutting caused by the sea. We left our bench with a group of 17 Sunday ramblers hot on our heels.

Our return route took us inland so that we could have a closer look at the church and monastery that are the main features of the view from Bertie's windscreen. The church looks so grand from where I'm sitting typing this. It looks rather shabby close up.

The monastery is in better nick

'Twas most enjoyable (ignoring the crawling under fences bit!) and came in at 7.6 miles with a smidge under 800' of ascent.


  1. I'm not surprised Mock declined - there is an obvious vertical crack in that rock that suggests its imminent detachment.

    1. From that angle it does look like there's a crack through the rock, but from above it was clear that the fault didn't go from side to side - it was just a feature of the shape of the rock at the edges. It's difficult to explain what I mean, but the important point is that I wasn't trying to bump Mick off!