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]

Thursday, 2 November 2017

Thursday 2 November - PR-S-24 Picos de Busampiro

We left Lanestosa on Tuesday and, after another brief stay on the coast, a short journey westwards was made, bringing us to the town of Liérganes.

On arrival in Lanestosa last weekend we had been underwhelmed by the place, but it grew on us during our stay. By contrast we both liked Liérganes immediately. It's very well presented, with a nice old town, an historic bridge, a legend regarding a man who survived underwater in the river for five years, and a substantial quantity of bars and restaurants.

We arrived yesterday - a public holiday - and by the afternoon the town was buzzing and the car park had well and truly overflowed. Dozens of people were seen setting out for walks.

A chat with the lady in the Tourist Office didn't net us any information about most of the routes mentioned on a board in the car park, but she did give us a leaflet about, and recommend, PR-S-24, which seems to be the popular walk of the area - it's certainly the direction in which we saw everyone heading yesterday. This morning we set off to see it for ourselves.

Well, I'm not quite sure what to make of it! I felt like it was a bit of a cheat that it had been designated an official PR, when over three quarters of it was on road. They were quiet roads, but it was still uninteresting underfoot, particularly when surrounded by rugged lumps of limestone hills.

However, it was easy (and I don't mind a bit of easy) and in the absence of it being designated a PR, there's not a chance that we would have chosen to go and walk 10 miles around the local lanes, which would have been to our detriment as there was plenty to see. Passing through a few local villages (all well presented; it comes across as an affluent area) we thoroughly enjoyed oggling the houses, and the rest of the distance was variously through pleasant country, rugged limestoneness and, latterly, along the river.

Slogging up the longest uphill of the route as noon approached, I was starting to get antsy for elevenses, but other than plopping ourselves down on the tarmac, no stopping options were presenting themselves. I felt sure that a picnic area would show up at some point, as the Spanish (along with the Danes and Norwegians) are masters of the picnic area in the oddest of places. In fact, I even suspected I knew where this one would be, as the gpx file I had downloaded had an area of significant 'GPS wander', which is what happens when someone stays in one spot for a time without pausing their GPS recording device. My suspicion was correct, and we finally had elevenses at a quarter to one. We deferred lunch until we got back, meaning that's twice in three outings now that I have carried lunch for the entire distance. Still, better to carry lunch and not need it, etc.

I think my final assessment is that it was an interesting-enough outing, in pleasant-enough surroundings but not what I would have chosen if I'd had more information. I would have looked for something that left the road and ventured into the surrounding hills a bit more.

It came in at 9.6 miles with 1300' of ascent and (in contrast to yesterday's hoards), we saw not a single other walker.


  1. If you didn't know it was limestone country it looks a lot like the Lakes from the photos. It's surprising you did 1300ft considering you are describing a benign country walk.

    1. At various points over the last couple or three weeks we have commented that we could be in: the Dales, the Peak District, the Borders, Wales or the Lakes. It's a very green landscape and often it's the little things (like the style of building, the quantity of goats or the fact that fence posts are made from raw, unprocessed pieces of tree) that provide the biggest give-away that we are not in the UK.

      As for the ascent, the pull up hill that had me hankering after elevenses accounted for around 900' or so of the ascent, and the rest was made up of undulations. We've definitely come to note on our three trips around Spain to date that it's not a flat country (doesn't do Bertie's fuel economy stats any good, you know!).